CEOs at the American Technology Council summit this week at the White House displayed a level of maturity and leadership that is absent with Democrats and the left-wing media.
While many of the CEOs supported Hillary Clinton and aggressively oppose President Trump’s policies, they put aside their political ideology to seek ways to use their expertise to benefit the U.S. (and perhaps their investors).
The 18 CEOs and three university presidents were invited to the White House to explore ways technology can improve the federal government’s lagging operations. Unlike Democrats and the left-wing media that are intent on destroying Trump, the tech CEOs exhibited business-savvy pragmatism to make the most of their White House access.
The business leaders did what mature adults do — they met and talked despite divergent political views and likely personal animosity. Even though they have deep philosophical differences with Trump on numerous issues, they made progress on the issue of modernizing government technology while also freely expressing their political concerns.
Attending the technology summit was undoubtedly not easy for the major tech titans that reside in a progressive bubble. Most live and work in deep-blue states and cities surrounded by progressive Democrat employees, friends, and families.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last year and he strongly opposes Trump on immigration and environmental policies.
Following the 2016 presidential election, questioned by Apple employees about his decision to meet with Trump last December, Cook defended the meeting, saying, “Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be.”
To date, Cook’s effort to influence Trump on political matters have not been successful. Cook lobbied Trump to stay in the Paris climate accord, and criticized Trump after the president decided to have the U.S. leave the agreement. Under Cook’s direction, Apple joined with almost 100 other companies in filing an amicus brief to oppose an executive order on immigration by Trump.
Despite being a high-profile critic of the administration, the president invited Cook and Cook participated in the American Technology Council meeting. Cook made the most of his access and pushed his idea to make computer coding a school requirement. Among other issues, he also expressed his views on the important role immigration plays in the U.S. economy, as well as the need for improvements in veterans’ health care.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty also attended, despite Trump’s unpopularity with some of the company’s workforce.
During an interview on CNBC’s “Mad Money" with host Jim Cramer, Rometty said the summit was an opportunity to advance an issue she is personally passionate about — technology skill training for the future.
Following Trump’s presidential victory, IBM employees criticized Rometty and her open letter to the then president-elect, as many felt it was a tacit endorsement of Trump and that she offered the backing of IBM’s global workforce in support of his agenda.
One employee quit over Rometty’s outreach effort, and others signed a petition that included five demands (including Trump-related demands). Rometty cast aside the internal pressure and negative press and carried on to advance her fiduciary responsibility to shareholders.
In today’s politically correct world, the easy thing for Cook and Rometty would be to use their personal feelings to protest Trump and not participate in business summits. Such a decision would make them heroes in Progressiville.
Indeed, that’s the approach Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger took with Trump. Musk followed through on his threat to leave White House business advisory councils over the Paris agreement. Iger also bolted from a business council group over Trump’s climate change decision.
Again: Protesting Trump is easy for business leaders that live and work in a progressive bubble. But taking your ball and walking away is not what real leaders do. Resisting Trump is the major focus for Democrats, and they refuse to work with the president on important policy issues, including health care and tax reform.
The left-wing media are also working hard to undermine Trump where their political agenda supersedes the truth. Democrats and the left-wing media should take note from the actions of the 18 tech CEOs at the White House this week.