It's been hard back into the swing of things, being distracted as I am by the Klondike Annie Oakley and her remake of the 1957 classic movie A Face in the Crowd.*
But as entertaining as the electoral circus is, those of us in Internet communications have serious reason to worry about a McCain Palin administration, given federal government's power over communications technology.
Look at the way these candidates use technology. Barack Obama has conducted a 21st century digital campaign. John McCain, on the other hand, has to have Cindy turn on the computer for him – something the average American two year-old can do.
Fact is, you can't possibly make intelligent policy about a subject you know nothing about. Think about George Bush and the Iraq war.
So let's look ahead to the communications policy of a McCain Palin administration.
Take Open Internet, an issue that means a lot to the VoIP universe. McCain: "Cindy, open the internet." Palin: "I told the government thanks, but no thanks. If we want to open internets we'll do it ourselves."
Or frequency auction policy. McCain will just get a prescription for Enablex. Palin will consult the Book of Revelation: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished."
I'm not just being cynical or mean here. We're dealing with fundamental differences in worldview. Barack Obama and Joe Biden live in the modern world – the post-enlightenment world.
McCain, of course, is living in the Nixonian world of people who want to be President for Halloween – and the other 364 days of the year. All worldviews are equal, as long as he's Decider-in-Chief. The campaign's intellectual magisterium, Sarah Palin subscribes to a pre-enlightenment worldview that has been trying to claw its way back to power ever since Galileo reported that the earth revolves around the sun.
The Inquisition didn't arrest the great astronomer because they thought he was wrong. That was secondary. They arrested him because he attacked the authority of their entire worldview: an intellectual context where facts were discernable through the prism of beliefs. Galileo said that facts were discerned by observing the evidence -- the scientific method.
If you think I'm over the top, you haven't spent time among the Assemblies of God. George Bush is Charles Darwin compared to these dead enders.
These are people who not only take the first chapter of Genesis literally, they also take literally the word "foolishness" in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." (3:19 ). Paul was speaking specifically about the "foolishness" of a messiah who came, not as a king, but as a one of the world's poor and oppressed.
But extreme fundamentalists use this justification for willful ignorance on any and all subjects – biology, climatology, sex education, levees in New Orleans, you name it. Point out that carbon dating shows that fossils are millions of years old and they will tell you that carbon dating is a fraud. It isn’t mere irrationality. It's quite logical. Using their intellectual model, carbon dating has to be false – otherwise the 5,000-year-old-world model is wrong.
Like the Inquisition? You're gonna love the McCain Palin administration.
OK, I had my rant. Back to reality. I'll be at CTIA tomorrow and IT Expo next week. I'm moderating sessions on VoIP security and FMC. Come and say hi. I don't bite in person -- only in writing;)
*A Face in the Crowd tells the story of Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith, pre-Mayberry) and his meteoric rise from a guitar-picking Ozark hustler cooling his heels in a rural jail to a demagogue, TV star and political king-maker. Rhodes' undoing comes when, off-camera, a live mic broadcasts him mocking his audience as "idiots," "morons" and "guinea pigs."