To hear Donald Trump speak of himself, without further knowledge of his true business and personal history, one would think he’s the whole world’s adopted son – beloved by all and master of all things. This could be why he has such an affliction towards having a one-on-one meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Trump may be the only person in the world who could rival the Kim-dynasty’s tendency to spread complimentary lies about themselves. However, just as the evil North Korean dictator isn’t beloved worldwide, neither is the Donald.
On Thursday July 14th, over 100 prominent members of the Tech community signed a letter stating that they do not and will not support the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Top CEO’s, founders and executives came together in Silicon Valley to drive the point home that a Trump presidency would be detrimental to advancements and innovation in technology. The innovators themselves have taken a stance against Trump’s policies regarding immigration, women’s health and rights, and his attitude towards Black persons, Hispanic persons, and other minorities. They also stand firmly in their position that Trump has poor judgment, a lack of regard for the United States’ political and legal institutions and a poor understanding of technology.
When one examines the current political race, Trump has been successful at one thing – bringing the tone of the conversation down to his level. His constant use of the words “loser” to describe successful men and women who disagree with him, his incessant need to prove how big his hands are and his use of the word “stupid” to describe people who are all more knowledgeable than he, all caught on during the Republican nominee race. These examples might also be a reason the tech community does not find Trump suitable to be the leader of the free world.
The technology community in Silicon Valley and the California community in general are typically a left-voting population. This is the one thing Trump and the tech community might have in common as he, historically, has been a Democrat – having donated $1.3-million USD to the party from 1989-2011 (Real Clear Politics, 2016). It is unclear why the Donald changed political parties for this campaign, maybe it is because he felt he could manipulate or convince a Republican audience he is fit for president but he couldn’t do the same to an audience that he himself was a part of for most of his life. Switching a political party for a New York City billionaire may not be that big of a deal, as the wealthiest the United States has to offer usually support whichever party will support their personal plans for the future. How can Donald cope if the American people disagree with him? Perhaps he will use his time-tested approach of throwing money at the problem.
An excerpt of the tech community’s letter against Donald Trump reads: “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.”
Some of the CEO’s and members of the community who signed the letter include: former Twitter executive and Obama administration employee Katie Jacobs Stanton, Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, former US chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, IAC chairman Barry Diller, Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Twilio’s CEO Jeff Lawson, Box CEO Aaron Levie, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Fortune Magazine, 2016).
Perhaps Donald Trump decided to run for a Republican nomination because he felt he couldn’t beat Hillary Clinton on her home turf. Silicon Valley executives and leading members of technology innovation have come out in resounding support for Clinton. Among many other things, Silicon Valley appreciates her stance on immigration and her respect for the American people and humanity that Trump seems to be lacking. The letter from the technology sector may not make or break the USA’s national election, however, if a group of some of the smartest people in the country have a clear view of what a Trump presidency would be – and are scared of that possibility, shouldn’t we all be?