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From Apple To Xbox, Tech Companies Lean Left

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the mind-your-balance dept.

The Almighty Buck 685

Velcroman1 writes "Only a week to election time! How does tech feel about politics? If you guessed liberal, you're right: Big Tech leans left. 'They're dominated by coastal people who tend to be more liberal,' says Jim Taylor, a management consultant who writes about the business of psychology. 'Also, those in Big Tech tend to be educated in the better schools, which lean left. Big Tech skews younger and hipper [and favors] social and environmental issues. Their political values trump financial concerns at the organizational culture level and the missions of many firms, especially those that are new media.' For example, Marissa Mayer, known as 'the face of Google,' gave $30,400 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2009. In fact, of the top 10 contributions made by Google in 2009, only one — by CEO Eric Schmidt — was to the Republican National Committee. Facebook has donated almost exclusively to Democratic candidates, according to Transparency Data, including $1,000 to California Sen. Barbara Boxer a year ago, and more recently, almost $5,000 to Richard Blumenthal, who is running for senator in Connecticut."

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As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to say (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030198)

The revelation that California and the Seattle area, where most of these companies are based, tends to lean left is a complete revelation to me. You see, I have been living under a rock on a desert island for the last hundred years and didn't realize that every state in the Union was not, in fact, like my home state of Alabama. I am shocked to learn that executives from these tech companies live in a place where each public school-day DOESN'T begin with school prayer, a mandatory salute to the Confederate flag, shooting practice, and a discussion of why America would elect a satan-worshiping negro marxist as President. I had always assumed, on my desert island, that America was a homogenous place, and that no region had its own unique political leanings. Now, I know that there are actually areas in the U.S. where it's not okay to beat down anyone publicly admitting to supporting fag rights--where even *calling* someone a fag is considered somewhat offensive (even if they are). I guess I can understand these executives' leftist points of view, considering that they come from a place where it's considered impolite to burn down the houses of non-Christians. Thank you for enlightening me.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030306)

a satan-worshiping negro marxist as President.

I understand you're just being a dick here (what leftwingers do best), but to make it accurate it would be "a Satan-driven oreo Marxist as President".

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030382)

oreo

In Alabama we still subscribe to the One Drop Rule [wikipedia.org] . Surely at least that basic principle is universally accepted, right?

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (3, Interesting)

puto (533470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030732)

Conversley here in South America, everyone claims to be be of pure European descent(I guess they have been fucking their cousins for the last three hundred years to keep the race pure. So the one drop rule here means if you have one drop of European blood, you have to be white. I am a Colombian Cajun mix(cajun side being Sicilian settlers in Thibodaux) and before I excepted my present employment here in Colombia I was offered a relative high paying job in the Bay Area, but turned it down. I kept being accused of being a southerner when I spoke English and when I spoke spanish it was "you speak great english for a Mexican". I found everyone on the West Coast assumed every Latino was a Mexican.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030768)

You forgot "Muslim."

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (1)

BergZ (1680594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030338)

There are some people who will be surprised by this news...
Or they would be if they could stop brutally assaulting people they disagree with just long enough to hear it.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030346)

I don't know who pissed in your Corn Flakes this morning but I'd like to apply for the job just in case there's an opening.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030442)

You see, I have been living under a rock on a desert island for ...

Ah-ha! Your post would have been believable if you had lived on a deserted island.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030472)

It was both.

Re:As a hillbilly from a desert island, I have to (0, Flamebait)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030904)

You forgot to mention that Fox News didn't tell you about this either... although that goes without saying, doesn't it?

More obvious stories (1, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030230)

Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that energy companies leans to the right.

Re:More obvious stories (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030450)

Somewhere in America right now there are two college students. One is trying to recruit for the Young Republicans in the art department. The other is trying to recruit for the Young Democrats in the business school. both are wondering why their results have so far been disappointing.

Re:More obvious stories (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030492)

Exxon donated more to Obama than any other person in office, so that isn't true either, and that tidbit just chafes the leftwing mantra.

Corporations read the tea leaves and buy influence accordingly. (D) and (R) are just prostitutes who peddle influence to the highest bidder.

Re:More obvious stories (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030656)

The best part was when he assumed Obama is a "leftist".

Liar. (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030788)

So far in 2010, the oil and gas industries have contributed $12.8 million to all candidates, with 71% of that money going to Republicans. During the 2008 election cycle, 77% of the industry's $35.6 million in contributions went to Republicans, and in the 2008 presidential contest, Republican candidate Sen. John McCain received more than twice as much money from the oil and gas industries as Obama: McCain collected $2.4 million; Obama, $898,000.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023945.php [washingtonmonthly.com]

Sure, you can single out Exxon and Obama in 2008, because that's the exception to the rule you're pretending doesn't exist.

Re:More obvious stories (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030832)

A more accurate statement about tech companies would probably be that at least until recently they were largely apolitical. They gave very little money, compared to their size and other companies, to politicians. It has been increasing, because politicians have been increasingly meddling (for good or for ill). MS is an interesting study in this. Prior to their anti-trust deal they gave only a token amount to either party, now they give quite a bit. Makes sense if you think about it, the government started bothering them, at the behest of their competitors. Now right or wrong on that, it let them know that they needed more influence, and so they set out to get it.

In general though, tech companies seem to donate a hell of a lot less. They just aren't as interested in buying off politicians it seems. Perhaps because they don't need to, perhaps because they are younger companies, I don't know.

Not really a bad thing if you asked me, I think companies out to stay out of politics, but there you go.

Re:More obvious stories (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030840)

Exxon donated more to Obama than any other person in office, so that isn't true either, and that tidbit just chafes the leftwing mantra.

I can see how some people would be chafed by that tidbit, since it doesn't appear to be true.
I looked.
The best I could find was that Obama received more than McCain [cnn.com] -- not "any other person in office."

Furthermore, those donations were only in the 5 digits, while it looks like Exxon regularly spends $600,000+ in political bribes every year. [exxposeexxon.com] Seems to me that any of their favourite senators could easily rack up triple digit donations over the years - and according to this article [boston.com] which does not name names so is unfortunately a PITA to verify, the top 20 cumulative recipients of Exxon money since 1990 are all republican.

If you have some citations that show otherwise, I am all ears - I'm looking for the truth, not truthiness.

Re:More obvious stories (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030952)

Not terribly insightful, Exxon is prohibited by law from donating money. Employees of Exxon donated more to Obama than McCain in the 2008 election.

According to http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/search.php?cid=N00009638&name=(all)&employ=Exxon&cycle=2008&state=&zip=&amt=a&sort=A&page=2 [opensecrets.org]

Obama received $108,000 from 210 employees. Of those 210 donations, 41were more than $1000.

Mccain receved $64,000 from 95 employees, of those 95 donations 37 were more than $1000. The major difference in Obama and McCain contributions were the much larger mass of $100 to $500 dollar donations to Obama. They received pretty much the same amount from large donors.

McCain received quite a bit more money (about 3 to 1) from employees in the oil industry as a whole .... not that it really matters one way or another but your refuting of the gp was a bit off target.

Tech companies (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030240)

They tend to hire youth, and they are often based out of California. Youth tend to lean liberal, and Calfornia is often seen as the most liberal state. This is a shocking correlation!

Re:Tech companies (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030612)

and Calfornia is often seen as the most liberal state

Which of course explains why Reagan, Nixon, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger came from there.

Re:Tech companies (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030652)

California being the most liberal state doesn't mean that there are NO conservatives there. Not that Arnie is a real conservative anyway...

Re:Tech companies (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030798)

It's more than that. At least for the past few years, people with higher levels of education have leaned more heavily towards the left, while people with less education have leaned more heavily towards the right. (Source: chronicle.com [chronicle.com] ) Since Silicon Valley companies employ highly educated people almost exclusively, you would expect them to lean to the left.

Further, computer geeks in general tend to lean even further towards the left because their skeptical nature makes them much less capable of accepting any strict literal interpretation of theology that conflicts with their observations. This tends to mean that there are fewer members of conservative faiths, and that even among those who are members of traditionally conservative Christian groups, they tend to be a good bit to the left of their faith's average member.

Re:Tech companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030954)

They also tend to hire males, and men lean republican.

Retest (5, Insightful)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030254)

The vast majority in tech I know lean more towards the libertarian side of things. These kind of tests, due to their flaws of being linear, usually fail to capture that. ("Left" comes up more commonly than "right" for many libertarians because of how self-extreming "right" has become lately.)

Re:Retest (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030280)

And, yes, I see this is based on political contributions. Sadly people buy into the "two party" system and don't even know what they believe in themselves.

Re:Retest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030906)

To use a car analogy, Too many people are trapped in a broken down car. Selecting neither the (D) or the (R) can get the car moving again, and yet, there is much resistance to abandoning the car.

Re:Retest (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030352)

Exactly, really, we need to stop it with this "liberal" and "conservative" crap because neither qualifier tells how most people feel. There are two dimensions economic and personal freedoms. Either you want more state control of economic matters or you want more freedom in economic matters. Either you want more state control of personal matters or you want less.

This idea of left and right is so screwed up that no wonder most young people don't even vote.

Re:Retest (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030420)

I'd go with at least two dimensions. I can easily see "strong" or "weak" governance ("political freedom" perhaps) axis fit in, as a few people have added.

Re:Retest (2, Interesting)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030710)

Even then its a hopelessly skewed way to view things.

Can't we just...STOP talking about whole groups of people we in reality know nothing about and instead talk about concrete issues and individuals.

Re:Retest (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030790)

Can't we just...STOP talking about whole groups of people we in reality know nothing about and instead talk about concrete issues and individuals.

That's kind of hard to do if we have to throw out all the well-understood adjectives used to describe those issues and individuals.

Re:Retest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030506)

Either you want more state control of economic matters or you want more freedom in economic matters. Either you want more state control of personal matters or you want less.

Those are themselves gross oversimplifications, nearly as much so as the one-dimensional view of politics you criticize.

Re:Retest (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030570)

No. Every single party/candidate fits along these lines in many ways.

For example, the libertarian party believes in maximizing both economic and personal freedom.

Candidates such as Palin might want to increase economic freedoms in some areas but want to bring the state into many personal issues.

Based on Obama's actions, he has wanted to decrease economic freedom and keep the level of personal freedoms roughly the same.

The green party wants to increase personal freedoms while limiting economic freedoms to better the environment.

Etc.

Re:Retest (2, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030520)

I don't vote.

I didn't vote for McCain, because we'd have ended up with crazy crap like federal funding for abstinence only sex education, overt legal battles to maintain Don't Ask Don't Tell when the judiciary has deemed it unconstitutional, and the gutting of major NASA programs. And all this while multinational corporations buy more and more legislation in their favor to protect their "IP."

I didn't vote for Obama and I got the same thing.

I didn't vote for a third party candidate because not voting is just as effective.

I didn't vote for local representatives because my locality is heavily set as democratic, and no one else ever wins anything.

It's not voter apathy. It's voter impotence.

Re:Retest (2, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030662)

What do you think you're doing? They need you to keep voting to preserve the illusion of consent.

Re:Retest (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030726)

Oh please. Voter turnouts in midterms are so low that if everybody who might support a 3rd party candidate turned out that candidate might even win. Of course they're paralyzed by the same excuses to pitiful inaction as you are. Most vote for the lesser evil or don't vote at all, then whine when nothing changes.

Fuck all y'all. I vote my conscience, and if nobody else joins me it's on their heads, not mine.

Re:Retest (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030808)

Aren't you just using the fact that you vote as an excuse not to take personal action for the realization of your own political views? Seems to me voting just lets you pretend the horrible political situation isn't really your fault, when you know full well that voting doesn't make a difference.

Re:Retest (1)

fregare (923563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030974)

I do the same thing myself. I know I am throwing my vote away but fuck it. Very rarely do I vote republican or democrat. I just vote neither most of the time. "Change you can believe in [cough * cough * cough*]"

Re:Retest (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030736)

If you don't vote, you have no right to complain (assuming, of course you have the ability to vote and simply choose not to use it) at the state of affairs in the world.

Go ahead, vote for a third party, it might not mean much but it will go into a tally of people who said "fuck you" to the republicrats. If you don't like either candidate for local office make up something for the write in spot.

You might not be able to change the system, you might not be able to make a huge impact, but at the very least you will have your vote as "none of the above" registered.

If enough people started doing this rather than either voting for the "lesser evil" or staying home, perhaps the nation would wake up and pass some electoral reforms.

Re:Retest (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030844)

Why can't I complain if I don't vote? There's absolutely no way that follows. If I know voting makes no difference whatsoever, then I know not voting makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

There's no reason I can't complain. The ones who can't complain are the ones who did vote knowing their candidate would lose, because they directly contribute to the continued farce of our "democracy."

Re:Retest (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030966)

...Except for the fact you don't seem to understand what political analysts look at when they look at election reports. If in a given election year there are 40 people who voted democrat, 50 people who voted republican 7 people who voted libertarian and 3 people who voted for the green party, the republicans are going to try to win that 7% of libertarians to vote for their candidate next year by passing more libertarian-style laws or running a more libertarian-leaning candidate. Now, while this might not amount to much change and many times the changes are purely superficial, that vote for the third party made a difference.

But really, saying that you didn't vote then complaining is just as silly as saying you are hungry but you didn't even make an effort to find food.

Re:Retest (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030920)

Voting 3rd (or even minority second) party is a long-term goal. If you want the third party, vote it regardless of their chance to win. As percentages go up so does confidence in that party. Sure, you're not going to make a dent in the current election, but if you're not voting at all otherwise you've got nothing to lose but the 15 minutes it takes to vote. Voting for your closest match is a positive feedback loop, not voting is a negative feedback loop. Your choice.

Re:Retest (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030868)

The Political Compass [politicalcompass.org] website demonstrates this well. I suggest taking the test before reading the rest of the website.

(My result: -9.25, -8.21.)

Re:Retest (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030508)

The vast majority in tech I know lean more towards the libertarian side of things. These kind of tests, due to their flaws of being linear, usually fail to capture that. ("Left" comes up more commonly than "right" for many libertarians because of how self-extreming "right" has become lately.)

Well, no. Measuring employee donations to political candidates by party of candidate is not linear; it can vary in as many directions as there are different political parties (in the US, that's quite a lot.)

The fact that results for different firms fall on a spectrum where the only substantial variation is the split between Democratic and Republican candidates reflects the fact that the US political spectrum is very close to one-dimensional, which is pretty well-established to be an effect of electoral systems like ours (as the number of viable parties an electoral system can support tends to, empirically, drive the variation in political views and identities.)

Re:Retest (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030560)

>>>libertarian side of things. These kind of tests, due to their flaws of being linear, usually fail to capture that

Excellent point. If I took one of these tests, since I'm pro-gay marriage, pro-polygamy, pro-marijuana, pro-Bill of Rights..... would probably be labeled "leftist" too, even though I'm registered republican and despise the commun..... I mean the Democrat party. If the test is flawed, so too will be the results.

Maybe they should have used the "World's Smallest Quiz" instead. A majority of Americans are labeled libertarian by that test.

Re:Retest (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030872)

If you think the Democrats are anywhere near communist you are a total nutcase. They are as far to the right as the republicans these days, all of them are a bunch of fucking corporatists.

Re:Retest (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030902)

Speaking as a hardcore Libertarian myself, I have to say it's not really fair to use the 'Smallest Quiz' as a standard. Like most pseudo-polls it's framed to funnel people [slashdot.org] toward a certain end, and as it was designed by Libertarians, that end is categorizing people as Libertarians so they will feel like they should belong to the LP.

People should go out and read the party and candidates' own platforms and decide based on what they like, not take a test and let the test tell them who they are. What a miserable way to acquire a meaningful political self identity/awareness.

Re:Retest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030628)

Libertarianism is all well and good in theory, but in practice -- in a two-party system where the entrenched power-hungry have no reason to pander to Libertarians -- it is not going to be anything more.

How much longer will it take for the bulk of the technophiles to figure out that they have the power to transform the system from the outside: by ignoring the immovable object of the empowered elite and creating an unstoppable force of wiki-like democracy [metagovernment.org] , with all the bells and whistles of a sophisticated web system.

Doesn't this quote from the site sound like Libertarian heaven?
However, that still leaves the much more profound criticisms of direct democracy: mob rule, demagoguery, issue overload, and tyranny of the majority. The Metagovernment project posits that, by careful application of sophisticated software, these issues can be used to solve each other. Simply put, mob rule and demagoguery result from focusing governance on a few hot-button issues. Issue overload is only a problem because of the demands of a majority rule system, requiring that there be massive participation on each of these few hot-button decisions. By contrast, collaborative governance opens up every decision to everyone. Nobody is expected to participate in each decision, but those who do must come to a consensus or no action is taken.

democrat != left (5, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030272)

Seriously -in the US we have two parties. The far right party, and the psychopathic kill-and-censor-everyone-in-the-name-of-patriotism party.

In practical terms, we have no left. This article is BS.

Re:democrat != left (3, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030398)

We have not had a true left in this country since the Kennedy assassination. Johnson was a corporate whore, and since him, Democrats have been pro business all the way down. You can not be pro business interests AND pro labor. If you dump labor rights and issues then you are not a left leaning people.... at this point it is a fight between libertarianism values (those are indipendant of left or right leaning) and how responsible we should be with our taxing and spending (more borrowing or less borrowing)

Re:democrat != left (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030512)

There is no such thing as a "pro-labor" party, parties are the ideals, either they want more economic freedom or less economic freedom, more state control over private issues or less control over private issues. A "pro-labor" party simply is a party that wants less economic freedom and more state control over what you can and can't buy/work.

Plus, there has never been a president that has completely stood up for their beliefs and not been a cooperate (or other special interest) whore.

Re:democrat != left (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030772)

"Buy health insurance or we'll punish you" is pretty leftist. It's lack of freedom

Re:democrat != left (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030912)

Which has nothing to do with left or right. That would be authoritarianism.

In reality it is more like enforced personal responsibility, since those who do not leave it to the rest of us to pay for their medical care. Do you also oppose mandatory Car Insurance?

Re:democrat != left (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030890)

He who went to Dallas was not leftist, he was as much or more a sellout than Johnson.

Re:democrat != left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030534)

I'd help you spread this news to the world, but there is a republican outside my cubicle. I think she has a gun. You must save the country on your own. Please, help us.

Re:democrat != left (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030602)

The good news is that she might be a witchcraft-practicing Tea Bagger who will be willingly to do the horizontal bop on an altar to Satan.

Or was that bad news... These are such confusing times.

Re:democrat != left (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030644)

Not sure why this modded flaimbait. Actually I am. A lot of mental retards somehow get mod points. You know the type; pathetic, worthless pieces of crap who wasted good taxpayer dollars being taught how to read or write, but are so incredibly idiotic that they might as well be bullet testers for all the good they do civilization.

Moderate/Conservatives are the quiet majority (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030290)

Lean is the key word. A lot of tech people are libertarian and republican. This post is just trying to trump up vitriol due to the midterms.

Remember that liberals are usually the loudest, so you think there's more of them.

Re:Moderate/Conservatives are the quiet majority (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030426)

I don't think you understand the word "liberal" in its oldest meanings. It used to be that liberal meant more freedoms, both economically and personally. Using that definition libertarians are the most liberal of parties. It is only in the last few years that liberal has become synonymous with the progressive movement, which isn't even liberal at all because most support less freedoms both personally and economically.

What the US really needs is more political parties so people could accurately state their belief system, because I don't think hardly anyone is truly a republican or democrat.

Re:Moderate/Conservatives are the quiet majority (2, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030728)

The US has two major political parties, but also has a very open primary system. In Canada, we have three major political parties, but their internal politics are far less transparent.

So while we have more choice on election day, I think ultimately you yanks get a lot more diversity of opinion and choice, if you care enough to participate in the primaries. Just look at the current battle within the Republican party between the old guard and the tea-partiers; you never see that kind of thing in public in most parliamentary systems.

As an outsider, I think there's several things wrong with the US democratic system. But the "two party system" isn't one of them.

Re:Moderate/Conservatives are the quiet majority (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030826)

Except for the fact that erodes the point of a political party.

The point of a political party is to find candidates where you don't have to do a shitload of research on every single one of them to find out what they believe. The point of a political party is to summarize the core of your beliefs in one or two words. Rather than spending several hours researching each candidate from a variety of biased sources, out-of-context quotes and the like, you would simply find the party which you closely identify with.

Voter apathy is a major issue in the US and having a fragmented party does nothing to reduce it. With a republican, unless you are willing to do several hours of research for each person, you don't know if you are getting a person like McCain or someone like Ron Paul.

By having several parties to choose from it makes it easy on election day to tell at a glance which candidates you identify most strongly with.

Re:Moderate/Conservatives are the quiet majority (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030940)

The tea-partiers are the useful idiots of the "old guard". They only exist to get votes for the GOP.

Companies or employees? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030292)

if the donation is made by an individual, no matter how high ranking, then does it really indicate how the company would behave?

A false equivalence of companies and employees (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030610)

Because corporations cannot contribute to political candidates (though they can expend independently to support or oppose them), and because employees can and these donations are required to be publicly disclosed, its a fairly common (but, as you point out) misleading method to describe the political leaning of a corporation by the aggregated contributions of its employees.

For any business, since they exist to serve the interest of their owners not, except where this is the same thing (as in labor coops), their employees, it would make more sense, if you were going to judge a corporation's politics by looking at individual donations, to look at the donations of their shareholders, weighted by the proportion of ownership.

Re:Companies or employees? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030818)

The company's actions are usually a reflection of its upper level management.
The companies output (reports, documents) are usually a reflection of the office workers.
If they are both leftist, then so too will be the actions and output of the company.

Liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030302)

It's funny: in the USA, "liberal" means left. In Europe, "liberal" is right-wing, "socialist" is left.

Re:Liberal (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030546)

Oh, don't be confused. They still refer to the same people. Us Americans just don't have anyone further left than the "right-wing" folks.

Re:Liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030572)

In Europe the political spectrum is divided between the national socialists (fascists) and the international socialists (marxists). There is no tradition of individual liberty.

Re:Liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030730)

That really should be how it is in the USA as well, since our leftists are socialists and only the right-wingers are very liberal about things. Public perception just needs to catch up.

Re:Liberal (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030970)

Our "leftists" could not even manage a public option for insurance coverage so that takes your first point right out, and our right-wingers support jailing people for victimless crimes so there goes the other.

Seems like pretty strange stuff from European side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030316)

From a perspective of political climate in European social welfare states, these companies actually lean towards perceived ultra-capitalist right. Such is the divide between the US and the old EU countries. I've never quite grasped of either perceptions; I actually think these companies are, in most matters, much more sane than average attitudes of either systems.

fox news propaganda... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030322)

why is foxnews propaganda on slashdot?

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030334)

So, why don't I feel liberated?

"If you guessed liberal," (0, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit 68 (1920332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030344)

why would ANYONE have guessed "liberal"?

as a stand-alone adjective relative to political ideology, "liberal" means NOTHING.

consider a group that wanted nothing but the eradication of all "liberals"... that group themselves would be extremely liberal towards eradicating "liberals".

it's hypocritically ignorant.

can you mark an entire article TROLL? (4, Insightful)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030358)

Come on editors, i know you desperately want to talk about american politics, but isn't that what the poll to the right is for?

Who needs a big stupid flamewar? No one but Ralph Nader leans LEFT in the usa ANYWAYS!

there are 21 comments (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030516)

as of the time i am reading, and yours is the only one that is emotional and trollish. so basically, you are a hypocrite, because you are engaging in the behavior you are complaining about

the proper response to this comment is to YELL IN ALL CAPS and use exclamation points and get emotional. pffffft

Unfortunately.... (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030408)

Unfortunately they are unwilling to use their corporate power (i.e. money) to create a media campaign in the way that corporations that lean right do. It's sad that only the right has the courage to anonymously funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into non-profits like Americans for Prosperity that were created for the purpose of supporting Right Wing candidates. According to their tax filings these non-profits have a primary purpose that is not political. Education, I suppose?

But the Supreme Court has decided that anyone with any moral fiber or system of ethics is unsuited for political office. The next 20 years are going to be pretty awful.

As has been said, reality has a liberal bias. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030438)

Note I said "liberal", not "progressive", not "Democratic Party", not either libertarian or "Libertarian".

The problem is that too many people confuse "fiscal responsibility" with "conservatism". Fiscal policy is separate from "liberal" and "conservative". I am *EXTREMELY* fiscally 'conservative'. But I'm also *EXTREMELY* liberal.

In fact, one could even argue that fiscal responsibility is, itself, liberal by definition.

Re:As has been said, reality has a liberal bias. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030458)

A Europe currently struggling with how to deal with its unintegrated immigrants and with no comfortable resolution in sight begs to differ.

Re:As has been said, reality has a liberal bias. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030562)

Well, fortunately only traitors claim that US would have any trouble at all, especially some related to republican policies. No true American can have a hint of uncertainty of the system, so free they are under the sacred policy of one religion, one party, one country under God.

Re:As has been said, reality has a liberal bias. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030776)

A Europe currently struggling with how to deal with its unintegrated immigrants and with no comfortable resolution in sight begs to differ.

It seems that Europe is found its "comfortable resolution" - between burqa ban in France and minaret ban in Switzerland, the approach is to pass laws which aren't explicitly saying "no fundie Islam or GTFO" (that would be politically incorrect, heh), but amount to that in practice, making life rather uncomfortable for those who don't integrate.

Re:As has been said, reality has a liberal bias. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030876)

Conservatism means the way our founding fathers wanted it. Freedom and Fiscal responsibility. Understanding that freedom requires a moral populace, to help the unfortunate.

Liberalism has taken on a load of meanings. Most have been to not require a moral populace and have the government take care of people who have fallen down. This requires good hearted government to spend other people's money to help the unfortunate.

I would rather give what I can to help the unfortunate, not have the government take what it wants to help them.
If you need more than I can give, sucks to be you. There will come a time when the government wants to take more than I have.
Then it will suck to be me too. It will suck for all of us.
Government cannot make it better for ALL of us, it can make it suck for ALL of us.

Big Tech employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030440)

Big Tech employees lean left. Big Tech is still Big Corp and usually root for capitalism, free market and all that right stuff

Re:Big Tech employees (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030634)

Big Corp wants nothing to do with capitalism or free markets.

Big Corp wants Big Government around to regulate their competitors out of existence and bail them out when they get into trouble.

A few months of actual free market capitalism would destroy most of the big corporations.

Note that, rhetoric to the contrary, neither major party has done anything to shrink the government in at least the last quarter century.

For the non-US people (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030448)

... this means left in the US. For the rest of the world it still to the right.

wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030462)

wtf? how does donating to democrats count as liberal?

Same is true of Big Media (TV) (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030480)

The TV companies are dominated by "leaning left" liberals, and therefore their reporting is also left-leaning. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN.

Fox is the only exception, and
that's just a recent development.

Slashdot should not become a shabby politics site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030518)

They should focus on remaining a shabby tech site.

This is really stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030536)

Why classify people this way? I'm an engineer and programmer with a graduate degree (not ivy league) and I lean libertarian, meaning I'm not looking for government solutions and handouts to solve every problem. I have voted for Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and various other parties from time to time based on issues and the character of the politicians running for office. You simply can't classify people in little boxes like this. Not that I expect Fox News to know better.

Left is right and right is right... (1, Interesting)

Stephan Schulz (948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030544)

...in other words, the Democrats are neither liberal in any proper sense of the word, not "left" except in relation to the Republicans. From a European perspective, both big US parties used to be barely distinguishable, far off in the mist on the the right. Of course, the NeoCons and the Tea Parties have dragged the Republicans even further away, and the Democrats have followed more slowly, thus widening the distance. But that does not make the Democrats "left".

Story is Useless (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030582)

Telling me that only one donation was to the RNC or that so-and-so donated $5,000 to the Democrat is completely and utterly useless. It's a single number without context, people. (Yes, I know it's FOXnews. Doesn't mean Slashdot has to waste space repeating it.)

Where did the OTHER NINE donations go? The RNC is only one part of the Republican political machine to which one can donate: there are candidates and PACs, for example.

How large were they by comparison? One donation of $10,000 is surely more significant than 10 of $500, isn't it?

Re:Story is Useless (1)

technomom (444378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030784)

Yes, consider that the RNC is considered a joke today by many of the hardest leaning right-wingers. A lot of Republicans hate current RNC chair Michael Steele and consider him to be a sellout. C-PAC probably should be considered in there somewhere.

Since when is Xbox a company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030636)

Last I checked, it was a product produced by Microsoft.

Want to get money out of federal politics? (2, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030640)

Want to get money and influence peddling out of the hands of feds? Pass a Constitutional Amendment to strip Congress of the Commerce Clause, relying on state's rights instead.

False premise (2, Insightful)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030704)

This article has little to offer other than to highlight the most prevalent problem with our electoral system. Leaning left, leaning right, either way, a country whose leaders are funded by wealthy corporate donors tars the very notion of democracy.

They all learned from Bill Gates (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030738)

Bill Gates never used to give anything to candidates. He figured, rather naively, that there was no reason to do that.

Then, a little company called Sun that gave a lot of money to the Democrats made a few phone calls and got some anti-trust action going.

So yeah. Pay up or else!

Not that far left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030744)

Exactly how many of these supposedly "left" tech companies have unionized workforces?

Let's see, smarter, better educated = more liberal (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030846)

People complain that our universities, urban elite, etc. 'lean left'. Now let's see, the smarter and better educated you are, the more liberal you are. What does that suggest to you?

It suggests to me that we have too many ignoramuses, who lack the education and experience to learn to deal with different kinds of people, to understand how progress is made, and to be informed or to deal with complicated policy issues like global warming. And those ignoramuses are called "conservatives".

 

Unbelievable (1, Troll)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030944)

Educated people do not believe Obama is a communist Muslim.

Who'd have thought?

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