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McCain’s computer illiteracy just won’t fly

So easy a child can do it!

Over at Wired today, Noah Shachtman wrote a little piece about Barack Obama and his plans to secure the nation against cyber-espionage.

Speaking at Purdue University, Obama took a few shots at the Bush administration and went on to discuss his concerns about a potential online takeover of the nation’s infrastructure.

While he spoke in generalities, it was reassuring to hear that he is at least aware such a threat exists and is acquainted with the relevant terminology.

At the same time, his technologically challenged opponent, Republican John McCain, was probably scratching his head and asking his nearest advisor, “What does cyber mean?”

I’ve got nothing against senior citizens. After all, I am one. But let’s get real. John McCain is running for President of the United States. How on earth did he get this far in his career without at least learning to turn on a computer and surf the Internet? Or use e-mail? I’m only six years his junior, and I’ve been using computers of one kind or another since, umm, Trash-80s. When was that, 1980ish?

McCain wants to be the leader of the free world and he hasn’t even kept up with the standards in communication. No intellectual curiosity? No desire to keep in touch? Too lazy or detached to bother? Too aloof and insulated?

Maybe it shouldn’t matter. But it does. Computer literacy is as basic a skill today as using a phone or reading a newspaper was 50 years ago. It’s the 21st Century and our president needs to be computer literate.

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