Gay Marriage Hate Hinders GOP’s Tech Growth

CavemancomputerWe already know that the Republican Party's dogged commitment to fighting abortion rights and marriage equality are hurting them with the American voters they need to remain relevant. But, as the New York Times reports this weekend, the GOP's politics are also hindering their already slow technological growth. Turns out a bunch of techies are repulsed by their politics, too.

Here's a money clip from that piece, "Can The Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?":

Several G.O.P. digital specialists told me that, in addition, they found it difficult to recruit talent because of the values espoused by the party. "I know a lot of people who do technology for a living," [Republican digital guru Michael] Turk said. "And almost universally, there's a libertarian streak that runs through them — information should be free, do your own thing and leave me alone, that sort of mind-set. That's very much what the Internet is. And almost to a person that I've talked to, they say, 'Yeah, I would probably vote for Republicans, but I can't get past the gay-marriage ban, the abortion stance, all of these social causes.'

"Almost universally, they see a future where you have more options, not less. So questions about whether you can be married to the person you want to be married to just flies in the face of the future. They don't want to be part of an organization that puts them squarely on the wrong side of history."

Reporter Robert Draper also spoke with a young GOP activist named Robert Ruffini, and Ruffini told him about attending the liberal candidate and activist training conference RootsCamp.

While there, he saw how the Obama-era Democrats have used technology and a loose organizational structure to spread their word among the masses. The GOP way of organizing, Ruffini realized, was far too centralized and concentrated around stalwarts like the RNC and Karl Rove. Their structure makes them more like that boogeyman they're always conjuring: the socialist.

"The thing I was struck by at RootsCamp was that in many ways, the Democratic technology ecosystem has embraced the free market — whereas the Republican one sort of runs on socialism, with the R.N.C. being the overlord," he said. It was that centralized organizing structure and the ideological factioning is allowed that led so many socialist governments and movements straight into history's dust bin.

Comments

  1. jeremyrain says

    The problems isn’t just about the “media exposure” of GOP. It’s about the true nature of them: greed, hypocrisy and inhumanity. No matter how many pics they put on Reddit, no matter how many twits or Youtube video they post, if the voters don’t feel the sincerity, the humility, the passion or the devotion from the political candidates, then nothing else matters.

  2. jeremyrain says

    The problems isn’t just about the “media exposure” of GOP. It’s about the true nature of them: greed, hypocrisy and inhumanity. No matter how many pics they put on Reddit, no matter how many twits or Youtube video they post, if the voters don’t feel the sincerity, the humility, the passion or the devotion from the political candidates, then nothing else matters.

  3. ChristopherM says

    The funny thing about the GOP and technology is that they’re all about boycotting pro-gay organizations…as long as its convenient. But Apple, Google and Microsoft all support marriage equality. Funny that you never hear them talk about giving up their computers.

  4. ChristopherM says

    The funny thing about the GOP and technology is that they’re all about boycotting pro-gay organizations…as long as its convenient. But Apple, Google and Microsoft all support marriage equality. Funny that you never hear them talk about giving up their computers.

  5. Maguita says

    Now wait a minute!! That is NOT FAIR! Why a wooden computer? With the GOP’s constant denial of all things homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynist statements of their own caught on the forever-ever-interwebs, we all know that the only acceptable mode of “computering” for the GOP is the ever-reliable Etch a Sketch.

  6. David Hearne says

    We’re mocking the GOP’s tech gap on a bulletin board that has word censors, a crappy discussion format, and some kind of glitch that is causing multiple reposts.

  7. David Hearne says

    We’re mocking the GOP’s tech gap on a bulletin board that has word censors, a crappy discussion format, and some kind of glitch that is causing multiple reposts.

  8. Randy says

    Having worked for the federal government for 15 years and lived in Washington for almost 30, I can attest to the fact that the Republicans and Democrats have very different styles of governing. I’m broadly generalizing here, but there is a basic truth.

    With Democrats, it’s much more bottom up and consensus building. Democratic leaders will ask for everyone’s opinion and try to please everyone. This style of leadership takes more time, but it at least gives everyone a voice. The ideas of the leadership often will change depending upon what is heard. The benefits are that you get a variety of viewpoints leading to better decisions, and everyone feels included. The downside is that is takes a long time, and it can appear that you never seem to be decisive.

    The Republicans are much more top down. The head guy makes a decision, and everyone else is expected to fall in line. This form of leadership is far more decisive and quick, which can be a plus in crisis situations or one where you just need to get things done quickly. But they don’t care what you think, and if the decision turns out to be a wrong one, everyone still has to toe the line anyway. Once they get their marching orders, they all fall in line.

    It’s in fact in the nature of conservatives to respect authority and not question it. It’s why you often see conservatives supporting religious leaders in religion, join the military and follow their political leader. In the worst cases, they want to be told what to do and what to think. (To be fair, there are liberals like that too, but I find that they tend to question more often).

    This is nothing new, and there are benefits and drawbacks to each style, depending upon the situation, the people involved, and crisis at hand, and so on. Nonetheless, the world is moving towards a bottom up style of participation, and people aren’t willing to toe the line just because the leader tells them to.

    This is another reason why the GOP has a problem with Tea Partyers. They thought that the TP people would toe the line once they get the message from on high, but they didn’t do it. Now they don’t know what to do with them.

    The world is fast changing and the old style dictatorship model that worked so well un REagan and the two Bushes is no longer a viable model.

  9. David Hearne says

    Andrew

    I disagree. The differences between the parties serve us well as brakes on power.

    Do you know that Boehner is probably the reason you aren’t currently paying double for gasoline and other energy? That bill that the Democrats tried to shove through was loaded with CRAP, left wing crap. “Cap and trade” is nothing more than a tax on energy and he and his crew went through that bill and found all the garbage hidden in it, and the READ IT VERBATIM before the House. Simply reading it outloud to the House was enough to kill it.

    There is plenty wrong with the GOP, but you are kidding yourself if you think an unchecked Democratic Congress would be terrific.

  10. David Hearne says

    Andrew

    I disagree. The differences between the parties serve us well as brakes on power.

    Do you know that Boehner is probably the reason you aren’t currently paying double for gasoline and other energy? That bill that the Democrats tried to shove through was loaded with CRAP, left wing crap. “Cap and trade” is nothing more than a tax on energy and he and his crew went through that bill and found all the garbage hidden in it, and the READ IT VERBATIM before the House. Simply reading it outloud to the House was enough to kill it.

    There is plenty wrong with the GOP, but you are kidding yourself if you think an unchecked Democratic Congress would be terrific.

  11. David Hearne says

    Andrew

    I disagree. The differences between the parties serve us well as brakes on power.

    Do you know that Boehner is probably the reason you aren’t currently paying double for gasoline and other energy? That bill that the Democrats tried to shove through was loaded with CRAP, left wing crap. “Cap and trade” is nothing more than a tax on energy and he and his crew went through that bill and found all the garbage hidden in it, and the READ IT VERBATIM before the House. Simply reading it outloud to the House was enough to kill it.

    There is plenty wrong with the GOP, but you are kidding yourself if you think an unchecked Democratic Congress would be terrific.

  12. David Hearne says

    Andrew

    I disagree. The differences between the parties serve us well as brakes on power.

    Do you know that Boehner is probably the reason you aren’t currently paying double for gasoline and other energy? That bill that the Democrats tried to shove through was loaded with CRAP, left wing crap. “Cap and trade” is nothing more than a tax on energy and he and his crew went through that bill and found all the garbage hidden in it, and the READ IT VERBATIM before the House. Simply reading it outloud to the House was enough to kill it.

    There is plenty wrong with the GOP, but you are kidding yourself if you think an unchecked Democratic Congress would be terrific.

  13. Eric says

    I’ve been a software engineer for thirty years and know lots of people in the industry. There’s a lot more stopping them from voting Republican than “social causes”.

  14. JJ says

    Poor Bobby Ruffini. He doesn’t realize that Republicans can no more function without a top dog than a zebra can change its stripes. The common thread that runs through Republicans is that they don’t have a good grasp of how to weigh facts and draw reasoned conclusions. They have an alternate thought process, which you might call Follow the Leader. When they need to make a decision, when they need to know what to believe, they don’t let evidence and logic be their guide. Rather, they look to the people they respect and to those who are respected in turn–What do those who are respected do? What do they believe?–and they adopt the most respected belief they can find in this web of trust. This naturally leads to a pyramid, with friends and family at the bottom, and the Karl Roves and Rush Limbaughs and Paul Ryans at the top. Republicans can never ever escape this, because the way their brains are geared demands that they elevate people to positions of authority.

  15. ian says

    “It was that centralized organizing structure and the ideological factioning is allowed that led so many socialist governments and movements straight into history’s dust bin”.

    He’s confusing socialism with totalitarianism. Totalitarians like the GOP are opposed to freedom, even though they may claim otherwise. That is being outlined here. Socialists can also be totalitarians, but Canada, all of Scandinavia, Great Britain and more are Socialist, or incorporate many socialist ideas and are thriving democracies.

  16. andrew says

    @David Hearne: I don’t want to destroy/end the Republican Party, just weaken it so that it acts as the Loyal Opposition rather than as a totally obstructionist party.

  17. Gene Touchet says

    All they have to do is check the Texas Republican Platform and see the part which says Rs don’t want their children to have exposure to creative thinking. That’ll lure them in!

  18. Nat says

    “information should be free, do your own thing and leave me alone, that sort of mind-set.”

    The Republicans do little to promote those values. Their only major planks of limited government consist of reducing social spending and taxes. Major defence spending and a free reign by social conservatives over culture do not promote the libertarian ideal.

    Individualism is a noble thing, and has far more persuasive moral force than collectivism. But Republicans merely trade in another form of statism.

  19. Nat says

    “information should be free, do your own thing and leave me alone, that sort of mind-set.”

    The Republicans do little to promote those values. Their only major planks of limited government consist of reducing social spending and taxes. Major defence spending and a free reign by social conservatives over culture do not promote the libertarian ideal.

    Individualism is a noble thing, and has far more persuasive moral force than collectivism. But Republicans merely trade in another form of statism.

  20. Nat says

    “information should be free, do your own thing and leave me alone, that sort of mind-set.”

    The Republicans do little to promote those values. Their only major planks of limited government consist of reducing social spending and taxes. Major defence spending and a free reign by social conservatives over culture do not promote the libertarian ideal.

    Individualism is a noble thing, and has far more persuasive moral force than collectivism. But Republicans merely trade in another form of statism.

  21. NY2.0 says

    Technology is about science, and science is about critical thinking and using experimentation to prove a theory as fact. Technology and science is about logic and rationalization. All these are like kryptonite to the GOP and its base which strictly adhere to tradition and dogma.

    I seriously doubt “social” issues is the only reason techies stay away from the GOP.

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