Silicon Valley Goes Full MAGA in 2024


Silicon Valley has always been a place for unconventional thinkers with big ideas, but in 2024, that includes former president and convicted felon Donald Trump. Two influential tech investors and hosts of the All-In Podcast, David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya, recently announced they were hosting a fundraiser for Trump on Thursday. They join other tech leaders, including Elon Musk, who have signaled support for Trump and a growing disdain for President Biden.

“I know there’s gonna be a lot of people who support Trump, but they don’t want to admit it,” said Sacks on Friday’s episode of All-In. “I think this event is gonna break the ice on that, and maybe it will create a preference cascade where, all of a sudden, it becomes acceptable to acknowledge the truth, which is a lot of people support Trump.”

Sacks, who helped announce Florida Governor Ron Desantis’ 2024 Presidential campaign on X, is no stranger to the Republican party. However, Palihapitiya is one of many Silicon Valley influencers who recently became more friendly to conservative candidates. While he’s voted for Democrats in the past, he considers himself an “apolitical person” who simply wants to “hear Trump out.”

Palihapitiya’s fundraising efforts may also be an attempt to grow All-In’s audience and authority. What started as a podcast is slowly growing into a well-funded media empire, which recently hired its first CEO. This seems to be a trend among Silicon Valley leaders, who are increasingly seeking influence over America’s political and ideological sphere – and they often lean right.

“I would like this to be a place where impartiality rules,” Palihapitiya said about All-In. “And I would like, four years from now, for every major political candidate for President to look at All-In as the first place.”

Every attendee at the Sacks and Palihapitiya’s fundraiser will donate roughly $300,000 to Trump’s campaign, according to Bloomberg. The other “besties,” as the All-In podcasters refer to themselves, Jason Calacanis and David Friedberg, noted they wouldn’t attend and clarified this wasn’t an All-In fundraiser, but were happy their platform fostered a variety of opinions. Sacks said on Friday’s podcast that the former President may soon be a guest on All-In. However, they aren’t the only ones cozying up to Trump.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Trump discussed a possible advisory role for Elon Musk if he’s elected. Trump and Musk’s relationship has varied over the years, but now they reportedly talk on the phone several times a month. Musk’s X gives a platform to conservative speech in a similar way that Truth Social does – he even reinstated Trump’s X account, although the former president has yet to use it. The relationship seems tense, however, since Trump is threatening to slam the brakes on electric vehicles in America.

Investor Marc Andreessen is also looking to throw his political weight around, though he hasn’t explicitly endorsed Trump. Andreessen is more active in politics than ever these days, according to a report from Puck, where sources said his firm has put tens of millions of dollars towards crypto-friendly regulations. Perhaps that’s why Trump’s campaign just started embracing crypto.

The Conservative Radicalization of Tech

Just hours after the former President was found guilty on 34 counts in his hush money trial, Sequoia partner Shaun Maguire announced on X he was donating $300,000 to Trump. “The timing isn’t a coincidence,” he tweeted. Maguire wrote a lengthy post detailing his “radicalization towards the center” thanks to the Biden administration’s foreign policy and other issues.

“There’s a real chance President Trump is convicted of felony charges and sentenced to prison,” Maguire said. “Bluntly, that’s part of why I’m supporting him. I believe our justice system is being weaponized against him.”

Silicon Valley’s current batch of tech bros aligns with the Republican party far more than they used to. As tech gets wealthier, conservative policies that favor a limited government and reduced taxation on the rich are becoming more popular in the industry. Not to mention, the San Francisco Bay Area has been battered by homelessness and drug issues. Many in tech feel that Democrats’ light-handed approach has been ineffective here, and conservative policies are now speaking to them.

Identity politics are also common ground. Tech bros were outspoken during the ousting of Harvard President Claudine Gay, where they all made sure to note how adamantly they opposed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies. Covid-19 is another issue that Republicans and tech bros largely align on. On Friday, the All-In podcast expressed a sense of vindication after Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Congressional hearing, where Republican Congress members peppered the former Chief Medical Advisor on the origins of covid-19.

While some of these issues are modern, many of them have existed for a while. It’s possible Biden, who isn’t a notably strong candidate for Democrats, is pushing many towards Trump. Or maybe some of these issues are truly reaching a breaking point. Regardless, many Silicon Valley elites are now willing to look past their moral gripes with Trump if it means winning on these issues.

Thinking Different

To quote Apple, there seems to be a “think different” attitude across all of these political stances, fueled by the same contrarian opinions that have always flourished in tech. However, the industry has historically “thought differently” to the left. Google’s Sergey Brin denounced a gay marriage ban in 2008 and billionaire investor Reid Hoffman has become notorious for funding Democrats. Now, the contrarian voices are shifting right.

It’s not like Trump was their first choice though. The All-In besties previously held fundraisers and conversations with RFK Jr., Dean Phillips, and Vivek Ramaswamy while Sacks previously lent a helping hand to Desantis. But those candidates didn’t have a real shot at the White House, and Trump does.

Tech figures like Musk, Maguire, Andreessen, and the All-In besties are becoming more influential political and ideological voices in America. Silicon Valley has quickly become the center of American innovation and wealth, and with it, comes a newfound influence. They’ve got money to spend, and Trump needs it. The former President has already shown he’ll do anything to win, so he may bend to tech’s demands and give Silicon Valley more influence than ever.



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