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McCain is out of touch

James Cameron, Eagle-Vail

Melanie Wong found a handful of people who don’t believe John McCain’s ignorance of computers or the Internet is anything to be concerned about in his qualifications to be president of the United States. Ms. Wong expands her short list of interviews to proclaim that the “county” says the next president doesn’t have to be a computer whiz. I am 62 years old and spent the first half of this decade selling sophisticated electronic medical record software to physicians and hospitals.

Familiarity with the Internet does not qualify anyone as a computer whiz. Six-year-olds know how to use the Internet.

I do not find it surprising that a typical 71-year-old does not know how to use computers or the Internet. I do find it very surprising that a 71-year-old running for president does not know the technology that children know. It brings to mind author Robert Woodward’s impression of President George Bush as being arrogant, lazy and not very curious. One would think that somewhere in the last couple of decades that Sen. McCain might have enough curiosity to learn the simple things to know how to turn on a computer, access the Internet and set up an e-mail account. Maybe he is still going back to those old Encyclopedia Britannicas to do his research. That would explain his continued reference to Czechoslovakia in the current tense.



The knowledge to turn on a computer, establish a default start-up browser page, set up an e-mail account, bookmark frequently accessed web addresses and do subject searches is a half-hour exercise. The instructions to do these things fit on one page. Microsoft and Apple have made this incredibly easy for us. Is Sen. McCain still on the learning curve here?

The topic that is much more troubling to me than McCain’s ignorance of simple computer usage is his self-admitted ignorance of economics and our economy.



Maybe we should decide that a decent understanding of our economy is not a required qualification for president, either. McCain has a well-deserved reputation as a shoot-from-the-hip type in the classical tradition of ready, fire, aim. The younger version of John McCain already inhabits the White House. Why do we need the older version?


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