UPDATE: “It’s Official: Google Is a Democratic Party Front | Power Line All of the speakers express grief over Donald Trump’s election. All of the speakers assume that every Google employee is a Democrat and is stunned and horrified that Hillary Clinton–the worst and most corrupt presidential candidate in modern history–lost. There is much discussion about what Google can do to reverse the benighted world-wide tide exemplified by Brexit and Trump’s election. The insane doctrine of “white privilege” rears its head.
“You really have to see it to believe it. Having suffered through the hour-long cri de cœur–OK, to be fair, there is a huge element of schadenfreude, too, and you will relish much of it–you probably will have several reactions: 1) These people may have certain valuable technical skills, but they aren’t very bright and are unusually lacking in self-awareness. 2) It is remarkable that they can achieve such an extraordinary monoculture in an organization with thousands of employees. It must require vigorous enforcement of right-think. 3) It is easy to see how these uniformly left-wing robots/people seamlessly transitioned into Resisting the duly elected Trump administration.”
A video recorded by Google shortly after the 2016 presidential election reveals an atmosphere of panic and dismay amongst the tech giant’s leadership, coupled with a determination to thwart both the Trump agenda and the broader populist movement emerging around the globe.
“These individuals, who preside over a company with unrivaled influence over the flow of information, can be seen disparaging the motivations of Trump voters and plotting ways to use their vast resources to thwart the Trump agenda.
“Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.”
Key moments from the video can be found at the following timestamps:
(00:00:00 – 00:01:12) Google co-founder Sergey Brin states that the weekly meeting is “probably not the most joyous we’ve had” and that “most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad.”
(00:00:24) Brin contrasts the disappointment of Trump’s election with his excitement at the legalization of cannabis in California, triggering laughs and applause from the audience of Google employees.
(00:01:12) Returning to seriousness, Brin says he is “deeply offen[ded]” by the election of Trump, and that the election “conflicts with many of [Google’s] values.”
(00:09:10) Trying to explain the motivations of Trump supporters, Senior VP for Global Affairs, Kent Walker concludes: “fear, not just in the United States, but around the world is fueling concerns, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”
(00:09:35) Walker goes on to describe the Trump phenomenon as a sign of “tribalism that’s self-destructive [in] the long-term.”
(00:09:55) Striking an optimistic tone, Walker assures Google employees that despite the election, “history is on our side” and that the “moral arc of history bends towards progress.”
(00:10:45) Walker approvingly quotes former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s comparison between “the world of the wall” with its “isolation and defensiveness” and the “world of the square, the piazza, the marketplace, where people come together into a community and enrich each other’s lives.”
(00:13:10) CFO Ruth Porat appears to break down in tears when discussing the election result.
(00:15:20) Porat promises that Google will “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.”
(00:16:50) Stating “we all need a hug,” she then instructs the audience of Google employees to hug the person closest to them.
(00:20:24) Eileen Noughton, VP of People Operations, promises that Google’s policy team in DC is “all over” the immigration issue and that the company will “keep a close watch on it.”
(00:21:26) Noughton jokes about Google employees asking, ‘Can I move to Canada?’ after the election. She goes on to seriously discuss the options available to Google employees who wish to leave the country.
(00:23:12) Noughton does acknowledge “diversity of opinion and political persuasion” and notes that she has heard from conservative Google employees who say they “haven’t felt entirely comfortable revealing who [they] are.” and urged “tolerance.” (Several months later, the company would fire James Damore allegedly for disagreeing with progressive narratives.)
(00:27:00) Responding to a question about “filter bubbles,” Sundar Pichai promises to work towards “correcting” Google’s role in them
(00:27:30) Sergey Brin praises an audience member’s suggestion of increasing matched Google employee donations to progressive groups.
(00:34:40) Brin compares Trump voters to “extremists,” arguing for a correlation between the economic background of Trump supporters and the kinds of voters who back extremist movements. Brin says that “voting is not a rational act” and that not all of Trump’s support can be attributed to “income disparity.” He suggests that Trump voters might have been motivated by boredom rather than legitimate concerns.
(00:49:10) An employee asks if Google is willing to “invest in grassroots, hyper-local efforts to bring tools and services and understanding of Google products and knowledge” so that people can “make informed decisions that are best for themselves.” Pichai’s response: Google will ensure its “educational products” reach “segments of the population [they] are not [currently] fully reaching.”
(00:54:33) An employee asks what Google is going to do about “misinformation” and “fake news” shared by “low-information voters.” Pichai responds by stating that “investments in machine learning and AI” are a “big opportunity” to fix the problem.
(00:56:12) Responding to an audience member, Walker says Google must ensure the rise of populism doesn’t turn into “a world war or something catastrophic … and instead is a blip, a hiccup.”
(00:58:22) Brin compares Trump voters to supporters of fascism and communism, linking the former movement to “boredom,” which Brin previously linked to Trump voters. “It sort of sneaks up sometimes, really bad things” says Brin.
(01:01:15) A Google employee states: “speaking to white men, there’s an opportunity for you right now to understand your privilege” and urges employees to “go through the bias-busting training, read about privilege, read about the real history of oppression in our country.” He urges employees to “discuss the issues you are passionate about during Thanksgiving dinner and don’t back down and laugh it off when you hear the voice of oppression speak through metaphors.” Every executive on stage – the CEO, CFO, two VPs and the two Co-founders – applaud the employee.
(01:01:57) An audience member asks if the executives see “anything positive from this election result.” The audience of Google employees, and the executives on stage, burst into laughter. “Boy, that’s a really tough one right now” says Brin.