It may sound far-fetched, but then again, so does a Donald Trump presidency, which was once thought so absurd that a year-2000 Simpsons episode depicted Lisa Simpson ascending to become president, inheriting "quite a budget crunch from President Trump."
But at a recent closed-door meeting off the coast of Georgia this past weekend, it happened. Not only did the leaders of Silicon Valley heavyweights like AAPL, TSLA and GOOG attend the summit, but some of the biggest names in Congress were also in attendance .
The topic of discussion? Mainly, Donald Trump, and how to stop his incredible momentum.
Why AAPL and Other Tech Giants Loathe Trump
It's worth noting that this meeting, the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum, is an off-the-record event. Apple, Tesla and Google as companies didn't have a presence - just the minds behind them. Some of the big-name attendees: AAPL CEO Tim Cook, TSLA CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook Inc ( FB ) investor Sean Parker, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove.
It's clear enough why the Republican establishment wants to block Trump: He's an outsider, and one they feel threatens to make a mockery of the party. Worse yet, many in the GOP leadership think Trump will hand the election to Hillary Clinton on a silver platter.
But why should AAPL, TSLA and other tech leaders take an active interest in stopping him? There are a few reasons.
Firstly, Trump has spoken about "closing up" parts of the Internet - his rationale being that terrorists are using it for recruitment. The blatant problem with this is that it violates the First Amendment, and it's a slippery slope.
Autocratic governments with dictators are quite fond of limiting Internet access, and Google, Twitter Inc ( TWTR ), and Facebook are all outlawed or operating within strict limits in countries like China, North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.
Second, The Donald has taken a firm stance against AAPL on the encryption debate. Trump strongly criticized Apple for pushing back against the FBI when it was asked to provide backdoor access to the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone. In fact, he called for an outright boycott of the company unless Apple gave in … which it has not.
Ironically, Trump called for an Apple boycott, then proceeded to tweet feverishly - from his iPhone .
See a pattern here? Basically, President Trump would almost certainly be bad for business, particularly if any of his extremist views were actually embraced and adopted.
The last of the straightforward reasons why TSLA, GOOG and AAPL don't want to see Trump ascend to the presidency also has to do with the feeling that Trump would be bad for business. Specifically, Trump is openly xenophobic, and makes no qualms about wanting to keep Mexicans and Muslims out of the country.
This runs directly counter to the philosophy of Silicon Valley, which is far more inclusive, and wants to see immigration reform that embraces hardworking, smart immigrants from all over the globe. These reforms would provide an influx of new talent that the tech giants sorely need.
So, are the leaders of some of the largest, most innovative tech companies in the world talking behind closed doors about how to prevent Trump from gaining power?
It would certainly appear that way.
And frankly, from the perspective of their shareholders, it makes plenty of sense why … In fact, you could argue that these companies have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to do just that.
As of this writing, John Divine did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter at@divinebizkidor email him at email@example.com.
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