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Puck welcomes John Heilemann as its Chief Political Columnist!

Bezos, Musk, Ellison, and the Rightward Lurch of Silicon Valley

Musk and Trump
Photo: Matt McClain/Getty Images

I’m not sure it’s ever been true that Silicon Valley, as Mark Zuckerberg put it during his umpteenth address before Congress, is “a very left-leaning place.” It is a seductive narrative for Republicans like Jim Jordan, and it is certainly a useful feint for people like Zuckerberg, himself. But it doesn’t pass the smell test. Silicon Valley may be somewhat culturally liberal, but its economic value system is as unmistakably conservative as Wall Street or Houston. 

Steve Jobs dropped acid, but he also knew that he needed Foxconn to manufacture the iPhone. Sam Bankman-Fried, a top Democratic donor, makes his money from a scarcely regulated cryptocurrency exchange domiciled in The Bahamas. While the preponderance of tech executives took various stands against Donald Trump, they also welcomed his corporate tax cut. The industry was profoundly outraged when Trump moved to restrict H-1B skilled-worker visas, but Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax found few takers here.