Move aside, Mr. Trump. Another eccentric, prosperous man is vying for your new dream-job opportunity. John McAfee, founder of the popular antivirus software company bearing his name, announced his candidacy for the United States Presidency on Tuesday. Though he is no longer involved with the company from which he amassed his fortune, Mr. McAfee has garnered different news headlines in recent years for his professed “eccentric millionaire” lifestyle.
Federal Election Committee documents had McAfee specified as part of the “Cyber Party”, originally leaving the vague one liner “I am founding a new party”, in the miscellaneous heading of the FEC paperwork.
As per Wired, he was “still in a quandary about whether to run myself or find someone else for my party. My advisors are pressing me to run.” It appears as though his enigmatic advisors, or his conscience — quite possibly a combination of the two — won the chess match.
McAfee referenced a widespread vote of confidence, seeing himself as a favorite on the basis of an outpouring of emails and requests from outsiders to run (undoubtedly tied to his software mogul-turned international-fugitive past), while also quite possibly because of his notoriously subjective view on reality. A worldview that, at the very least, leans more unconventional than those of his purported allies(NSFW).
McAfee seems to think that his privacy software experience, coupled with the continual hacks of the US Government servers, ongoing celebrity hacks, Ashley Madison, and so forth – legitimize his candidature. True or not, it brings to mind an old Edmund Burke adage portraying those willing to forgo freedom as delusional (don’t forget Ben Franklin either). It seems appropriate to use a deceased conservative politician for a seemingly libertarian leaning contender — who includes “…still alive… “, in his Twitter bio — at least of this writing. Juxtaposition is inherent to McAfee’s mythos.
Regardless, his brand of privacy activism is quite similar to those posited by Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies, while flying in the face of Congressional pressure. Namely, the threat of some form of cyber warfare against the United States, in addition to the likely ruinous effects on layman data privacy.
While McAfee’s full platform is coalescing — many skeptics may initially greet this brash and colorful persona typing away furiously in the Whitehouse come 2017 with a cocktail of shock and disdain — it’s abundantly clear that digital privacy is here to stay in politics. Be thankful (vigilant), everyone.