At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), I walked in as a Rand Paul supporter. I was there to campaign for Rand Paul, proud to cheer him on in what I at the time thought would be the rise of the next President. I was 100% on his team. However, I was open minded to a few other Republicans. Ted Cruz wasn’t a flip flopper at the time to me and came off as a principled constitutionalist (sadly, I was wrong). I also took time to look at Scott Walker, who seemed to be a down to earth Reagan-type Republican, focused only on fiscal issues (again, I was sadly very wrong). I, even as an open borders advocate, did take the time to attend one Jeb Bush event hoping I’d see a more practical version of his brother, focused less on war, and more on immigration freedom (very, very wrong again). Yet in that spree of looking at everyone running, I actually, in the hallways of CPAC, ran into the short tech CEO Carly Fiorina and had about a ten minute conversation with her. Being someone always labeling himself as an inventor interested in business, she quickly sparked some interest for me.
Carly Fiorina was in the first couple minutes of my conversation with her someone that I thought was doing a generic vanity campaign built to be the token woman running, and suck off some basic support for that. When I was with two other people who asked her questions regarding economic policy, it showed she was just grooming herself for Vice President, Secretary of Treasury or Chief of Staff. Nonetheless, I wanted to ask her questions geared towards her background, and less regarding the questions someone such as Ted Cruz would get. I asked her about cutting federal spending in comparison to layoffs at Hewlett-Packard (HP); asked her about teaching coding in public schools; and also asked her what it was that was slowing down technological growth. Her answers were actually all home runs. She talked about layoffs with severance packages to avoid government protest, being able to transfer funds going to k-12 for blue collar careers into modern tech courses and naming specific regulations damaging things such as the telecoms industry. I walked out of CPAC with Rand Paul still as my number one, but Carly Fiorina as my second choice.
That was up until the debates.
With the debates, I began to see Carly Fiorina on my first impression of her, which looking for a tech/industry minded candidate, thought wouldn’t happen. She quickly became the biggest neocon in the race, short only of Lindsey Graham. Calling for massive defense spending increases, invading Syria, putting unneeded foreign pressure on Putin and other things, which I felt John McCain would possibly view as too irrational. Her foreign policy was so bad that it was one of the few moments where Donald Trump became a man of reason (one of the very, very, few). On economics, I expected the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be a bit better, or, at least, have plans with some detail. She just didn’t show that… There was no mention of intellectual property, Federal Drug Administration reform, telecoms deregulation, trade reform or anything that actually held substance. Instead, it was the standard BS flat tax plans and some empty promise to help small business. On security issues, she took a moderate stance on the National Security Agency, but nothing I’d have enjoyed from someone in the world of tech. So by September she went from a quiet second for me to someone I couldn’t even see myself voting for if she was the nominee. I abandoned the idea that an industrialist from the world of tech could actually come in and give real insights from an engineer’s perspective. That was until I got on a Google Hangout with John McAfee.
John McAfee, while not my first choice for the Libertarian Party nomination, after a two hour Google Hangout with myself and my friend Justin Moldow, became a very close second. I went on the call completely unaware of his stances politically and just knew him as a tech pioneer for digital security. I knew him as the mogul who made hundreds of millions on software which was so good in the 90s that over two decades later, the company that bought it from him, would refuse to ever change or modernize anything. I also knew him as the guy who labeled himself as an eccentric millionaire which had some legal troubles with some Venezuelan incident. I got on the call with him and two hours later, I don’t know if I ever encountered someone running for office whose message I actually resonated more with. He actually did want to talk about FDA reform, admitting it has slowed down biotech and lead to millions dead. He spoke about tech security from an extremely intelligent perspective, explaining how security measures the NSA and FBI are taking, have no success at all and vastly cheaper things could be done without ever violating constitutional rights via monitoring public profiles. He, on fiscal issues, said the reality which is America can never cut spending while laying off people which is why he’d favor just a massive 2-10 year severance package on all federal workers to end the departments, but have them leave peacefully. The guy was 100% libertarian and also knew how it was time to end the outdated missiles and arms defense policy which America has had for a century, and replace it with an army of people on computers making America’s tech world unhackable. He was great in every form.
Also, while his chances of winning were by his own admission standing at zero, he was still far more qualified to be president over Carly Fiorina. Fiorina rose the corporate latter to be the CEO who did an arguably okay job at keeping a dying company from total collapse. McAfee actually built a massive software company and had probably the most commonly used security software startup, ever, under his watch. Fiorina didn’t actually have much technical experience in the realms of engineering or coding, but McAfee could talk about being able to code on various illicit substances. Carly Fiorina holds a net worth high currently at 60m USD. McAfee, at his height, was worth over six times that. McAfee also could recognize the real threats to America, saying the time for warships is over, but the time for better code is beginning. He even can make many more viral and fun videos which get far more views than any of the heavily advertised nationally syndicated Carly Fiorina videos.
The question becomes why John McAfee is awesome and Carly Fiorina is just a wealthy Lindsey Graham. The biggest single reason in that John McAfee is an entrepreneur, and Carly Fiorina is an employee. Fiorina played her career conventionally. Went to college for the nonsense liberal arts degree, found a job as a secretary, got married and rose her career up in the corporate world to become CEO of a mega-company. It’s nothing to ever be ashamed of, and is 100% an American Dream story, but it’s just not being an entrepreneur. McAfee has a life of reckless behavior and many stories where he essentially spent years as an eccentric drug addict working on projects which failed one after the other. That said, he did this while thinking out of the box and eventually becoming a multimillionaire from learning and having failures. This gives him the personality where he can be open enough to talk about what the right ideas are, and not just the ideas to get someone in office. It also gives him backgrounds in fields he taught himself on such as tech making him more prepared over others. It makes him better than Carly Fiorina.
Looking at all of this, I write this still not really supporting John McAfee. I find Gary Johnson way better. Gary was an excellent 2012 nominee who grew the party in levels they’ve not seen in generations, and did so with a lot of dignity. Simply being qualified, a governor, a successful businessman and policy wonk makes me happy to support Gary Johnson. However, I feel John McAfee serves sort of a similar purpose to what Carly Fiorina wanted to serve, and still plans to serve in the GOP: being the vice presidential nominee.
John McAfee is a name people know all over. He is a name which would complement Gary Johnson extremely well on the ballot box, and help grow the libertarian movement. He can do viral videos in a way Gary Johnson, or, really no other candidate running could, while still showing intelligence. He can get into major interviews, such as Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and more, due to who he is and what he’s done. His knowledge, charisma and resume makes him the man who should be the end of the ballot.
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