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硅谷的“觉醒”:现在他们开始介入政治了

更新时间:2016-10-19 10:46:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Specter of Trump Loosens Tongues, if Not Purse Strings, in Silicon Valley
硅谷的“觉醒”:现在他们开始介入政治了

PALO ALTO, Calif. — After years of scorning the political process, Silicon Valley has leapt into the fray. The prospect of a President Donald J. Trump is pushing the tech community to move beyond its traditional role as donors and to embrace a new existence as agitators and activists.

加州帕洛阿尔托——在对政治方法嗤之以鼻多年之后,硅谷跳入了这类纷争。唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)成为美国总统的可能性,促使科技界超越作为捐赠者的传统角色,开始扮演鼓动者和活动人士的新身份。

A distinguished venture capital firm emblazoned on its corporate home page an earthy anti-Trump epithet. One prominent tech chieftain says the consequences of Mr. Trump’s election would “range between disastrous and terrible.” Another compares him to a dictator. And nearly 150 tech leaders signed an open letter decrying Mr. Trump and his campaign of “anger” and “bigotry.”

一家知名风险投资公司在其网站主页上醒目地展示了一条粗俗的反特朗普口号。一位有名的科技界大佬表示,特朗普当选总统将带来“从灾难到恐怖”的各种后果。另一位则把他比作独裁者。有近150名科技界领袖签署了一份公开信,谴责特朗普及其竞选活动充满“愤怒”与“偏执”情绪。

Not quite all the action is anti-Trump. Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal and Palantir who was the first outside investor in Facebook, spoke at the Republican convention in July. The New York Times reported on Saturday that Mr. Thiel is giving $1.25 million to support Mr. Trump’s candidacy even as other supporters flee. (He also recently gave $1 million to a “super PAC” that supports Senator Rob Portman, the Republican freshman running for re-election in Ohio.)

并非所有的行动都是反对特朗普的。今年7月,Paypal和Palantir两家公司的创始人之一、同时也是Facebook首位外部投资者的彼得·蒂尔(Peter Thiel),在共和党全国大会上做了发言。《纽约时报》上周六曾报道,蒂尔要拿出125万美元资金支持特朗普的竞选,尽管其他支持者正在撤离。(最近,他还给一家“超级政治行动委员会”[super PAC]提供了100万美元资金,该委员会支持共和党新人罗布·波特曼[Rob Portman]参议员在俄亥俄州竞选连任。)

Getting involved in politics used to be seen as clashing with Silicon Valley’s value system: You transform the world by making problems obsolete, not solving them through Washington. Nor did entrepreneurs want to alienate whatever segment of customers did not agree with them politically.

在过去,介入政治被认为与硅谷的价值观冲突:你通过让问题不再是问题来改变世界,而不是通过华盛顿解决它们。企业家也不希望疏远在政治上与他们观念相左的那部分消费者。

Such reticence is no longer in style here.

这类含蓄如今不流行了。

“We’re a bunch of nerds not used to having a lot of limelight,” said Dave McClure, an investor who runs a tech incubator called 500 Startups. “But to quote Spider-Man, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’”

“我们是一群书呆子,不习惯受到太多关注,”投资人戴夫·麦克卢尔(Dave McClure)说。他管理着一家名为“创业500”(500 Startups)的科技孵化器。“但是拿蜘蛛侠的话来说,‘能力越大,责任越大’。”

Mr. McClure grew worried after the Republican and Democratic conventions as Mr. Trump began to catch up to Hillary Clinton in the polls. He wanted Silicon Valley to do more, and so late last month he announced Nerdz4Hillary, an informal fund-raising effort.

在共和党与民主党全国大会召开之后,特朗普开始在民意调查中赶上希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton),麦克卢尔因此越来越担忧。他希望硅谷能做得更多,所以上月末他公布了非正式的资金募集项目Nerdz4Hillary。

An initial group of donors pledged $50,000; the goal was to ask the “nerdz” for small donations to match that sum. They have not come through yet. “We’re kind of optimistic we’ll get the other $50,000 in a few weeks,” Mr. McClure said.

最早的一批捐赠者承诺提供5万美元;其目标是向“书呆子们”募集小额捐赠,以期达到同样的数额。他们目前还没有实现这个目标。“我们比较乐观,预计再过几周就能筹到另一个5万美元,”麦克卢尔说。

That relatively slow pace reflects Silicon Valley’s shifting position: Even as it becomes increasingly free with its opinions, it has been less free with its checkbook. The most recent data, from late August, shows Mrs. Clinton taking in $7.7 million from the tech community, according to Crowdpac, a start-up that tracks donations. By that point in 2012, Crowdpac says, President Obama had raised $21 million from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

这种相对有些慢的步伐反映出硅谷立场的转变:尽管在硅谷表达观念上变得日益自由,但动用支票本还没那么方便。追踪捐赠信息的创业公司Crowdpac来自8月末的最新数据显示,克林顿在科技界募集了770万美元的资金。而据该公司统计,2012年至这个时间点时,奥巴马已经从企业家和风险投资家那里募集了2100万美元。

Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of the business networking site LinkedIn, offers a snapshot of Silicon Valley’s evolving approach to politics.

商业社交网站LinkedIn联合创始人雷德·霍夫曼、亿万富翁(Reid Hoffman)的举动显示了硅谷在对待政治的策略上的演进。

Mr. Hoffman was a top Obama donor, giving $1 million to the Priorities USA political action committee, something several of his peers did as well. Last month, Mr. Hoffman garnered worldwide publicity for saying he would donate up to $5 million to veterans’ groups if Mr. Trump released his taxes, a remote possibility that never came to pass. He has castigated Mr. Trump in interviews, saying he was speaking for those who were afraid.

霍夫曼是奥巴马最大的资助者之一,曾向“优先美国”(Priorities USA)政治行动委员会捐赠100万美元资金,他身边的人也做了同样的捐赠。上个月,霍夫曼表示,如果特朗普公布自己的纳税情况——可能性极小,迄今未实现——他将捐赠高达500万美元的资金给退伍老兵组织,此举引发了全世界的关注。他还曾在接受采访时严厉指责特朗普,称他是在为那些恐惧的人说话。

Mr. Hoffman’s outright donations, however, have been smaller this election cycle. In May, he gave $400,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund. Asked if there was more recent giving that had not shown up in federal election records, Mr. Hoffman cryptically responded in an email, “Looking at some PACs, etc.” He declined several opportunities to elaborate.

不过,霍夫曼的直接捐赠在这个选举周期一直比较少。今年5月,他给希拉里胜利基金会(Hillary Victory Fund)捐了40万美元。在被问到最近是否有更多的捐赠没有被联邦选举委员会记录时,霍夫曼在一封邮件中措辞隐晦地回应道,“正在看一些PAC之类的。”他多次拒绝就此做出详细说明。

Even as Priorities USA has raised $133 million this election cycle, far exceeding its total in 2012, its tech contributions have dwindled. The only familiar tech name this time around is John Doerr of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who gave $500,000.

尽管“优先美国”在这个竞选周期内募集了1.33亿美元,远远超过2012年的总额,但它获得来自科技界的资金有所减少。这次大选的捐赠者中,唯一熟悉的科技界名字是风险投资公司凯鹏华盈(Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)的约翰·多尔(John Doerr),他捐赠了50万美元。

The AOL co-founder Steve Case said his September endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, via an op-ed in The Washington Post, was the first time he ever publicly declared for a candidate. “I always focused on policy and avoided politics,” he said. “But if Trump were elected president, I would be disappointed in myself for not acting.”

今年9月,美国在线(AOL)联合创始人史蒂夫·凯斯(Steve Case)通过发表于《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)的一篇专栏文章,宣布了他对克林顿的支持。他说这是他第一次公开宣布对一位候选人表示支持。“我一直关注政策,而避免介入政治,”他说。“但如果特朗普当选总统,我将会为自己当初没有采取行动而感到失望。”

He was less certain about donating money to Mrs. Clinton, saying it was “probable” but “not certain.”

对于捐钱给克林顿,他相对没那么确定,只表示“有可能”,但“并不确定”。

Mason Harrison, Crowdpac’s head of communications, explained the gap. “Donors give to support candidates they love, not to defeat candidates they fear,” he said.

Crowdpac公关总监梅森·哈里森(Mason Harrison)解释了这种落差。“捐赠人捐钱是为支持自己喜欢的候选人,而不是为了打败令他们感到担忧的候选人,”他说。

A few billionaires are taking the opposite approach, acting instead of talking. Dustin Moskovitz, a founder of Facebook, said he was giving $20 million to various Democratic election efforts — the first time he and his wife, Cari Tuna, have endorsed a candidate. He declined to be interviewed.

也有几位亿万富翁采取了相反的策略,用行动说话,而不发声。Facebook联合创始人达斯廷·莫斯科维茨(Dustin Moskovitz)表示,他在给民主党的各种竞选活动捐赠2000万美元,这是他和妻子卡里·图纳(Cari Tuna)首次给一位候选人背书。他拒绝了时报的采访请求。

Part of the problem for Mrs. Clinton is that, however preferable she may be to Mr. Trump in the tech community, she pales in comparison to President Obama. After some initial misgivings, Silicon Valley found its champion in him. There has been a revolving door between tech and the Obama administration, just as previous Democratic administrations had a revolving door with Wall Street. In June, President Obama seemed to suggest that he might become a venture capitalist after his term ends.

克林顿的问题部分在于,不管她在科技界看来比特朗普有多么可取,都无法与奥巴马总统相比。在打消最初的一些疑虑之后,硅谷当时将赌注压在了奥巴马身上。在科技界和奥巴马政府之间,存在一道旋转门,就像之前的民主党政府与华尔街之间一样。去年6月,奥巴马总统似乎暗示,在总统任期结束之后,他可能会选择做一名风险投资人。

Mrs. Clinton is not as enthusiastic toward Silicon Valley and its disruptive ways. In a speech in the summer of 2015, she noted that start-ups in the “on-demand or so-called gig economy” — Uber, Airbnb and their ilk — were “unleashing innovation” but also “raising hard questions about workplace protection and what a good job will look like in the future.”

克林顿对硅谷及其颠覆性的方式没有那么大的热情。她曾在2015年夏季的一次演讲中指出,“按需型经济,或说零工经济”中的创业公司”——优步和Airbnb之类——既是“释放创新”,同时也在“工作场所安全保障和未来什么样的工作是好工作”方面,“带来一些难题”。

The Clinton campaign declined to comment. The Trump campaign did not respond to a query.

克林顿竞选团队拒绝置评。特朗普竞选团队也没有对询问做出回应。

But perhaps being vocal is a temporary condition after all. The venture firm CRV was in the spotlight at the end of August with its blunt anti-Trump message, which included the earthy epithet. A few weeks later, it cleaned up its website. The partners went from employing a publicist to seek out attention to declining interviews.

不过,或许这种发声最终只是一时的现象。8月底的时候,风险投资公司CRV曾因直率地传达反对特朗普的信息而备受关注,其中包括上文提到的那条粗俗的口号。几周后,该公司从网站上删除了这条信息。几名合伙人从之前的雇佣公关人员以争取获得关注,转向拒绝接受采访。

“We reached everyone we wanted to reach, and hopefully influenced opinions,” said Saar Gur, a CRV venture capitalist. “Then the buzz died down and we went back to our day jobs, which are super busy.”

“我们已经触及到我们希望触及的人群,但愿影响了他们的观点,”CRV风险投资人萨尔·古尔(Saar Gur)说。“然后喧嚣退去,我们回归自己极为忙碌的日常工作中。”

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