Geert Lovink on Wed, 9 Mar 2016 00:25:10 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Tech Execs Plot Against Trump

   Dear nettimers,

   this report could relevant for the `nettime' take on Trump. Something
   like this was already announced here and there. It is widely known that
   Google supports Hilary Clinton. But why would that imply that Silicon
   Valley moguls have to conspire against Trump? It probably indicates
   that the Valley is now part of the old industry elite of the USA. Time
   to update John Perry Barlow's Independence manifesto?

   Best, Geert

   - - -

   GOP Leaders, Tech Execs Plot Against Trump At Secret NeoCon Island

   Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2016 12:11 -0500


   Last Thursday, in a speech delivered at the University of Utah, Mitt
   Romney blindsided Donald Trump in what amounted to a scathing
   indictment of the billionaire's ability to lead the country.

   "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects
   for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished," Romney said,
   in an apparent effort to play party elder. "If Donald Trump's plans
   were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged
   recession," Romney continues, hitting Trump on the economy. "A few
   examples. His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate
   a trade war and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export
   jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee

   More important than what Romney said (after all, it's not as though
   he's the first person to essentially call Trump a demagogic lunatic who
   has no business being President) was what his speech represented:
   all-out panic on the part of the GOP establishment.

   This is it folks. Trump is on the verge of winning the nomination and
   although most still think he can't beat Hillary, the national election
   is a wildcard. If Trump can go from laughingstock to presumed GOP
   nominee in nine months, there's no reason to think he can't ride the
   populist wave all the way to The White House.

   With diplomats the world over voicing their concern, and with America's
   reputation on the line (of course we can debate about what's left of
   that reputation after Bush and Obama) heavyweights from across
   America's political aristocracy and business community are scrambling
   to figure out how to derail Trump's momentum. In short, the Michael
   Bloomberg deus ex machina isn't coming and Joe Biden isn't likely to
   ride into the race in a red Camaro and save the day either, so what

   That question, apparently, was on the agenda at the American Enterprise
   Institute's annual World Forum, a secretive affair held on Sea Island,

   "The main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab? How to stop
   Republican front-runner Donald Trump," the Huff Post writes. Here's a
   list of attendees:
     * Apple CEO Tim Cook,
     * Google co-founder Larry Page,
     * Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker,
     * Tesla Motors and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk
     * Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.),
     * political guru Karl Rove,
     * House Speaker Paul Ryan,
     * GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott
       (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ben Sasse (Neb.),
     * Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (Mich.),
     * Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas)
     * Kevin McCarthy (Calif.),
     * Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.),
     * Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.),
     * Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas)
     * Diane Black (Tenn.)

   "A specter was haunting the World Forum--the specter of Donald Trump,"
   the Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol wrote in an emailed report
   from the conference, borrowing the opening lines of the Communist
   Manifesto. "There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal
   of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he's done so
   well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated."

     Heading to AEI World Forum. Lots of interesting guests. It's off the
     record, so please do consider my tweets from there off the record!

     -- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 3, 2016

   Predictably Karl Rove, GOP mastermind, gave a presentation outlining
   what he says are Trump's weaknesses. Voters would have a hard time
   seeing him as "presidential," Rove said. Which we suppose is why they
   are turning out in droves to vote for him.

   In any event, this underscores how serious the situation is. America is
   apparently facing an identity crisis wherein the country's elected
   representatives as well as the business community feel a sense of
   paternalistic duty to keep the public from making "a mistake" at the
   ballot box.

   But they don't seem to understand that that plays right into Trump's

   It's "the establishment" trying to bend the will of the electorate.

   It's "entrenched business interests" aligning with bought-and-paid-for
   politicians to stand in the way of a populist revolution.

   And on, and on, and on. The soundbites are unlimited for Trump.

   Now, he can say that a billionaire who refuses to unlock an iPhone to
   aid in the fight against terrorism on American soil, the House Speaker,
   Elon Musk, and none other than Karl Rove himself are
   secretly commiserating on an island at a lavish, neocon-hosted
   conference to stop America from exercising their right to choose the
   next President!

   It would be difficult to craft a better narrative to tell working class
   Americans if you tried.

   Long story short, if the establishment and the business community keep
   focusing on how to subvert democracy rather than on how to craft a
   message that resonates with voters, they are going to end up handing
   the keys to The White House to Trump on a silver platter.

   Which we suppose is just how he likes to be handed his keys.

   Only the platter would preferably be gold.

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