Thursday, March 28, 2013


So John Tracinski asks how do we get the youngs to vote GOP, but spends most of his column telling us that the college kids vote for liberals because the liberals brainwash them all with dependency and communism; after several rounds of these old Al Capp routines (only not funny) he cuts to an unexpected solution:
Yet the biggest failure of the right is that it has lost the economy’s technological elite.

Today’s John Galts and Hank Reardens are not in a valley in Colorado. They’re in a valley in California. The Hank Rearden of Silicon Valley, an innovator who started out in a garage and built a company which became the most valuable in the world, was Steve Jobs. But Jobs was—let’s be honest here—kind of a hippie. He had many of the virtues of an Ayn Rand hero, but a very different personal philosophy.
That brings us to what I think is the most important question to take away as the right examines how to reform itself. How does it win Silicon Valley? How does it get the best, most innovative segment of the youth, the ones who are actually plugged in to a vital and growing area of the economy, to see the value of free markets and to want to fight for them? I put it this way because I think that if the right learns how to win over the young innovators and entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley (and its many equivalents across the country), it will go a long way toward learning how to win over the youth vote.
Hmm, a Randian tech genius who believes the rest of the world is merely an appurtenance to his reality -- the answer is obvious: get John McAfee out of jail and back into the game! Hell, it worked with Tom DeLay.


  1. Cause Steve Jobs was totally stymied and unable to profit from his innovations by the moochers and takers. That's a great example sure to win over the youngs.

  2. XeckyGilchrist11:02 PM

    They got Carly Fiorina. What else they want?

  3. candy's dog11:05 PM

    Larry Ellison is no hippie, either. Wasn't he one of the investors in the "Big Floating Condo of Independence" project?

  4. Spaghetti Lee11:12 PM

    I'm not really tech-savvy, but my impression is that lots of computer people hate Apple, Google, Facebook et al. for peddling proprietary technology, tracking and exploiting user data, and so forth. Getting tech CEOs to openly praise the GOP would create a bunch of new Democrats out of sheer spite. Guy might as well be arguing that pizza chain workers will vote Republican if Tom Monaghan or Papa John tell them to. Not a good strategy.

    Jobs always struck me as more of an aesthetic hippie than an actual one. And really, there are plenty of libertarian lunatics in Silicon Valley, so I don't know what this guy's complaining about. Peter Thiel, for instance:

  5. tigrismus11:12 PM

    Run seminars teaching the kids how to incorporate in the Caymans to avoid taxes and default on student loans. You're welcome, Republicans!

  6. M. Krebs11:19 PM

    Good lord. He's actually talking about enlisting the most creative techie types into his stupid-ass conservative movement. He may as well try to convince Thelonious Monk to play with Hank Williams Jr.

  7. XeckyGilchrist11:22 PM

    Ha, just so. It is the total conservadroid M.O., isn't it - allow someone else to do all the work of building a Hollywood or Silicon Valley establishment, then whine about it being liberal and try to figure out how to co-opt it by helping themselves to the top spots.

  8. XeckyGilchrist11:22 PM

    (come to think of it, the Romney campaign looked a lot like that.)

  9. philadelphialawyer11:22 PM

    "How does it get the best, most innovative segment of the youth, the ones who are actually plugged in to a vital and growing area of the economy, to see the value of free markets and to want to fight for them?"
    No need to wonder "how" to do this. Because free markets actually dominate the US economy, and thus there is no need to "fight" for them. Jobs, Gates, and their successors already knew and know this. They realize that our economic system is currently one based on the market, free enterprize, and laissez faire, with only a small leavening of social democracy. Too small. Even Richie Rich of Silicon Valley can see that. These guys already "see the value of free markets," they "see" it in their bank accounts and stock portfolios and mansions and so on. And they also see that no one is really trying to overthrow that system. At most, there are attempts to increase the small dose of social democracy. Which poses very little threat to them and their wealth. So little, in fact, that some of them actually favor the attempts.
    The whole thing sort of beggars the imagination, or the capacity for analogy. It would be like saying....I don't know...."How do the owners of the Steelers get their natural fan base, folks in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, to see the fun in being NFL fans of their local team, want to root for the Steelers, buy tickets to the stadium, watch the games on TV and buy licensed products?" Um, they don't have worry too much about "how" to make that happen, cuz it is already happening.

  10. Today’s John Galts and Hank Reardens are not in a valley in Colorado. They’re in a valley in California

    Actually, Colorado has a burgeoning tech sector, especially around Boulder. Really, the "Silicon Valley" thing was largely a product of 90's start-ups. Since then, the industry has become more diffuse, with significant hot spots in...

    ...What, too pedantic? What am I supposed to say? That yet again, a conservative has proven so incapable of dealing with reality that, upon realizing that the facts are incompatible with his theories, he questions the facts? That it's the manifestation of a bizarre collective psychosis that's been festering in the GOP for as long as I've been alive? We've all been singing that song since November, and judging by the conservative reaction to the public shift on gay marriage, we're going to be singing it well into 2013 and beyond. So I thought I'd take a break and pick on the guy's expertise a bit, just to mix things up a bit.

    What the hell, at least he's not whining about Lena Dunham.

  11. tigrismus11:40 PM

    What he should ask himself is first how to convince people not already in the choir that the left in this country is not capitalist, but he's such a true believer his brain doesn't even process that anyone might not see that as a given.

  12. He's depressingly close to the truth, but can't realize it. Silicon Valley is already full of shitty, reactionary white libertarians who built their businesses on the backs of exploited labor (both domestic and foreign). Yet he assumes that since they're not retirement-age or evangelical, they must be a bunch of Obama-loving kids the right has to "win over". I'm glad the GOP's biases are keeping them from tapping into a rich vein of objectivism sitting in plain sight, at least.

  13. The tech industry is full of people who are in favor of capitalism, they just aren't extremists about it. (There are plenty of rabid open source freetards, too, but presumably most all of them have jobs working for the man, rather than living on welfare.)

    The GOP's real problem appealing to tech industry people is going to be the non-economic part of their ideology.

  14. Spaghetti Lee11:56 PM

    The guys who own the Buccaneers, on the other hand...

  15. sharculese12:23 AM

    Just go for it dude. I mean, it's not like your novel could actually end up shittier than Atlas Shrugged.

  16. sharculese12:24 AM

    Nobody tell him about the North Carolina tech triangle.

  17. calling all toasters12:36 AM

    How can Republicans win over the computer geeks? Well, considering the the intelligence difference between software designers and Republicans is about the same as between humans and dogs, I suggest Tracinski & Co. learn to fetch, roll over, and play dead.

  18. Haystack12:37 AM

    Since politicians have been ferociously de-regulating and bending over backwards coddling the business class since before Reagan, maybe this guy ought to back up and explain how the "market" is somehow less "free" now.

    Is he talking about how certain corporations and banks have become vast, competition-gobbling entities, even virtual monopolies in some sectors, under these conditions? I know Rule One is to blame moochers and looters for everything, but, really, wake up, dude.

  19. Another Kiwi12:40 AM

    It cannot be long before they start really scraping for people who they have previously ignored and belittled but who they now see as the key demongraphic. Left Handed Catholic River Wideners (MPFC 1980's)?
    Should the wondrous free hand of the invisible markets need arse licking to get it to vote for the Party of the PARTAY!! Shouldn't the youngs be magically drawn to vote for their elders and betters by self interest? Unless there is something incorrect in the that can't be it.

  20. DocAmazing12:41 AM

    Mr. Tracinski is apparently unable to spell "libertarian". No "g", "o", or "d" in it.

  21. mortimer12:41 AM

    Tracinski on a proposal to shorten college education to a three-year program: This would produce trillions of dollars in additional wealth as young people enter the workforce a year earlier, but more importantly, it would move forward the point at which they start gaining the experience in the “real world” that will tend to move them to the right.

    It's no wonder he puts "real world" in scare quotes. This is from the AP, based on data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012:

    About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year [2011] were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.

    Clearly, getting college grads into the job market a year earlier is just about guaranteed to produce trillions of dollars and move them to the right.

  22. Spaghetti Lee12:51 AM

    One argument I have heard is that there's "more regulations" now than there were in, say, 1960. Well yeah, there's more of everything. It's called growth. Of course, the single biggest change on that front is the massive bulwark of 'security state' regulations, akin to how almost all increases in government spending over the last 10 years can be traced back to the military or the security state, otherwise known as those things libertarians are supposed to oppose just as fiercely as high taxes but somehow never find the time.

  23. DocAmazing12:52 AM

    What our economically-uninformed Mr. Tracinski doesn't realize is that institutions like college help to keep people out of the job market, and thereby improve unemployment statistics. If one-fourth of time spent in college is eliminated, then the number of unemployed will increase by one-fourth of the college population every year.


  24. Of course, the "move them to the right" part is the important bit. In context, he's all about reducing the amount of time spent in college to cut down on "brainwashing" - Tracinski being another one of those guys who never figured out that the Harrad Experiment wasn't a documentary.

    Oh, and it still makes more sense than his other idea to employ "ed-tech" - or, as it's known to the general populace, "YouTube videos."

  25. Huh. There are some rich libertarian types in Silicon Valley (who occasionally pen op-eds). He really can't find them? Or perhaps they're not conservative enough for him?

  26. MikeJ3:06 AM

    I don't think Ellison was in that (although I could be wrong), but the founder of paypal is a randroid.

  27. There's always their stock response - lower taxes - you're a tech entrepreneur - you're going to be rich - we'll lower your taxes and pout the burden on your employees.

  28. satch5:00 PM

    I still think that Thomas Sowell was the guy that Megan ran into on the bus...

  29. AGoodQuestion5:22 PM

    Never mind the fact that he's talking about "today's John Galts and Hank Reardens" as if yesterday's John Galts and Hank Reardens were something other than fictional characters.

  30. AGoodQuestion5:26 PM

    Leaving this here.

  31. DocAmazing8:02 PM

    Jesus, I hope she never read H.P. Lovecraft.

  32. PersonaAuGratin8:38 PM

    Not as rich as Peter Thiel, but perhaps held to even higher regard by the Valley libertarian set:

    His letter to a nun was really quite famous back in 1996:

  33. PersonaAuGratin9:19 PM

    That was Peter Thiel.

    Larry Ellison, being much more well-grounded (ahem...) bought the island of Lanai.

  34. Tehanu9:25 PM

    Ah, ol' Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler! A capitalist to the core.

  35. Spaghetti Lee9:52 PM

    Justice for Fictitious-Americans!

  36. BigHank539:57 PM

    Brave New World requires too much up-front investment. Better to make the Betas, Gammas, and Deltas sort and train themselves.

  37. sigyn5:24 AM

    "...create a system that worked for exactly one day..."

    Oh, the Romney campaign so, so failed at even that; unless you meant a different day.
    I can't recall the details; but there was something about e-mailing out lengthy pdf files at a critical, time intensive juncture that had me falling off the couch laughing. And I thought I was stuck in the '90s....

  38. The_Kenosha_Kid11:34 AM

    I just can't process this piece of information:

    In 1971, columnist Jack Anderson, based on the reporting of his young
    assistant Brit Hume,
    broke the news that Capp had made unwelcomed sexual
    advances to four female students at the University of Alabama, which
    campus officials hushed up.

  39. sharculese11:55 AM

    You mean the part where they gave almost no guidance to their (mostly elderly) volunteer force for months, then dumped a massive manual on them the night before the election? Everything about that adventure was classic.

  40. Sgaile-beairt4:16 PM

    we have a GREAT channel here!!

  41. Sgaile-beairt4:19 PM

    well the london City infrastructure got started bc a medieval businessman thought it wld get him into heaven faster....all those grateful lunnuners, praying tears of thanksgiving at having clean running water wo sewage in it!! so we just need, to get the megachurch preachers pushing the idea that infrastructure = indulgences, somehow....

  42. Sgaile-beairt4:23 PM

    wasnt that in a video game??

  43. Halloween_Jack9:33 PM

    You know, it did occur to me, when I hooked up a Kinect to my XBox, that I'd just paid for my own telescreen.