American voters tend to back a presidential candidate who is just like them, someone who they would want to drink a beer with. I just did a tequila shot with candidate John McAfee, who is about to get the tenets of his campaign tattooed on his chest. “My campaign advisor didn’t want me to do an interview with Inked magazine,” he tells the people at Twisted Ink Tattoo in Lexington, TN. “But I told him, ‘The thing about Inked readers is that every one of them with a tattoo is of voting age. That’s one-in-five Americans. And we fucking stick together.’”
McAfee already has a few tattoos including tribal designs across his back and shoulders, his wife Janice’s name in three places around his body and the name of a complete stranger he met in a tattoo shop and didn’t plan on ever seeing again. “I got that one to remind myself of the transitory nature of life,” he says.
As tattooer Joseph Braddy and his mentor Dave Billings look over the stencil—a design made by Braddy that may now become McAfee’s official campaign logo—McAfee tells those gathered about his transitions in life from running his multi-billion dollar software company (if his name sounds familiar it is because he was responsible for McAfee AntiVirus) to doing drugs “you’ve never heard of” to living in his Shangri-La in Belize to being an international fugitive to being a rock star in the tech community to now wanting to serve his country at its highest office. He, like any modern president, is incredibly charming and a great listener to all in the room no matter their position in life or at the shop. But this is a rare in-person interaction between the leader of the Cyber Party and his constituents. “I’m not going to go out there and shake hands and kiss babies,” McAfee says. “That’s nonsense in a world that has developed software that will let me sit in my living room and reach out to every American and they can reach out to me. I think this technique will be universal in 10 years. Apologies to your babies.” 
He’s the kind of guy who you want to shoot another tequila with, and he obliges.
Inked: Why you?
McAfee: The fundamental problem with America is that we have two machines, the Republicans and the Democrats, and they are both equally as vicious. They are inhuman, they run on power rather than service. The government is here for service, at least that is what Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin thought, and then that was reaffirmed by Abraham Lincoln. “…That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Those are really powerful words but they actually meant it. Do you think that any president in the last 50 years has had that sense of service? Fuck no, it is an office of power. They want to get in so they can make laws, spend money, rattle the sabers and intimidate smaller countries. It is totally fucked up and that is why I intend to change it. We don’t want power in politicians, we want the power in the people.
Inked: Why now?
McAfee: I’m 70 years-old and McDonald’s won’t hire me, so I have to do something. Seriously, my friends and fans have pushed me into it because I have a huge technological background. We are behind in the cyber world and I have the background. The Chinese raided the Office of Personnel Management and made their way off with records of [4.1 million] US government employees. Including our embedded spies. And we don’t know what happened to them, they could have been rounded up and killed. Do you think we could do that to China? Fuck no, because their leaders understand cyber science. It is almost like electing a President who can’t read or write and him saying, “but I have advisors who can explain things to me so we’ll be OK.” No, we won’t be OK, that’s bullshit.

Inked: Is Edward Snowden a patriot?
McAfee: Of course he is a patriot. A patriot is someone who serves America and American citizens. He sure enough served me. If not we would be in fucking ignorant bliss.
Inked: You are aware that you are cursing on tape. Are you concerned about offending possible voters?
McAfee: You cannot run this country and not offend people. It is a life or death job. You have to make the decisions where people’s lives are at stake, where people lose jobs, where cities get obliterated. I say (curse) words specifically to make people look at themselves. They can watch someone get shot on the news but can’t handle someone saying the word “fuck.” Jesus fucking Christ, what is wrong with those people?
Inked: Why do you think you are the right leader to make these monumental decisions?
McAfee: You have to make hard decisions without wincing. Have I yet said “ouch” while getting tattooed? We want someone who understands that life has pain, and decisions are difficult, and we must bare the responsibilities of it. If you can’t get a tattoo without saying “ouch” you cannot run this fucking country.
Inked: Would you give the country free Wi-Fi?
McAfee: Fuck yeah. We give you free roads. It needs to be free, everybody needs access to the greatest knowledge base the world has ever had.
Inked: Other than Technology, what do the other words you are getting tattooed mean to your candidacy?
McAfee: What have we lost most? Privacy. Edward Snowden proved that. We have the microscope up our ass. I hate to say it that way but there is no other way to say it. To say it in a polite way does not get across the situation we are in. They are watching and listening to everything that we do. The government is trying to outlaw encryption so that the same conversation I could have with my wife in private would not be private over the internet. Really? When I am whispering to my wife in bed do I have to inform the government to send an agent so he can listen? Why should I have to do that on the internet which is the same thing? Do you see the insanity?
Inked: Because technology is involved you are saying that the government thinks….
McAfee: They think they should have control. A fundamental human need is to be able to have privacy with your wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, between business colleagues who don’t want competitors to be able to find their secrets. We need privacy. It’s 1984. So privacy is fundamental. That’s why it is on my platform as number 1.

Inked: And Freedom.
McAfee: The Patriot Act should be called the Unpatriotic Act. The TSA and the NSA don’t make us feel safe, they make us feel like we are the enemy. Have you ever had a Cuban cigar? They are fucking awesome but you can’t go to Cuba and get one. We have given up freedoms of movement, of expression. When the government oversteps, the people have the right to change or abolish it. If I said those words on the streets of New York City with a megaphone, I would be branded a traitor but I would be quoting the Declaration of Independence. Tell me that we haven’t given up freedoms. We have lost everything. We have a mother and a father for a government instead of a servant. We have lost it; it is gone. Is Donald Trump going to bring this back? No. Is Hillary Clinton going to bring this back? I don’t think so.
Inked: You talked about drugs earlier, what do you think about pot users who are in jail?
McAfee: We give someone 15 years for smoking a joint so my first act would be to pardon everybody who is a non-violent marijuana smoker or dealer. Every other drug needs to be minimized. No drug should be more than a misdemeanor. I don’t care what it is. If you are a heroin abuser, you are punishing yourself. It is Hell on earth and so you are being punished by the drug, the government doesn’t need to punish you more. After decriminalizing the drug traffic, all the violence from the Cubans and the Mexican cartels are going to go away. Now that I said that, I will be upped on the list of people who need to be whacked if I do get to be president because they will be out of business.
Inked: How about dealing with foreign affairs?
McAfee: We can’t be the world’s policeman, we can’t go around telling other countries what to do and how to do it. They have spent thousands of years developing a culture, we can’t tell them that it is wrong just because it is not like ours. That is seriously fucked up. We also can’t be lending countries money, we are trillions of dollars in debt and we are going to give Iran money?
Inked: What is your biggest fear for our country?
McAfee: Cybersecurity. This country is going to collapse unless someone like me takes over. The next war will not be a war fought with missiles and guns. It will be technology. We’ll wake up one morning and there will be no electricity, our bank accounts will be emptied, there will be no record of anything anywhere, our airplanes will be falling out of the sky and that will be the end of America. I don’t want to see that happen to us. I love this country.

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