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Silicon Valley Stirring up Trouble for Democrats

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1.Silicon Valley's Recent Support
Photo credit: Patrick Nouhailler / Flickr

Republican infighting and division within that party make the billions invested by wealthy GOP backers worthless, and the party hasn’t come up with a solution for repairing the vicious divide. Some political pundits suggest the same derision could also hit the Democratic Party, if any of the wealthy companies of Silicon Valley pulled their support of Democrats and threw funding at the Republicans.

Receiving campaign donations from wealthy backers in Silicon Valley and major tech companies is one of the ways Democrats can keep up with the spending and deep pockets of the Republican Party. The loss of Silicon Valley support could mean a huge deficit in funds available for important races during the forthcoming congressional elections. However, the loss of campaign funds isn’t the only possible problem stemming from Silicon Valley Democrats.

Silicon Valley’s Recent Support

Silicon Valley once tended to support candidates in the middle of the political spectrum, but businesses that cropped up during the birth of the internet started to send their campaign contributions to the Democrats. Over the years, Democrats have relied upon those billionaire companies to help get candidates elected during essential campaigns.

With all the money, media power, and big business of Silicon Valley, worries about this alliance between these giant corporations and the Democrats have worried some in the party. Democratic support of the “little guy,” minorities, and women isn’t the first thing that might come to mind with giant corporate backers like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

Democrat Identity and Corporate Money

Can a party of environmentalists, minorities, and labor unions coexist with corporate backers that outsource work across the ocean and rake in billions of dollars a year? Are these tech companies the sort of support of which the Democrats can boast? It might be naive to believe that a huge company that proclaims its liberalism wouldn’t act just as competitive and ruthless as a business run by ardent Republicans.

In addition, the Republicans aren’t the only ones trying to court independent voters and people of slightly different political leanings. The only way either party has ever swept the polls has been through the successful courtship of the center. Historically, both major parties have put millions of dollars into the race for the middle.

Impact on the Blue Collar Worker

Could Silicon Valley’s support of the Democrats scare away small business owners afraid of the corporate muscle of huge tech companies? Could the Republicans lure away Main Street voters with promises of support for small business? And could the unions become dissatisfied with Democrats who’ve gained immense support from giant corporations that look like behemoths compared to the average blue-collar worker?

Indeed, Democrats who find their campaigns bankrolled by companies worth several billion dollars could seem like a bad choice to traditional Democrats who have long been distrustful of big business. Consider the candidacy of John Kerry for president and the barriers his personal wealth and connections created in his attempt to gain the support of “average” American voters.

There’s no reason that Democrats need to turn down the funding offers or support from Silicon Valley’s deep pocketed corporations, but the party must tread lightly in order to keep its humble reputation. It’s an incredible balancing act to talk about equality for all Americans when campaign coffers see massive jolts of funding from billionaires in Silicon Valley.

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