Comparing Donald Trump to Hitler, plus more tech vs. Trump

A couple of tech figures are joining the chorus of voices speaking out against Donald Trump, with one of them comparing the presumed GOP presidential nominee to Hitler.

Trump’s relationship with the tech industry is again in the spotlight as one of the world’s most famous and valuable companies declined to support the GOP convention — and its CEO, Tim Cook, was reported to be planning a fundraiser for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, a critic/reluctant supporter of the presumed GOP presidential nominee.

Sam Altman, president of startup incubator Y Combinator, likened Trump to Adolf Hitler in a blog post Monday, citing the candidate’s propensity for inciting “hatred of outsiders.”

To anyone familiar with the history of Germany in the 1930s, it’s chilling to watch Trump in action.  Though I know intellectually it’s easy in hard economic times to rile people up with a hatred of outsiders, it’s still surprising to watch this happen right in front of us.

Altman said he agreed with some of the things Trump has identified as problems, such as the economy not growing quickly enough and too much political correctness. “But Trump is wrong about the more important part: how to fix these problems. Many of his proposals, such as they are, are so wrong they’re difficult to even respond to,” Altman wrote.

A new Moody’s analysis released Monday said Trump’s economic proposals would drive the country into a recession.

Altman also explained why he felt it was important to speak out:

I take some risk by writing this (even though I’ve supported some Republicans in the past), and I’ll feel bad if I end up hurting Y Combinator by doing so.  I understand why other people in the technology industry aren’t saying much.  In an ordinary election it’s reasonable for people in the business world to remain publicly neutral.  But this is not an ordinary election.

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, on Monday reportedly referred to Trump as being “on the wrong side of history.”

As we’ve reported on SiliconBeat, other tech industry executives who have criticized Trump directly or indirectly include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The disdain has been mutual. Trump and his campaign have slammed Zuckerberg about immigration; accused Bezos of avoiding taxes, among other things; and vowed to “get Apple to build their damn computers in this country.”

Two prominent Silicon Valley figures have had their names associated with Trump, however: Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, will be serving as a California delegate for Trump. And Intel CEO Brian Krzanich earlier this month canceled a planned fundraiser for Trump, saying later that he would not be endorsing any presidential candidates.


Photo: Donald Trump. (AP/Seth Wenig)


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  • RegularGuy55

    I’m invoking Godwin’s Law here. The debate is over.

  • Able Reason

    Laughable. Hillary has more in common with fascist dictators. Is she still under FBI investigation?

  • How did Mussolini define fascism? “Corporatism”. The rule of corporations. Where CEOs like Michael Eisner and the new tech CEOs earn $350 million per year while average wages go down and down, and Federal employees get salary and pensions that average Americans can’t get. Cokie Roberts called it “friendly fascism” here 20 years ago. It’s much worse now. Under Hitler the non-Jewish Germans did great until the war started. It wasn’t fascism that killed Germany, and not even their treatment of Jews. It was the war that killed Germany, and the death camps set up after the war began pushed things along quicker. So how do we compare? We have the Eternal War on Terror now, and I don’t know in this nuclear age if we can even have a greater war. If Trump is elected, what could he do that Hitler did? It’s unlikely he could start WW3, and if he did we’d all be gone shortly after anyway. So if we do survive, then Trump would not have started WW3. But would he do to Muslims or some other group what Hitler did to the Jews? That seems unlikely. So what’s the worry?

  • Dave

    Silicon Valley execs have just gone nutts. To even compare Mr. Trump to Adolf Hitler is perverted to say the least. My personal opinion is that execs like Zuckerberg surround themselves with the comfort of private security guards while the hypocrites cry for gun control without offering any technology to help prevent the slaughter of innocence. Silicon Valley execs hold double standards by doing business with countries that severely punish people of the LGBTQ community, oppress women, and abuse the disabled, yet Silicon Valley execs like Tim Cook cry for them in the US and totally disregard human rights on a global scale where they happily do business. Anything for a buck, hey Zuckerberg and Cook?

    • I’ve never read a better summation.

  • Lafayette Escadrill

    altman, stick to what you know best. this ain’t one of them