Last week Oracle co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison held a fundraiser for President Trump’s re-election campaign at his Rancho Mirage estate near Palm Springs, Calif. At the time the fundraiser was announced, there was silence from The Resistance, which is unusual given the reality of today’s political environment – public figures who support Trump must be shamed and shunned.
It turns out about 300 employees of the American multinational computer technology corporation protested Ellison’s fundraiser but they did so the day after the event which seems like an odd way of going about it. Oracle employs about 136,000 people, so the 300 protesters taking part in the organized effort against Ellison were a small minority. Nonetheless, they persisted, albeit a day late.
The protest was described as a “virtual walkout”. The employees left their offices or stopped working at remote sites around noon and spent the remainder of their day volunteering or doing civic engagement. In other words, there was no picket line or rally that would indicate a protest. It sounds like they all just took the afternoon off and did their own thing. That’s not how this works.
Silicon Valley is a liberal place, that’s not breaking news. Up until the Trump era, though, the tech workers mostly stayed out of public displays of their political views. In 2016 Trump was criticized by our betters in the tech world because they said he wasn’t tech-savvy and his views on immigration were bad. So, they largely supported Hillary Clinton – the woman who once answered a question about wiping a hard drive of her email server by asking, “What, like with a cloth?”
Here’s the thing – Larry Ellison has donated money to both Republicans and Democrats. He supported Marco Rubio in the 2016 election cycle and went on to support Trump. Why did these 300 Oracle employees only now protest the company’s chairman’s political alliance with Trump? In other words, if they are so concerned about the politics of the big boss, shouldn’t they have done a little research on the company’s leadership before accepting a job offer with Oracle?
The disgruntled employees did create a petition online before the fundraiser. Ellison’s decision to host a fundraiser that included golf and photos with the president for some hefty donations “hurt Oracle’s brand”, you see. More importantly, apparently, it hurt the feelings of the staff. Their claim was chock full of standard talking points from the anti-Trump left.
In the petition, the employees said Ellison’s support hurts Oracle’s brand and staff morale and misrepresents the company’s “diverse views.”
Ellison’s financial support “endangers the well-being of women, immigrants, communities of color, the environment, LGBTQ and trans communities, disabled people, and workers everywhere,” they said, and “his alliance with this ignoble and destructive figure damages our company culture as well as our relationships with partners and customers.”
A developer for Oracle, not a Millennial, posted a Twitter thread as he vented about his displeasure with Ellison. It ended in quite a dramatic tweet – he asked Ellison to cancel the fundraiser to save the world. Seriously. Here is some of that Twitter thread:
Donald Trump is not a "normal" U.S. politician. He does not respect the Constitution or Bill or Rights or the independence of our judiciary. He is right now and every day working hard to undermine the rule of law in the United States. All to enrich himself and his friends.
— Steven Feuerstein (@sfonplsql) February 19, 2020
Larry, for the good of Oracle and its employees, for the sake of the future of the United States and perhaps the entire world, please cancel your fundraiser. At least wait until the Democrats choose their candidate to then make your move.
— Steven Feuerstein (@sfonplsql) February 19, 2020
There were protesters along Trump’s motorcade route that day.
As Trump’s motorcade made its way to the event—which is expected to pull up to $7 million for his 2020 campaign with tickets going from $100,000 to $250,000—he passed crowds chanting “lock him up!” and spilling into the roadway on Highway 111 as Riverside County cops in riot gear looked on, the Desert Sun reports.
Nearby, about 80 Trump fans organized by East Valley Republican Women Federated shouted “four more years!”
Around 200 protesters organized by Coachella Valley progressive group Courageous Resistance gathered at Highway 111 and Dunes View Road. Down the street, approximately 100 more anti-Trump sign-wavers gathered at the corners of Highway 111 and Rancho Las Palmas drive, with one poster reading, “Vote/dump the liar/traitor.” Another sign spotted at the corner of Dunes View said, “Trump is liar, cheater, racist, fraud, corrupt, danger, too many to list.”
The protesting employees demanded that Ellison and Oracle donate “an amount of money equal to whatever Wednesday’s event raises to humanitarian causes and to organizations that oppose Trump administration policies that they say contradict Oracle’s “values.” That would totally be Ellison’s decision, though, and the protesters seem to forget who works for whom. I tend to think this group of 300 employees was comprised mostly of Millennials unaccustomed to working in the corporate world. Feelings don’t trump (so to speak) the bottom line for shareholders.
The irony with this story is that the protesters were upset over Trump’s alleged lack of respect for diversity. For the Trump-deranged left, that diversity only goes one way. Ellison’s political support diverged from that of the protesters so he was criticized. The anti-Trumpers want a non-diverse political environment. Demanding that Ellison cancel the fundraiser was no different than discontented students on a college campus canceling a conservative speaker. The left shuts down political discourse instead of showing respect for a different point of view.