Why the Location of Trump’s Silicon Valley Fundraiser Is a Secret

They call it Silicon Valley for a reason. Computer chips are usually made by printing and etching really small circuitboards on thin slices of silicon called wafers. It involves a lot of math and chemistry and understanding of weird things like plasma. I know this because I used to review the recipes for making specialized computer chips, and help oversee their production. If you can’t create and correctly follow a hundreds-long step process, you’ll screw up the whole lot of wafers and wind up creating expensive and completely useless garbage. Silicon Valley is full of people who can create these kinds of recipes and also people who can make a batch of computer chips without screwing them up. It’s filled with people who work on the software side of computers, too. And now, it’s a very wealthy place filled with innovators and venture capitalists who understand the importance and potential of science.

So, this reporting from the Wall Street Journal shouldn’t come as any surprise:

Three years ago, an uproar among company employees forced the chief executive of Intel Corp. at the time to cancel an event for candidate Donald Trump at his Atherton, Calif., home hours after the plan became public. On Tuesday, the president is set to return to the Bay Area for the first time since his election—and no one will say who is hosting him.

Campaign aides and advisers cited security and privacy concerns and noted violence that arose from protests during Mr. Trump’s previous trips to the area as they declined through Monday evening to disclose the host of the fundraiser the president will attend.

Donors invited to the event—whose tickets cost up to $100,000 per couple—weren’t told in advance where the fundraiser is or who is hosting it. Instead, they were told to arrive at a parking place in Palo Alto, from which they will be transported to the event, people familiar with the matter said.

The Bay Area is known as a base for the far left in this country, but Silicon Valley isn’t in that mold. It’s not that Trump’s policies violate every principle espoused during the Summer of Love that is causing him problems in Atherton, California. It’s his attitude toward reality. It’s his complete disregard for facts, evidence, and the scientific method. People in the Bay Area would protest almost any Republican president because of their attitudes on cultural issues—and most likely their foreign policies, too. But Trump arouses an additional kind of contempt because he’s the most anti-scientific president in history. This characteristic costs him more heavily in Silicon Valley than in other big business centers around the country.

Silicon Valley stands in contrast with other prominent donor industries such as Wall Street and real estate, where many executives—including hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, real-estate investor Stephen Rosenberg and TD Ameritrade ’s founder Joe Ricketts—have warmed to Mr. Trump after initially opposing him. In Silicon Valley, the president has made few inroads—and has in fact lost some supporters.

The most conservative trait in Silicon Valley is an affinity for libertarianism, which tends to go along with a permissive attitude to immigration and support for free trade. So, Trump really strikes out in the region. He’s close to the worst fit you could create in a lab. But beyond his natural lack of appeal there, he’s also such a pariah that anyone supporting him is only willing to do so with a figurative bag over their head.

This doesn’t mean that Silicon Valley is filled with a bunch of liberals. A different kind of Republican would do quite well there and be able to have a fundraiser without going to great lengths to keep its location a secret. The problem for the GOP is that Trump is driving that kind of Republican into extinction.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com