Nikki Haley will exit Republican presidential race after Super Tuesday results: Politics, AI, and the path to our best future

Nikki Haley will exit Republican presidential race after Super Tuesday results: Politics, AI, and the path to our best future March 6, 2024

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Nikki Haley plans to suspend her Republican presidential primary bid in a speech later this morning. She won Vermont yesterday and the District of Columbia last Sunday, but former President Donald Trump has won every other primary so far. He could clinch the Republican nomination next Tuesday.

President Joe Biden has won every Democratic delegate awarded thus far (except for American Samoa, where Jason Palmer won three of its six delegates last night) and is poised to clinch his party’s nomination on March 19, setting up a rematch of their 2020 contest.

Your view of these results likely aligns with your larger political beliefs. You want our nation to elect the person who will most likely advance what you consider to be our best future. If you’re like many Americans, however, you view our collective good through the prism of your personal good.

In one sense, this arrangement is as it should be. In another, it contains the seeds of our national demise.

When politics become religion

Americans don’t believe in the “divine right of kings,” the age-old claim that monarchs derive their powers from God or the gods and thus have the right to rule us regardless of our wishes. To the contrary, as our Declaration of Independence states, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

John Locke, whose views were enormously influential for the Founders, claimed that in a state of nature, no one would have the right to rule over you, nor would you have the right to govern anyone else. Thus, our leaders derive their just right to govern only by the consent of those they govern.

Conversely, by choosing to live in a particular country, we consent to live by its rules. In Plato’s dialogue Crito, Socrates states that he knew the laws of his city-state; though he was free to leave, he chose to reside there and thus took upon himself an obligation to obey these laws.

However, there’s an innate problem with our system of governance: its success depends on the choice of its citizens and leaders to advance the common good even if it conflicts with their personal biases and interests.

When our nation was founded, a consensual sense of objective morality derived from the Judeo-Christian worldview served to forge and guide our national character. Now that our culture has jettisoned objective truth and biblical morality, we have no means whereby to identify, much less choose, the collective good over our personal agendas.

As a result, our politics have become a “zero-sum game” whereby some win while others lose. Compromise is viewed as weakness. Allegiance to partisan agendas takes on a religious fervor since these agendas are invested with securing our preferred future. All things and people are commodified as means to our consumptive personal ends.

Here we find yet another reason to be gravely concerned about the evolution of artificial intelligence, for reasons we’ll explore next.

“Our technology has exceeded our humanity”

As we noted yesterday, AI tools are being weaponized to advance the social and ideological agendas of their developers and users. As we saw Monday, the weaponizing of AI is occurring literally with the advent of lethal autonomous weapons.

Our national and cultural future therefore depend to a significant degree on using AI to advance the common good even at the cost of personal gain. Otherwise Albert Einstein’s warning will become even more accurate: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

Here’s the good news: when God’s Spirit converts us (John 3:3), he changes us (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus calls and empowers us to serve others as he serves us (John 13:14–15). Exhibit A is the apostle Paul, willing to be cursed (Romans 9:3) for the sake of the very people who cursed him and sought his death (cf. Acts 23:12–15).

Jesus calls us, like Paul, to take up our cross “daily” (Luke 9:23), to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice” to our Lord (Romans 12:1). As Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously stated, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

But here’s the rest of the story: When we submit our will to God’s Spirit each day (Ephesians 5:18), loving our Lord and our neighbor as our highest priorities (Matthew 22:37–39), we then experience our Father’s “good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 HCSB). When we pay any price to serve God and others, his Spirit makes our service eternally significant in ways we cannot begin to measure today.

“A banquet, full of gladness and tranquility”

St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340–397) said of his fellow Christians:

We have died with Christ. We carry about in our bodies the sign of his death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us. The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ: a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue. We have risen with Christ. Let us live in Christ, let us ascend to Christ.

How do we do this? Ambrose explained:

Let us take refuge from this world. You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body. You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord. Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show. You must take refuge in him. He is your refuge and your strength.

When we do this, Ambrose assured us,

To rest in the Lord and to see his joy is like a banquet, full of gladness and tranquility.

Will you take your seat at this spiritual feast today?

Wednesday news to know

Quote for the day

“One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us.” —John Wesley

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