Pando

Trump's awfulness makes even the worst Tech Bros look slightly less bad

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on November 1, 2016

From The Politics Desk

Prime Minister Harold Wilson once noted that a week is a long time in politics. And he was talking about British politics.

In American politics, one week might as well be a lifetime, given it's all that stands between us and the collapse of American democracy.

But while the rest of us can’t wait for the 2016 election to be over, there’s one group that is surely wishing it could last for another six months or more. That group is the Tech Bros.

There can be few publications more attuned to bad tech behavior than Pando, few publications more ready to make an example of the latest CEO caught demeaning women, threatening journalists or risking the lives or livelihoods of its users and partners. Sometimes all at the same time. And yet even we’ve been given a whole new perspective during this election, specifically when it comes to the behavior of Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

Consider the very worst behavior reported about tech founders. Evan Spiegel’s college emails; Travis Kalanick and co’s threats against reporters; the scofflawing from Zenefits and the gigantic Silicon Valley wage fixing scandal we call Techtopus. In Donald Trump we find all that awfulness and more in One Single Candidate. Even the weirder and uglier fringes of tech outrage: Pierre Omidyar’s co-funding of a military coup (with the US state department), Wikileaks’ ties with Russia, Gamergate… all find themselves represented in Trump ‘16, sometimes to the point where the players in those scandals literally form part of his campaign.   And the less said about (Pando investor) Peter Thiel’s involvement in all of this, the less I want to punch my computer screen.

The horrifying truth is, next to Donald Trump, a lot (but not all) of tech awfulness fades into “it could be worse” territory. Not because it isn’t disgusting, but because at least none of these fuckers will end up in the White House.

This might be one of those rare occasions when perspective is not a good thing. The less the world is outraged, comparatively speaking, by wrongdoing by the tech industry, the more latitude the tech bros have to do more and more awful things. Because, hell, at least they’re not Donald Trump.

Thanks god that all ends in seven days and the media can return to something resembling normalcy.

Unless, of course, Trump wins and Peter Thiel cancels the first amendment and Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon ban all news sources except Breitbart and the New York Observer. In which case, we’ll see you at our last ever Pandoland, live from a bunker in Canada.