A who’s who of big names in Silicon Valley on Thursday released a blistering open letter airing their collective opposition to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Allowing the billionaire former reality television star into the Oval Office, they say, would be a “disaster for innovation” and would dissuade companies from starting up and growing in the U.S.
Signed by nearly 150 executives, investors, entrepreneurs and influencers, the letter warns, “Donald Trump articulates few policies beyond erratic and contradictory pronouncements. His reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America. He risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation.”
Posted to the website Medium by former Katie Jacobs Stanton, the former vice president of global media at Twitter, the letter’s list of signatories includes co-founders of Apple, Facebook, Tumblr, Tinder, Reddit, eBay, Slack and others. Also on board are major venture capital investors, academics and former government regulators.
The group took issue with Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, saying, “We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline.”
They point out that nearly half of the companies in the Fortune 500 were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants and argue that “progressive immigration policies help us attract and retain some of the brightest minds on earth.”
The letter also sharply criticizes Trump for his repeated threats to limit public discourse.
“We also believe in the free and open exchange of ideas, including over the Internet, as a seed from which innovation springs,” it reads. “Donald Trump proposes ‘shutting down’ parts of the Internet as a security strategy — demonstrating both poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works. His penchant to censor extends to revoking press credentials and threatening to punish media platforms that criticize him.”
Among those adding their names to the anti-Trump missive were: Barry Diller, Chairman, Expedia and IAC; Reed Hundt, Former Chair, FCC; Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman, Qualcomm Inc; David Karp, Founder/CEO, Tumblr; William Kennard, Former Chair, FCC; Dustin Moskovitz, Co-Founder, Asana; Co-Founder, Facebook; Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, Reddit; Pierre Omidyar, Founder, eBay; Jen Pahlka, Founder/Executive Director, Code for America; Mark Pincus, Executive Chairman and Founder, Zynga; Kim Malone Scott, CEO, Candor, Inc; Former Director, Google; Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp; Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia; Ev Williams, Founder/CEO, Medium; Co-Founder Twitter, Blogger; Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple; and Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University.
Trump is expected to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president at the party’s nominating convention in Cleveland next week.