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War Wounds Prevent McCain from Sending Email

Barack Obama’s latest ad attacking John McCain for being computer illiterate is backfiring in a big way. Let us forget for a moment that McCain is more aware of computers than the Democrats would like to admit. John McCain can not send an email. Why? Not because he’s “out of touch” as Obama’s campaign would like you to believe, but because his war injuries prevent him from doing so. According to an article in the Boston Globe in 2000, “McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.” Obama has not just insulted McCain in this ad, but also all people with disabilities. Why should John McCain’s inability to type on a keyboard preclude him from leading this country? What matters in a president is his experience, his depth of knowledge, and his intellectual curiosity, not the dexterity in his fingers.

For those who argue that the President should at least know how to use a computer even if he can not do it himself, he’s working on it. Below is an excerpt from an interview with the New York Times on July 13, 2008, demonstrating that despite what must be the painful knowledge that he can not use the technology moving our world, he is determined to learn:

Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes….

Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

Mr. McCain: 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.
Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do - could I just say, really - I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion.

Frankly I find it refreshing that McCain still appreciates the value of oral communications which modern Americans are, in my opinion, too quick to dismiss. Email is no substitute for oral communications or personal meetings and it never will be.

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