Silicon Valley in the Time of Trump

The past few days have given me a great view into how the famously liberal population of the Bay Area has taken the election of Donald Trump. "Not well" is fair, but a yuuuuge understatement.

Do you know what California's principal export is? Whine.

The Bay Area is probably the most pro-Clinton anti-Trump group outside the island of Manhattan, and the residents were never going to be entirely happy with a Trump victory. I predicted butthurt-ness, and was I ever right. However even I, with my jaundiced view of human nature, never expected the level of rage and opprobrium directed at Trump and his voting enablers. So far I've seen - not heard but actually seen written on group emails and forums - the following:

  • claims of suicidal feelings, particularly from trans and gender-fluid folks;
  • assertions that anyone voting for Trump needs to publicly denounce Trump's perceived opinions about Black Lives Matter, Hispanics, gays (wut?) and immigrants;
  • statements that anyone voting for Trump needs to go work for another company;
  • room-sized group hugs to support each other post-election; and
  • claims that Trump and Pence wanted to electrocute people who were gay or trans.
Thank goodness Trump has elephant-thick skin, because there's probably enough libel in every Bay Area tech company's emails to pay for the building of another Trump Tower.

The straw that broke the camel's back for me was a bundle of complaints around the theme:

"I was hoping to teach my girls that, if you work hard and dream big, you can be anything you want to be. I would like to thank 2016 for putting me right."
It seems that a large number of people were going to use "Hillary as first woman president" as the totem for their children to show that the glass ceiling had been shattered. While I'm all in favour of showing children role models, is Hillary really the model you want to use?

I actually found it inspiring, in a way. The lesson I took from the election was that if you are a woman, even if you are a revolting and corrupt human being, you can make it to within a gnat's chuff of being the President of the United States, and your party organisation will happily screw over men to help you get its nomination. It wouldn't have taken much of a vote change in one or two swing states for Hillary to be elected, at which point I guarantee that no-one on the Dems side would be talking about upsetting the electoral college applecart.

Hillary is (of course) not happy and blames FBI Director Comey for her narrow defeat:

But our analysis is that [FBI Director James B.] Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum,” she said. “We dropped, and we had to keep really pushing ahead to regain our advantage — which going into the last weekend, we had."
She's right, of course. Comey's letter was quite possibly enough to cause Hillary voters in key states to stay home on polling day.

On the other hand, there were many other what-ifs, any one of which was probably enough to get her elected:

  • what if she had actually achieved something of note as Secretary of State?
  • what if she and Bill hadn't gone around the world soliciting hundreds of millions of dollars from various dubious countries and individuals?
  • what if she were actually personally likeable?
  • what if she'd not blown her chance to land a kill-shot on The Donald in the debates?
  • what if she'd insisted that the DNC not put its thumb on the scales, and instead beat Bernie fairly in the nomination?
All these were in her control, so to blame solely Comey for her loss seems rather obtuse.

And on the flip side, what if Comey had taken the - apparently quite reasonable - step to indict her for her recklessness in running her own email server and exposing any amount of State classified material to any intelligence service worth its name? Isn't she grateful to him for not doing that, at least?


  1. Saw a photo of a poster from one of the demonstrations. It read "Your vote is a hate crime".

    Take *that* democracy.

  2. Steve: clearly it's time to elect a new demos.


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