Silicon Valley is feeling politically potent these days, and well should it be.
Not since 2008 has the tech sector been able to wield its money and influence in a meaningful presidential election, and this time around techies have even more money and more influence. To top it off, the Valley has been gifted with an almost simplistic election, giving it cover to drop its thin safety blanket of political agnosticism and get behind a candidate with almost total uniformity (*Cough cough* Peter Thiel) allowing liberal billionaires to join forces with republican billionaires and libertarian billionaires.
Donald Trump has essentially become such an anathema in the Bay Area that almost no one in tech (*Cough cough* Peter Thiel) is publicly backing him. And in typical Trump fashion, he's acted in a manner that allows him to pretend like he's rejecting them.
Republicans have been trying to strengthen their ties to Silicon Valley, in part to boost support from its wealthy executives. Donald Trump, the party’s presidential nominee, hasn’t followed suit.While other GOP presidential candidates earlier this election cycle held policy meetings and fundraisers in the region, Mr. Trump has done little to form relationships here. Though the executives largely lean Democratic, they include libertarians and others open to the party’s antiregulatory message.
So bad are things for Trump in The Valley that he has failed to gain the support of Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, a woman whose face is the picture one sees when ideating the phrase "Silicon Valley Republican." And because of his anti-immigration rhetoric and bullying manner (techies don't like bullies), Trump has put himself in a position where sh!t like this happens.
In June, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich planned an event for Mr. Trump at his Atherton, Calif., home, but canceled it after the plans were reported by the New York Times. Mr. Krzanich, at an event last month, said the gathering was planned not as a fundraiser but as an opportunity to discuss issues important to the tech industry.The media scrutiny of Mr. Krzanich’s event “sent a chill down a number of spines” of other tech Republicans who may have considered a similar event, said Trevor Traina, founder of e-commerce company IfOnly. Mr. Traina, who gave $50,000 to a pro-Bush super PAC last year, said the response was akin to a “witch hunt.”
In Silicon Valley right now Trump fundraisers are less socially acceptable than Satanic orgies staffed by little people serving drugs and lube out of sombreros made by children in a sweat shop.
Which is why it's come to this.
Hillary Clinton is on the polar opposite other side of major political tech issues like encryption and - like- regulation in general. Her views on Net Neutrality are incrementalist, which is a dirty word in tech. She is also viewed (here we go again) as much closer to Wall Street than many in the world of "disruption" are comfortable with (no, they don't see the irony) and she is also, well, Hillary Clinton.
The Clintons are a brand, your parents love or hate them, they are the "I Love The 90's" of American power. The Clintons are decidedly not what 2016 Silicon Valley is about. And yet...
Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are both making appearances in Silicon Valley this week amid the end-of-summer fundraising dash before the campaign enters the fall home stretch.
And their shoulders will be rubbing everywhere... on everyone.
Kaine attended a trio of fundraisers on Sunday, with appearances in San Francisco, Portola Valley, and Atherton; while Clinton is slated to appear at a series of events mid-week. She’s got a dinner in Piedmont on Tuesday, hosted by former ACLU board member Quinn Delaney and real estate developer Wayne Jordan; a luncheon in Palo Alto on Wednesday, hosted by Amy Rao, founder and CEO of Integrated Archive Systems; and a reception Thursday, hosted by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lisa Jackson, the company’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives.
To top it off, Clinton will also get backing from the aforementioned Whitman, perhaps the one person in Silicon Valley best positioned to redirect the flow of Reagan Republican money into Clinton coffers. Notionally, it's borderline reprehensible that an entire business sector has publicly lined up to support one candidate over another and is internally intimidating individuals within it from supporting the other one, but it's also hard to argue that Trump has done anything to stop it.