Silicon Valley fractures on Trump treatment

 

president-techSo far, Donald Trump has divided the Republican Party, taken large numbers of voters away from the Democrats, and infused some Americans with optimism but others with despair. Now, he has also laid bare latent political fractures within Silicon Valley, often seen as a more monolithic culture than it is. 

Contempt and caution

While some leading tech figures have been supportive or tolerant of Trump and his movement, others have responded to his election by expressing the strongest possible opposition — including a call for secession. After a tweetstorm throwing support behind the nascent movement to peacefully withdraw California from the Union, Uber investor and Hyperloop cofounder Sherwin Pishevar told CNNMoney the radical idea was “the most patriotic thing I can do. The country is [at] a serious crossroads.”

“Within hours, several other tech founders offered their support for the plan. ‘I was literally just going to tweet this. I’m in and will partner with you on it,’ Dave Morin, an investor and founder of private social networking tool Path, tweeted in response to Pishevar. ‘I support you in this effort let me know what I can do to help,’ Marc Hemeon, a former Google employee and founder of Design Inc., wrote on Twitter.”

Earlier this summer, nearly 150 tech CEOs, founders, authors and investors signed an open letter rebuking Trump. “Donald Trump articulates few policies beyond erratic and contradictory pronouncements. His reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America. He risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation,” they wrote. “We stand against Donald Trump’s divisive candidacy and want a candidate who embraces the ideals that built America’s technology industry: freedom of expression, openness to newcomers, equality of opportunity, public investments in research and infrastructure, and respect for the rule of law.”

Nevertheless, the attitude among Silicon Valley’s heaviest hitters has been markedly different. Elon Musk waited until just before Election Day to tell CNBC he had doubts about Trump. “I think a bit strongly that he is probably not the right guy,” he said, suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s policies on the economy and the environment were “the right ones” for the current uneasy political climate. “However, the election results are unlikely to have much bearing on the future of Tesla, he said,” the network added. 

From outlier to influencer

Peter Thiel, meanwhile, has emerged as perhaps Donald Trump’s most respected and powerful supporter outside of Washington, D.C. Thiel “was one of the few businesspeople — and the only prominent one in technology — to publicly support Mr. Trump’s presidential run,” the New York Times recalled. “Mr. Thiel spoke at the Republican convention and later gave $1.25 million to support the Trump campaign. That is not much, as presidential donations go, but it happened when the candidate was widely perceived to be floundering. In the process, Mr. Thiel was denounced by much of Silicon Valley. There were calls for Mr. Thiel to step down from Facebook, where he serves on the board, and Y Combinator, a start-up incubator where he is a part-time adviser.” Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg weathered stiff criticism when he insisted that Thiel should not face retaliation or ostracism because of his support for a presidential candidate.

Now, as Thiel told the Times, he’ll have Trump’s ear in an informal advisory role — important, according to Thiel, because Trump’s task is so daunting. Calling for “all hands on deck,” Thiel cautioned against some of his colleague’s frustrated impulses. “At the end of the day, it would be crazy to simply spend four years issuing denunciatory tweets on Twitter,” he said. “For a day or two, that’s fine. But I hope Silicon Valley will be more productive than that.”

12 comments

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  1. machiavelli
    machiavelli 11 November, 2016, 10:43

    Arrogant contributions by Pishevar and Morin fall in line with many similar comments by Miley Cyrus, Samuel L Jackson, et. al. You know the story, “I made my money, I have an opinion and you’re going to hear it.” If Silicon Valley were doing their job, they’d be attaching their pro-growth comments to Peter Thiel’s wagon and start reaching out to the new administration ASAP. We have problems in this country and SIlicon Valley is no different.

    Keep in mind, people like Pishevar and Morin, who speak without substantive evidence revel a clear sign of intellectual deficiency.

    Reply this comment
  2. losbanos1
    losbanos1 11 November, 2016, 11:27

    Slowing job creation my A$$. You mean the jobs you cheated the American people out of in favor for your H1B visa workers, or maybe it is the illegals that have came in here and stolen jobs.This is typical rhetoric from the elite that believe their s**t don’t stink. The truth about is Donald J Trump is going to reign in on your parade and your profits. Get over it , he won and we are moving forward to try and save what is left of the nation after the liberal loons have nearly destroyed it. And for those snow flakes you have brainwashed in your training centers you call schools, they better wake up because this is a dog eat dog world and they are going to be chewed up and spit out . No safe spaces in the real world. This country has needed a regime change for the past 40 years and the people have stood up against the elite and liberal manics . Divide and concur is what these liberals have done, for their own agenda and for power. The people have the power and we have taken it back so suck it up and get ready for a ride. California is in debt up to our A$$ and the loony left has done it. Thank you Mr. Thiel.

    Reply this comment
    • machiavelli
      machiavelli 11 November, 2016, 16:25

      losbanos1 goes right for the jugular…he’s right. Now, what to do: Peter Thiel calls a meeting for all Silicon Valley CEOs. tech and non-tech. He lays out an agenda on how the “new” Silicon Valley can engage with someone who is a business-person (is that PC?) just like they are.

      Trump went off on Apple and Amazon during the campaign. Big deal. Get over it and find ways to market your ideas/vision to companies throughout the country so they can make a difference…just like you do. Sell these ways to the Trump Administration. They want your input…Silicon Valley can make this country great again.

      Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 11 November, 2016, 14:36

    Comrades

    California is going to continue see price increases in food, energy, real estate, utilities, SERVICES above national averages making the state uncompetitive on most everything compared to emerging states due to Trump Marshall Plan policies.

    Also, the state’s younger generation is comprised of lots of snowflakes and tough immigrant Visigoths….guess who gets eaten wiggling/alive?

    No worry at CWD…..bastion of stability……loads of crusty blue hairs counting their Mercury dimes and squeezing their buffalo nickels…..they missed Coffee Bean’s tony drinks price increase this week.

    Reply this comment
  4. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 11 November, 2016, 20:11

    The rediculous and childish behavior of these collage aged idiots rioting,vandalizing burning and assualting their sore losers and the should all be ashamed of themselves including their leftists liberal adminastrators

    Reply this comment
    • losbanos
      losbanos 11 November, 2016, 21:20

      You can thank the political correct, bleeding heart,liberal loons and the Department of Communist Education for that, which is illegal to begin with. Starting kindergarten these people begin to remove the individual out of your child and replace it with Political correctness, which has damn near destroyed this country. After 12 or 13 years of children going to these internment camps to be trained to be good, obedient, no self identity , they turn into snow flakes. What they don’t understand is, political correctness and liberalism is a sign of mental illness. These snow flakes are our future. God help us all.

      Reply this comment
  5. Gay Minotaur
    Gay Minotaur 12 November, 2016, 01:34

    The Huiffy Post is already touting Kummy Harris as the first female President. She is arrogant, duplicitous, and African American. That sounds familiar.

    Reply this comment
    • machiavelli
      machiavelli 12 November, 2016, 08:54

      It is important to start early and stay late to identify the negative characteristics of this lefty…and there are many. She will offer nothing important to California as she stands with her finger in the air attempting to figure which way the political winds are blowing. Stop her before someone nudges her to consider a run for the presidency.

      Reply this comment
  6. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 14 November, 2016, 07:58

    For all you idiots saying trump is not your president there’s a quick solution. LEAVE AMERICA NOW

    Reply this comment
    • machiavelli
      machiavelli 14 November, 2016, 11:39

      Spurwing, your excellent suggestion has been made over and over. Not only that, many far left-leaning progressives have stated they would leave America and go elsewhere. The problem: They just won’t follow through and pack their bags. Planes are waiting on the runway…

      Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 14 November, 2016, 17:04

    Comrades

    California is known for loading Congress with empty suits….relax…..read up on them……disturbing and shocking that there is no finer protoplasm out there-

    Reply this comment

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