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Apple shareholders decisively reject 'ideology' disclosure proposal

By Bubbajim · 13 replies
Mar 3, 2019
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  1. On Friday Apple held their annual shareholders meeting at the Cupertino headquarters. As has been customary in recent times, diversity was a subject that came up for discussion, but instead of the usual focus on gender or ethnicity it was diversity of opinion that was under scrutiny.

    Among the proposals voted on by shareholders was a motion by Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research – a conservative think tank – that would have required all nominees for Directorial positions to disclose their ‘ideology’.

    Advocating for the proposal, Danhof said “when the company takes overtly political, legal and policy positions, it would benefit to have voices from both sides of the aisle.” He added, “at this company, the consideration of conservative viewpoints appears to be discouraged if not altogether forbidden.”

    But according to Business Insider, Apple’s shareholders decisively rejected the motion, as it secured just 1.7% of shareholder votes.

    Regardless of the benefits that diversity of opinion can bring, the requirement to disclose ‘ideology’ does feel somewhat McCarthyite. Commenting on the motion following the vote, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “I don’t check people at the door as to who they are and what they believe. I care about skills and capabilities and contributions.”

    This is not the first time that accusations of an anti-conservative bias have been put to a major tech company. Facebook and Google have had many such accusations. Google in particular had months of bad PR following the infamous ‘diversity memo’ written in 2017.

    But it’s a problem that Cook appears to be aware of. Responding to a question from an audience member who said their friend, an Apple employee, was hated because of her conservative views, Cook said, “I would encourage [her] to come talk to me.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. XtremeHammond

    XtremeHammond TS Booster Posts: 90   +61

    Despite the current Apple paradigm, I admire Cook's words on skills, capabilities and contributions. Even if they are just words, it's a good example for others approach to judgement.
    ypsylon and Mc128k like this.
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,569   +1,548

    While political “left” vs “right” makes people think that ideology is black and white, REAL people are seldom so simply categorized. You can be a conservative economistic thinker while still believing in abortion and gay rights for instance....

    The complications in having people list their ideologies would be complex and almost certainly invasive and ultimately useless.
    Danny101, Mc128k, Cubi Dorf and 4 others like this.
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 524   +353

    Anti-conservative bias in a large modern-day tech company?

    Say it ain't so. In other news, water is also wet and fire is hot.
    Morris Minor and Cubi Dorf like this.
  5. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    Banks and industrial companies lean right and newer tech companies lean left. Will surprises never cease?
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,619   +598

    How about they just make products? And try to not use sweat shops.
    Morris Minor, Danny101 and Dimitrios like this.
  7. Tantor

    Tantor TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +59

    Ideological affiliation is easy to determine. You just ask people which party they belong to. Or who they voted for.

    Unfortunately, the conservatives DO have a legitimate concern. A recent study of the political affiliation of professors at the top US liberal arts colleges found that 80% of them had essentially ZERO Republican professors.

    "The political registration of full-time, Ph.D.-holding professors in top-tier liberal arts colleges is overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, faculty political affiliations at 39 percent of the colleges in my sample are Republican free—having zero Republicans. The political registration in most of the remaining 61 percent, with a few important exceptions, is slightly more than zero percent but nevertheless absurdly skewed against Republican affiliation and in favor of Democratic affiliation. Thus, 78.2 percent of the academic departments in my sample have either zero Republicans, or so few as to make no difference."

    On the other hand, the majority of Americans are conservative.

    The failure to understand this simple fact explains the shock waves that rippled through the liberal community when Trump was elected. Liberals have long claimed that they represent the common man, those who are downtrodden by the big corporate elites. The widespread support for Trump in the traditional blue collar American community felt like a stab in the back to American Liberals. However, the liberal community has always been predominantly elitist and their leadership has primarily come from academia. That's why you hear claims that Trump supporters are stupid and uneducated.

    It's important to note that this happened before in 1930's Germany. The German working class overwhelmingly supported Hitler against the far more liberal Social Democrats. The National Socialists were ultra conservative, strongly Christian, homophobic, anti-abortion, xenophobic, and patriarchal. They supported gun rights, nationalism and a strong military. They put traditional nuclear families at the center of their society. Their anti-Leftist rhetoric sounded almost exactly like modern accusations made by Trump supporters against Liberals. In short, they were everything that modern liberals fear. That's why Trump has been compared to Hitler. And liberals are right, his values pose a threat to their values.

    These struggles are actually very old and perfectly natural. Urban life and academia naturally produce liberal values. Country life and manual work naturally produce conservative values. But the historical balance is changing. In past times when 90% of people worked on farms or in small factories, liberals were a distinct minority in the general population but a large part of the academic and elite community. Modern technological advances have reduced the farm population to under 5% and eliminated huge numbers of manual jobs. This creates an enormous disaffected class who will naturally gravitate to liberal values. This may or may not be good, we're in uncharted waters.

    My concern is the relentless modern leftist attack on freedom of speech. George Orwell famously said that freedom is the ability to say that which others do not want to hear. His books 1984 and Animal Farm came out of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War of 1936. That war can be regarded as a classic example of the Liberal/Conservative, or Fascist/Communist struggle. Orwell obviously modeled 1984 and Animal Farm on Communist dominated Soviet Union, an ultra leftist society where even the slightest anti-government comment or 'denialist' statement could get you sent to the Gulags. Make no mistake, Leftist values come right out of the Communist Manifesto. Abolition of religion, free abortions, easy sex, women's rights, free education and medical care, abolition of racism, nationalism, ethnic solidarity, abolition of corporations, state ownership of everything. Key is the absolute intolerance for freedom of speech.

    Leftism has not always been against freedom of speech. But when it has, watch out! Freedom of speech is like the canary in the coal mine. When it dies, death looms over everyone else.

    We're in uncharted territory. It will be interesting to see what happens.
  8. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 246   +219

    Times are definitely scary and its only getting worse. I'm Polish living in Scotland since 2006 and honestly the stuff that the British government comes up with its so anti populist is scary. There was a time I wanted British pasport but I will just keep my Polish one because one day when my son is an adult I might just go back to Poland but thats another 13 years away......
  9. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    Conservatives are not the majority in the US (see your data) and in fact in the most recent presidential election the non-conservative candidate received the most votes. The US system disconnects the majority vote from the actual election process which is why that candidate did not win the most recent presidential election.

    The rest of your points are opinions which is great for you and then you go on to attack a straw man of your own imagination (OK, one shared by other people too). Not terribly convincing.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    mbrowne5061, Evernessince and pit1209 like this.
  10. pit1209

    pit1209 TS Booster Posts: 58   +70

    I think you didn't understand what happened in the 2016 elections when you think that the majority voted for the Republican candidate at the time.

    It is not a surprise that the majority of professors are not Republicans when the vast majority of college educated people tend to be more to the left or consider themselves Democrats (wonder why). It is not a claim but a fact that the great majority of Republicans and specially Trump supporters are from an specific group of people that doesn't have a college degree and/or live in rural areas. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/education-not-income-predicted-who-would-vote-for-trump/

    Everything else... well, let's see what happens.
    mbrowne5061 and Evernessince like this.
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,619   +598

    Repubs have only won the popular vote once in the last 30 years. Here is what the site actually says btw 40% dem, 20% repub, 40% no party (me).

    "Of 8,688 tenure track, Ph.D.–holding professors from fifty-one of the sixty-six top ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News 2017 report consists of 5,197, or 59.8 percent, who are registered either Republican or Democrat"

    "The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio (D:R) across the sample is 10.4:1"

    btw this is a funny FAQ from that NAS site lol

    Is there any risk in joining NAS?
    For some people at some institutions, perhaps. We recognize that graduate students and untenured faculty members run a risk if they join an organization that is famous for challenging campus orthodoxies. To protect our members’ privacy NAS does not disclose members’ names without their permission.

    When was NAS founded?
    NAS was founded in 1987 by Stephen Balch and others. For several years before that the founding members had been meeting under the name Campus Coalition for Democracy.

    How many members does NAS have?
    NAS currently has about 2,600 active and associate members across the country.

    Founded 32 years ago and only has 2600 members?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  12. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 824   +324

    Education is largely liberal. So those predisposed to liberal ideology go to college. Conservatives and libertarians tend toward trade schools. To say that a college degree is worth more than a trade certificate is an opinion of elitism. Liberally educated could just as well mean to be brainwashed and is considered that among some conservatives. Educated? By whose standards? Compared to what? All Democrats are purely liberal and can and will cross party boundaries from time to time if the candidates get too extreme. Democrats tend to just left of center, while Republicans are just right of center. Increasingly, the more extreme are running the show from both sides. I would say that the majority of America, if you ignore specific issues for specific people, are center to just right-of-center. For example, many support abortion, but for other people and not for themselves. You see a lot of this dichotomy in the electorate.
  13. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 775   +660

    Eh? Ranting about straw men and then equivocating about your labels for people? Maybe try again tomorrow after a bit of sleep.
  14. Morris Minor

    Morris Minor TS Addict Posts: 113   +55

    Wish you yanks would stop calling the far left liberal when their actions are nothing but illiberal.

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