If you’ve always wanted to vote Evil Tony Stark for president, you’re about to get your chance. Tech entrepreneur, amateur drug kingpin, and murder investigation fugitive John McAfee wants your vote.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because your anti-virus software may be telling you this page is safe right this very moment. That’s how McAfee made his money. For several years, McAfee was one of the two best-selling pieces of virus scanning software. His company kept your computer and information safe.
Now, McAfee himself thinks the government is violating your privacy too much, while simultaneously failing to protect the safety of sensitive, national information. He may be right, but as he pointed out himself, he’s also not exactly the right man to carry this message into politics.
See, aside from being arrested for a DUI and gun possession in August 2015, McAfee got too caught up with role-playing Walter White in Belize a few years back. After selling his company to Intel in 2010, he decided that making drugs and having bath salt orgies in the Central American country sounded like a good retirement plan. He posted on forums about how to properly apply bath salts into one’s rectum. The government of Belize accused him of forming a private army in an effort to become a drug lord. When Wired reporter Joshua Davis went to interview McAfee, the millionaire produced a revolver and attempted to play Russian roulette with him. Soon after, McAfee’s neighbor Gregory Faull was murdered and authorities questioned him as a person of interest. He fled the country.
What place would possibly take him after that? Oregon, apparently.
After living in Portland for the last few years, McAfee feels ready to enter the presidential race. In his announcement, he sported a T-shirt and blazer combination that not even Donald Trump could pull off. He offered two versions of the video. One put him in front of an American flag. In the other, he stands in front of a green-screen library background tilted as if the whole building is seconds from falling on its side:
It’s worth noting that McAfee fully believes he can win. He’s launched his own Cyber Party, and his campaign slogan is, “Privacy, Freedom, and Technology.” To his credit, it’s certainly more memorable than, “Jeb!” At least McAfee’s slogan doesn’t sound like he’s just been caught with his hand in a cookie jar.
McAfee calls Donald Trump the only other presidential candidate who sees “the world as it is,” but also cautioned Trump’s new found attachment to the Republican party makes him susceptible to the demands of the Republican “machine.”
You won’t find McAfee on the campaign trail, however. Instead, he’s telecommuting. Every week, he will release a new “fireside chat in your living room, on the Internet.” There, McAfee will address communications that have been parsed for metadata, in order to address the commonalities in the questions the American public have. No one’s yet asked him if he thinks it’s odd that he’ll be deciding on issues the same way the National Security Agency parses phone conversations, but at least he won’t be violating anyone’s privacy while doing so.
McAfee’s chief platform issue is the lack of cybersecurity in American transport and as a component in warfare. He worries a plane will be hacked into and hijacked from the ground without the pilots ever knowing.
Aside from having only one issue at the moment and no get-out-the-vote ground game, the biggest sticking point in McAfee’s campaign will be his fugitive status from that Belize murder investigation. When asked about still being a person of interest, McAfee responded, “We’re talking to the American public. We’re not a squeaky clean group of people.” Well, we hope he has a backup plan—but people who take bath salts don’t plan for anything.
He’s also said, if elected, he wouldn’t live in Washington, D.C. He would live “somewhere by a river where I could carry out all of my presidential duties while fishing, because fishing doesn’t take any thought or time or action, you’re sitting in a chair.” Presumably, this would be in between the aforementioned bath salt orgies.
Here’s his campaign site, but before you go, watch John McAfee supposedly on the run from Guatemalan authorities with Vice Magazine reporter Robert King: