Ed Driscoll

Silence Of The Silicon Valley Obamatarians

Found via Pajamas’ Edgelings blog, in his Forbes column, Rich Karlgaard has some thoughts on my home turf, Silicon Valley, and the love that–at least for the moment–dare not speak its name:

Silicon Valley, where I live, is home to both political liberals and conservatives–more liberals of late, but not by a huge margin. The lopsidedness occurs on the freedom-statist divide. An overwhelming majority of Valley residents would place themselves on the freedom side and against the state. This should not surprise anyone. Silicon Valley is a land of immigrants, both foreign and from other American states. What draws people to Silicon Valley is the freedom to go out and commit industrial revolution and make the future.

Thus it was always odd that Silicon Valley voted for the most statist-inclined presidential candidate since FDR. Silicon Valley fell in love with Barack Obama. His youth and multicultural cool, along with the Web superiority of his presidential campaign, had Silicon Valley going googly for Obama.

In the eyes of Silicon Valley, Obama was like the Apple Macintosh. John McCain was like Windows.

Now comes the reckoning. Obama may be the coolest guy ever to hold the office of U.S. president. He may be the personification of an Apple Mac, iPod and iPhone. But this week Obama proved he is a big-state liberal, through and through.

My Silicon Valley friends who supported Obama are weirdly silent about this. I suspect they are in denial, still hoping for the closet libertarian Obama to emerge.

As Robert Stacy McCain noted recently when he mentioned several prominent Obamatarians, good luck waiting for that–Godot will arrive sooner. (Though with a far smaller T-shirt concession in the lobby.)

And speaking of California in general, and very much related to the above comments, Jennifer Rubin is spot-on when she writes, “In case you haven’t noticed, California is fast becoming a third world economy.”

Related: Steve Green explores “The ‘Liberaltarianist’ Folly”–the shotgun marriage (if that phrase is still acceptable in PC America) of liberals and libertarians.