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John McCain doesn't compute. Really.

Don't you feel that the president of the United States of America should know how to use a computer? I do. I really do. It bothers me greatly that McCain doesn't know how to use a PC, much less that he probably couldn't find "the Google" if it jumped up and bit him. How are we going to compete in the global technological arena on policy and pave the way for advances if the leader of our country is a Luddite?

Asked whether he prefers a Mac or PC in a Yahoo News/Politico interview earlier this year, McCain admitted: "Neither. I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get."
Source: CNN

My father, who's just a little over two years younger than John McCain, knows the basics of how to use a computer. He's no expert, and helping him through a technical diagnosis can be painful, but he can at least turn the thing on, activate the programs he uses, surf the web, reply to e-mail, and play games. If he can learn it, so can someone asking to be entrusted with the leadership of the free world.

I do not care that he has aides to assist him. I would be only marginally more horrified to learn that he could not balance his checkbook. That is how much this news troubles me. I need the leader of the USA to have some sort of personal experience with technology, and to learn that this candidate is even worse than George W. Bush in this area is profoundly disturbing.

I deserve better. My five month old niece deserves a better present and a better future than that which would be guided by someone so lacking in skills required by almost every school in this country.

Many employers demand computer literacy as a job requirement. Hiring someone often involves screening applicants with a test of technical proficiency. Shouldn't we be as particular when considering someone for the highest elected office in the land?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
A Luddite? I wouldn't go that far. Luddite implies that he actively resists technological innovation, and there's no evidence of that. Apparently he does not use computers because of old injuries to his hands. His campaign has used computers and related technolgoies quite well. His campaign in 2000 was remarked on for being ahead of its time in that regard.

That being said, I agree with you that even though he might have a very legitimate and excusable reason for not using a computer, the fact that he's not personally and intimately familiar with such a basic technology is worriesome.

Still, I fear the legislators of this country a lot more than the executive branch when it comes to computers and related media. I care very much about open standards and open source projects, copyright issues, etc, and as that goes, the Democrats are just terrible as the Republicans.
Sep. 17th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: the Luddite part, I would consider not doing something that would be strongly beneficial to your job (arguably a requirement, given the way the Internet has changed the way we work, shop, and play) to be resisting, but that's just my opinion.

On the hand injury, back in 2003, I saw a doctor about strained ulnar nerves. During that time, and for some time after, I used ViaVoice voice recognition software. It worked decently then, and it's probably better now. Some folks prefer Dragon Naturally Speaking. I'm just saying that there are consumer-level, affordable workarounds had he chosen to pursue them.

As for the legislators of this country, I often feel like there's a segment of Congress that needs to either retire or die off before we'll see a generation that truly gets tech in power. And then, of course, the young folks won't think they know anything, either. :)

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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