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Roanoke Alum, McAfee, Bids for Presidency

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Roanoke College alumnus, John McAfee, announced his bid for the 2016 Presidential Election last month. The eccentric millionaire, best known as the creator of the McAfee Anti-Virus software, has been in the news a lot the past few years. In 2012, he fled Belize when he was wanted for questioning related to his neighbor’s death. He was then arrested in Guatemala for illegally entering the country before being deported back to America. A few years later, he tried to get funding for a localized device, similar to a file-sharing network, which would be “untouchable” by the NSA.

On September 8, McAfee announced his candidacy. He won’t be affiliating with either recognized party, but instead made his own political party, the Cyber Party. His primary focus is on cyber security and the overreach of the current American government. In an interview with RT he insults the current politicians’ technical knowledge, saying most of them “couldn’t even spell cyber science.”

His campaign website, mcafee2016.com, illustrates a bold George Washington quote: “Guard against the imposters of security.” In a video on the site McAfee discusses freedom since the birth of our nation. He pulls revolutionary quotes from early American texts in almost a call to arms to overthrow the current government…though it’s hard to take him seriously when he’s wearing a t-shirt under a sports coat with his arms crossed during the entire speech.

Like a normal politician’s website, his elaborates on his stance of other big button issues. He believes in an isolationist foreign policy. He wants to decriminalize drugs, which isn’t a surprise from being suspected of drug use and distribution by the Belize police. His platform also suggests major tax reform, taxing corporations that move jobs overseas would see a rise in taxation whereas companies creating jobs in the US would receive more breaks. Many travelers might be happy to hear he wants to dispose of TSA altogether, and instead have federal agents on every flight. Other topics he addresses are education, immigration, and the economy.

McAfee seems confident in his campaign, claiming that he has no competition. Despite some of his illusions of grandeur, he does bring to the table the racial and socioeconomic difference between the people in power and the people they’re governing. His desire to see more technologically savvy politicians is also something we need. As most people saw in the past year, many politicians either didn’t understand the concept of Net Neutrality or were being influenced by major campaign contributors, not their constituents. McAfee fully believes the government should be for the people, and he’s ready to take it back.