Will the overly computer literate stop at nothing until they have rent society's fabric asunder?
Will they spend their days and nights in constant digital subterfuge in order to paint society in their own image?
These vital questions need to be asked because there are serious accusations of voting irregularities that go far beyond any that have been leveled before.
No, I'm not talking about some obscure election for governor or district attorney. I am talking of Bristol Palin's stunning ascendance into the final of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
According to MSNBC, there are aggressive, pasa doble-type suggestions that hackers in the thrall of the Tea Party and their fellow travelers have taken ABC's e-mail voting system and infiltrated it as if they were the knife and it was but a shabby wheel of brie.
MSNBC quotes someone on the HillBuzz blog who claimed: "Lord have mercy, I voted for 3 hours online! I got 300 in." You will note the curiously religious flavor of this post. It smacks of a possible crusade that seeks to waltz its way to power. And note that it says "Lord, have mercy," rather than "Lord, please forgive me." There seems to be no guilt here, only fatigue.
Another poster offered in reply to the 3 hour voter: "Wow. You put me to shame with my measly 32."
You might believe there is nothing wrong with hackers offering instructions as to how to game an online voting system. If you can manage to register any number of e-mail addresses in order to vote multiple times, they argue, that is surely the essence of free party, Tea Party enterprise.
The problem, for some objective viewers of this century's seminal show, is that Bristol Palin seems famous for, well, being the accidentally pregnant daughter of a politician and isn't so good at stepping quickly or making the sort of sultry moves that are consistent with a campaigner for sexual abstinence.
Those who defend her progress offer that she is the least showbizzy contestant, has made the most progress, and symbolizes the future of an America in which the country will be taken back from, well, other people with whom these defenders disagree.
Should you believe I am exaggerating, or even making some oblique political point, might I offer you two consecutive posts from the HillBuzz blog. The first reads: "We're taking back America!" The second adds: "One dancer at a time."
For its part, ABC claims that it protects against nefarious laptop behavior by using cookies to ensure that no single computer can offer more than one vote for freedom, justice, and the jittering bug. But readers of these pages know that such a system is filled with mere possibilities for anyone with a devious mind and a passionate heart. One wonders, too, just how well ABC's security systems work in rooting out those with forceful intentions.
None other than Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak forcefully expressed his concerns about the voting when he graced "Dancing with the Stars" with moves such as his signature "worm." Indeed,although later .
NBC reports that ABC is considering changing the voting system in order to give viewers less of an opportunity to affect results, which have seen excellent dancers such as the singer Brandy and the all-around wonderment that is Sabrina Bryan exit far earlier than they might have.
I know there will be some who will look at this confounding controversy and wonder whether, in some future time, it might have implications for political elections that might be held entirely online.
You should be concerned. One day, in a nearer future than one might imagine, presidents will, indeed, be voted on for their dancing ability, rather than their talents in altering America's inexorable quickstep over quicksand.