Ton Of Tech Industry Leaders Say Trump Would Be A Complete Disaster For Innovation
from the going-beyond-politics dept
In any Presidential campaign, there are always going to be partisan folks who side with one candidate or another. And they may campaign for the candidate they like. But, obviously, the Donald Trump phenomenon is a bit different this year. Even so, it’s still pretty surprising to see a ton of big names in the tech space send an open letter to Trump insisting that he would be an absolute disaster for innovation and the tech industry. They’re not arguing on the usual partisan issues here, but rather the fact that Trump’s general zero-sum outlook on the world doesn’t recognize how innovation works:
Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy???and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.
Let?s start with the human talent that drives innovation forward. We believe that America?s diversity is our strength. Great ideas come from all parts of society, and we should champion that broad-based creative potential. We also believe that progressive immigration policies help us attract and retain some of the brightest minds on earth???scientists, entrepreneurs, and creators. In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Donald Trump, meanwhile, traffics in ethnic and racial stereotypes, repeatedly insults women, and is openly hostile to immigration. He has promised a wall, mass deportations, and profiling.
We also believe in the free and open exchange of ideas, including over the Internet, as a seed from which innovation springs. Donald Trump proposes ?shutting down? parts of the Internet as a security strategy???demonstrating both poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works. His penchant to censor extends to revoking press credentials and threatening to punish media platforms that criticize him.
This is a unique presidential campaign. And, as we’ve noted, Hillary Clinton’s tech platform is not great either. But, at the very least, her platform’s problem is that it’s just a bunch of vague pronouncements designed for people to read into them what they will.
The list of signatories on this letter is around 145 and there are some key names in the tech and policy world including Evan Williams (founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium), Vint Cerf (basically invented the internet), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Steve Wozniak (you know who he is) and more. There are also a ton of well known venture capitalists on the list and lots and lots of other entrepreneurial names that are well known inside Silicon Valley. This is a pretty huge list of people putting their name to a statement a lot stronger than one you’d normally see during a campaign season.
Silicon Valley sort of has the reputation for more or less trying to ignore government. And while that’s less true today than in the past, the one thing that does make Silicon Valley rise up is politicians looking to be doing something really stupid that’s likely to harm innovation. And it appears that they see Donald Trump as just that kind of threat.