Big Tech Quandry
Big Tech: A conservative investor’s dilemma
Big Tech’s recent strong stock performance and large size creates a conundrum for politically-conservative investors who want to align their core beliefs with their investments. Many conservative investors begrudgingly own these left-leaning companies due to not wanting to sacrifice performance.
The reference to Big Tech companies includes the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple, due to their recent collective efforts to censor free speech in America. Strictly speaking, they are all not tech companies, but in the eyes of the public, they are part of the Big Tech monopoly.
Big Tech has censored conservatives on multiple platforms in recent years. Parler, a thriving social media alternative to Twitter, was deplatformed by Amazon Web Services, Apple and Google for allegedly inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol. Facebook, not to be outdone by its Big Tech allies, banned a Virginia Second Amendment advocacy group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, from their platform without much explanation. Twitter famously banned President Donald Trump from its platform, after suspending his account indefinitely. The Silicon Valley-based corporation said that their “close review” of the president’s account led to the permanent ban because of the “risk of further incitement of violence.” Twitter never commented about why it never banned the accounts of dictatorial regimes, such as Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, China’s Xi Jinping, or Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Is now the time to boycott ownership of Big Tech?
The First Amendment, which protects our freedom of speech and religion, is the bedrock issue that strongly unites all conservatives. These Big Tech companies are actively undermining our freedom of speech and are emboldened by the recently elected Democratic majorities. It is not only the liberal media, liberal CEOs, and campaign contributions that we have grown weary of, but Big Tech companies now have the power to suppress conservative voices, destroy companies, and deny conservatives access to the technological infrastructure that they monopolize. This includes access to e-commerce, cloud technology, credit card processing payments, and more. Big Tech has clearly demonstrated an unabashed and unrestrained willingness to use their power to economically influence those they disagree with. If these companies continue to run roughshod over the conservative beliefs of their shareholders, the silent majority will become the silenced majority in short order.
Results from a recent Gallup poll conducted earlier this year show positive views of Big Tech have fallen 12 percent since late 2019, and the majority of poll respondents want more government regulation of technology companies. Given the customer centric business models and rapid growth necessary to justify recent valuations, how can this level of dissatisfaction not affect the bottom line? Big Tech executives fail to realize that the implementation of liberal-leaning policies may result in lost revenue, a growing opportunity for potential new competitors, and vulnerability to government anti-trust actions.
Certainly, the general market environment should be considered and there are warning signs that Big Tech’s run cannot last forever
If you have been begrudgingly or unknowingly holding onto Big Tech stocks, this confluence of recent events highlights the need for a shift towards greater conservative advocacy. It starts with principle-focused investment and holding Big Tech and left-wing “woke” corporations accountable to their shareholders.
Now is the time for conservatives to take action and hold Big Tech and left-wing corporations accountable and reject “woke capitalism.”
Donald Irvine is the Director of Political Research at Ridgeline Research, the investment adviser to the American Conservative Values ETF (ACVF) and a Member and former Treasurer of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.