The Secret Republicans of Silicon Valley
The Secret Republicans of Silicon Valley - NationalJournal.com
In an industry where only liberal ideas are "allowed," many libertarians and conservatives keep their political views secret.
BY REBECCA NELSON
April 8, 2015 Deep in Silicon Valley, where the free market reigns and the exchange of ideas is celebrated, a subset of tech workers are hiding their true selves. Working as programmers and software engineers, they don't want the stigma that comes with revealing who they really are.
They're the tech company employees, startup founders, and CEOs who vote for and donate to Republican candidates, bucking the Bay Area's liberal supremacy. Fearing the repercussions of associating with a much-maligned minority, they keep their political views fiercely hidden.
"It's a liberal echo chamber," Garrett Johnson, a co-founder of Lincoln Labs, which was started in 2013 to connect the right-of-center outsiders in Silicon Valley, told National Journal. "People have been convinced that Silicon Valley is reflexively liberal or progressive. And so their response is to conform."
Silicon Valley has long been a bastion of liberalism. Since George H.W. Bush won Napa County in 1988, Republican presidential nominees have lost every county in the Bay Area. In 2012, President Obama won 84 percent of the vote in San Francisco to Mitt Romney's 13 percent and raised more for his reelection campaign from Bay Area donors than from those in New York or Hollywood. Political donations specifically from tech workers follow that trend: Google employees collectively gave $720,000 to Obama in 2012, versus $25,000 for Romney. Crowdpac, a nonpartisan political analytics firm, found that between 1979 and 2012, tech companies have overwhelmingly favored liberal candidates.
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