Following up on the great work of the Annenberg Policy Watch at USC, the New York Times has published a comparison of the two candidate’s technology policies.
Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, seeks to encourage innovation by cutting corporate taxes and ending what he calls “burdensome regulations” that he says inhibit corporate investment. But Mr. McCain has also repeatedly gone up against business if he sees a conflict with national security, for instance, in seeking to limit sensitive exports.
In Senator Barack Obama’s view, the United States must compete far more effectively against an array of international rivals who are growing more technically adept. Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, looks to the federal government to finance science, math and engineering education and the kind of basic research that can produce valuable industrial spinoffs.
The personal styles of the candidates also contrast. Mr. McCain says his leadership of the Senate commerce committee has versed him in technology issues, but he also jokes about his ignorance of personal computers and e-mail. Mr. Obama, an avid BlackBerry user, commenced an aggressive drive for campaign donations over the Internet.
Mr. Obama embraces the theory of evolution and argues that the teaching of intelligent design and other creationist ideas “cloud” a student’s understanding of science. While Mr. McCain says he personally believes in evolution, he has also said children should be taught “all points of view.”
As in many of McCain’s policies, they hardly diverge from the policies of George Bush, in their all embracing belief that the free market will deliver America the leadership it needs. As you can see from the chart at the top, that hasn’t happened. We are competing in a world in which governments in Asia and Europe are investing in technology and education to keep their publics competitive.
Obama understands this dynamic. McCain, willing to teach the junk science of creationism to our young students, does not.