In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s controversial-yet-courageous temporary travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries, large sectors of America’s tech industry have spiraled from reasoned discourse into hysterical virtue signaling.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has attacked the ban, moaning that “We are upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US.” Please note that in order to understand this sentence entirely, you should automatically read the words “great talent” as “cheap labor.”
Meanwhile, Twitter’s soft totalitarian tinpot dictator Jack Dorsey whined on his Twitter feed that “The Executive Order’s humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S.” One wonders if Dorsey will ban the @POTUS account for posting the ban, claiming it violates their kafkaesque “Terms of Service.”
Worse still, Airbnb came perilously close to denying the President outright, with its CEO Brian Chesky announcing that it was “providing free housing to refugees and anyone else who needs it in the event they are denied the ability to board a US-bound flight and are not in your city/country of residence.” Chesky compounded this error by then tweeting out the following saccharine gob of spit: “Open doors brings all of US together. Closing doors further divides US. Let’s all find ways to connect people, not separate them.”
Yes, and imagine all the people sharing for the world, or barring that, sharing their houses with criminals to pat Airbnb’s bottom line. A little friendly advice to the refugees: Make sure the “free housing” you get isn’t fraudulent. The site is terrible at checking for that.
Even supposed allies of the President have allowed their globalist affections to override the potential for a political alliance. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, in a pair of tweets sent this past Saturday, derided the President’s ban. Quoth Musk: “The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges. Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They’ve done right, not wrong & don’t deserve to be rejected.” Strong words, but maybe Musk should save his thoughts on the best ways to address the country’s challenges for later. Right now, he seems to be having trouble figuring out the best way to address his own company’s technology.
All kidding aside, this avalanche of anger from the tech sector is deeply disquieting. In the past, this industry has seemed to stand for the absolute zenith of American excellence, and has swept whole swathes of obsolete, rent-seeking industry in its wake. Certainly, that was the culture from which President Trump’s foremost tech adviser, Peter Thiel, arose, and which motivates the industry’s fervor for the few good causes it still supports.
However, the industry’s reaction to Trump’s move to defend America’s national security reveals something dysfunctional in how they relate to their own country. That is, it appears that tech simply takes America for granted. A simple point suffices to demonstrate this fact: That is that were the industry’s critiques of Trump’s executive order founded on an earnest skepticism that the order would protect the national security interests of the United States, that would at least show an engagement with the fact that no other country would afford them the economic and social freedom necessary for their companies to thrive.
But look back through those critiques. Really, look back through them. Notice which two words never appear? National security. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find any reference to the safety of Americans, or even of America generally, in any of the complaints made by the new doyennes of tech. Rather, their complaints are built entirely on humanitarian and economic grounds.
Now, leave aside the richness of the fact that tech CEOs who hire Chinese apparatchiks are presuming to lecture America’s government on humanitarianism or economics. Instead, consider the naïveté of stressing these concerns when any political thinker with a hint of sense will tell you that a state that cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens can scarcely be either humanitarian or economically sound. Perhaps Silicon Valley’s self-appointed Gods are unaware of the dangers that immigrants from terrorist-dominated countries pose to the United States, being safely walled in their private estates behind their armies of private security guards. But the rest of us cannot be so glib. President Trump should take note of these spoiled brats critiquing him from their gilded Tweetdecks, and in at least one case, he should make a point of reminding them that they need America, not the other way round.