I’m starting the I heart Garrison fan club

August 6, 2008

And it’s an amazing country where an Arizona multimillionaire can attack a Chicago South Sider as an elitist and hope to make it stick. The Chicagoan was brought up by a single mom who had big ambitions for him, and he got scholarshipped into Harvard Law and was made president of the law review, all of it on his own hook, whereas the Arizonan is the son of an admiral and was ushered into Annapolis though an indifferent student, much like the Current Occupant, both of them men who are very lucky that their fathers were born before they were. The Chicagoan, who grew up without a father, wrote a book on his own, using a computer. The Arizonan hired people to write his for him. But because the Chicagoan can say what he thinks and make sense and the Arizonan cannot do that for more than 30 seconds at a time, the old guy is hoping to portray the skinny guy as arrogant.

Good luck with that, sir.

Meanwhile, the casual revelation last month that Mr. McCain has never figured out how to use a computer and has never sent e-mail or Googled is rather startling. It’s like admitting that you’ve never clipped your own toenails or that you didn’t know that toothpaste comes out of a tube because your valet always did that for you. It’s like being amazed at the sight of a supermarket scanner. What world does Mr. McCain live in? Where does he keep his sense of curiosity? My 94-year-old mother has sent e-mail. Does somebody plan to show him how it’s done and will they explain to him what “LOL” means?


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  1. I know a number of people over 60 that do not use a PC and are very successful in business. They all have the ability to use a PC, but choose not to bother. Some major CEO’s do not use or limit their PC time. They choose to call or personally visit people and not use the PC to send emails or search for information. They write drafts by hand or dictate and have someone else type (word process) the final copy. Their jobs are to focus on goals and strategic plans and to communicate their vision to their employees and not spend a better part of the day in front of a computer. This may come as a shock, but many successful people limit or eliminate their time in front of a computer to be more effective leaders and manage their priorities more effectively. It also may be noble to write a book yourself, but it’s less time consuming and more effective to let someone else compose it from interviews. I know a number of people in their 20’s and 30’s that shouldn’t be using a PC because they really don’t know what their doing (but they may be qualified to be President by your standards). In the big scheme of things, I’m more impressed by someone that can fly a fighter jet than sit in front of a PC (or Mac) and use Google or send emails. The desire to use a computer is not a good indicator of the qualifications to be President.

    It’s also obvious that your view is biased by your involvement with computers – yes, people can effectively survive, manage and lead without using a computer. They also probably spend their time more productively than responding to blogs.

  2. I’ll give you half credit for the computer thing. The fact that he is ignorant of the computer/internet age doesn’t mean he’s an elitist (as the essay implies). But it doesn’t inspire confidence in his ability to understand the most important technological, economic and social change in our lifetimes–in three lifetimes, probably. I guess you can make the case that it’s not necessary to have firsthand knowledge of these innovations in order to set effective policies with regard to them, but I think it definitely would help.

    What I felt much more strongly about is the first paragraph I quoted. How did Obama get painted as an elitist? A guy from Chicago who was raised without a father and who achieved great success without a lot of help is suddenly some kind of old-money, Thurston Howell III? Get outta here. Garrison is certainly right to point out that McCain’s background fits that bill better than Obama’s.

    And you know what? People ain’t buyin’ it. Obama has an enormous lead among lower income Americans, and even 10 point lead among white working class voters.

  3. Trying to paint your opponent as out of touch when you are ignorant of the use of one of the countries main tools for entertainment, information gathering/distribution and communication is comical.

    Keilor is right. It is an amazing country where that story line is even plausible.

  4. The fact that Obama’s mom was single and on welfare is not relevant nor laudible. The fact that Obama used drugs, smokes cigarettes and admires Marxists may or may not be. The fact that Obama has no experience at running anything including a kool-aid stand, has friends who are domestic terrorists and attended a race baiting, hate America church for 20 years, without noticing his Pastor was a loon, tells me plenty.
    You need to drink another quart of Kool-aid my friend. You are goofy.

  5. The fact that Obama’s mom was single and on welfare is not relevant nor laudible.

    Sure it is. He has achieved great things under some fairly challenging circumstances. He didn’t have the kind of opportunity that someone like George (W. or H. W. ,for that matter) Bush had. It most certainly is admirable that he has done so well for himself. For me such a biography doesn’t really rise to the level of making me vote for one candidate or another, but people who continually make character a defining issue in political races (mainly the American right) should be impressed by it. The fact that they are not, that people like yourself are so quick to deny its importance, indicates to me that it’s not really about character in the first place, though you guys often say it is. It’s really just a disingenuous strategy to get Republicans elected.

    and admires Marxists…has friends who are domestic terrorists…

    You really need to put down the crack pipe, Gus. Seriously. If you want to have a real discussion, let’s have it. But if you’re going to merely repeat the most outrageous and far-fetched bullshit to be found on radio and the internet, then I can’t really go there with you.

  6. […] public links >> garrisonkeillor Sweltering Saved by eiramenna on Sun 12-10-2008 I’m starting the I heart Garrison fan club Saved by Alluvium on Sat 11-10-2008 California Lectures to Host John Updike and Garrison Keillor […]

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