When questioned on his use of computers, McCain has confessed that he does not know how to use the web and relies entirely on his staff and wife to use the computer:
They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need - including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.
I find it quite alarming that a man who hopes to become the next President of the United States doesn’t even know have a basic understanding of the Internet. For those of you who don’t think this matters, it does: the next President will be making key decisions which will affect the future of the web. I project that privacy, wiretapping, and net neutrality will all be critical issues in the next term. Not to mention issues of educational technology funding and filtering schools. I don’t expect our President to be a code jedi, but at the very least he should be able to go online by himself. Even Bush uses ‘the Google.’ And honestly, how hard is it? Plug in a wire and click the little fox:
“It’s just amazing,” Jamal Simmons, a strategist with the Obama campaign, told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s very hard to even think about someone who doesn’t know how to use the internet. It’s like, ‘Really?’ My five-year-old niece can use the internet. She knows how to go to nickelodeon.com and play her games.”
Of course, there are those who exploit comedy gold where they find it: this time with a candidate so out of touch with the average American that he doesn’t even understand the most popular form of communication among young Americans:
No matter how much people want to emphasize McCain’s long experience, that only make this issue worse. When looking for a web-savvy candidate I don’t look for a candidate who still thinks about media en masse, I want a candidate who gets it (like Obama, who carries a Blackberry). Frankly, I don’t care if he is aware of the net, if he can’t even use it himself:
“You don’t necessarily have to use a computer to understand how it shapes the country. John McCain is aware of the Internet. This is a man who has a very long history of understanding on a range of issues.” ~Mark Soohoo, deputy director of Mr McCain’s e-campaign
I leave you with this parting thought: what if a major candidate admitted he was (literally) illiterate and depended upon his staff to read for him simply because he has never bothered to learn how?