Principled limited government constitutional conservative Congressman Ken Buck (CO-4) is leading a group of conservative members of Congress in what they have termed the
“Pledge for America.” Buck and six original signers are pledging to not accept campaign donations from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, their Political Action Committees, or individual donations from any executive employee thereof. Joining Rep. Ken Buck as original signers of the pledge are Reps. Chip Roy, Greg Steube, Dan Bishop, Ralph Norman, Andy Biggs, and Burgess Owens.
The “Pledge for America” is one of the best statements on why conservatives should stop defending Big Tech that we’ve seen and is worth reading in its entirety:
As conservatives, we firmly believe in the free market and the free exchange of ideas. We will not continue to accept donations from companies who violate those convictions.
Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter have reached monopoly status in their respective markets. In the business sphere, each one of these companies has used their monopoly power to stifle innovation and destroy competitors. For example:
• Amazon demanded proprietary information from small businesses who are forced to use their platform and then used the small businesses’ data to make their own products and relegated the competitors lower in their search results,
• Google and Facebook colluded to control the ad marketplace, and,
• Apple exacts a 30% tax from its competitors like Spotify because these companies have no way for their customers to download their app other than going through Apple’s app store or Google’s play store.
In the public sphere, we have seen all five of the tech giants take unprecedented actions to silence political speech they disagree with, which almost exclusively means shutting down conservative speech. Just since early October 2020, we have seen:
• Google’s YouTube platform delete numerous conservative channels,
• Twitter and Facebook de-platform the President of the United States,
• Amazon kick Parler off its web hosting service, and,
• Google and Apple block Parler from their app stores.
These companies are also now deserting the country that provided them the legal, commercial, and social environment to grow and thrive and are vigorously courting the communist Chinese regime in hopes of accessing cheap labor and a virtually limitless customer base.
For example, Google removed itself from consideration for U.S. Department of Defense contracts worth $10 billion, citing that US military projects contradict its corporate values, but then collaborated with the Chinese government to develop a censored version of the Google search engine called the Dragonfly experiment.
Additionally, Apple’s supply chain is deeply integrated in China through its partnerships with Chinese device manufacturers that allegedly use Uyghur slave labor in their iPhone factories. Apple has actively lobbied the U.S. government against legislation that would require U.S. companies to guarantee they are not employing Uyghur slave labor.
Whether their behavior is directed at potential competitors or at politicians and citizens they don’t agree with, these companies are able to act with complete impunity because of their status as monopolies. Their respective monopolies have given them the power to police the marketplace of ideas and dictate what information and services consumers can see and use.
These monopolies have shown that personal liberty can be threatened by corporate tyranny just as much as by government tyranny. They have demonstrated that they are willing to relegate those who do not agree with their worldview to the status of a second-class citizen by cutting dissenters’ access to the infrastructures of business and public discourse.
In recognition of these facts, conservatives are re-thinking their affiliations with these companies. For example, the Heritage Foundation recently returned over $375,000 in donations to Google and Facebook citing that they could not “…in good conscience take money from a company that repeatedly, and blatantly, suppresses conservative speech on [these] platforms.” Additionally, the Internet Accountability Project recently reported that Facebook and Twitter combined contribute more than 12 times more money to Democrats than Republicans.
The threat posed by these monopolies is a real and present danger to conservatives, libertarians, and anyone who does not agree with these corporations’ ultra-liberal points of view. Therefore, we pledge that we will not accept donations from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, their Political Action Committees, or individual donations from any executive employee thereof.
As we said when we signed the pledge to reject Big Tech money, “Big Tech’s power over our public dialogue is a threat to our American democracy. This must stop. This problem will not get better until conservatives draw a line in the sand and reject the toxic influence of Big Tech cash. Big Tech money is political toxic waste.”
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), call and urge your Republican Senators and Representative to reject money from Big Tech and to contact Rep. Ken Buck’s office to sign on to the “Pledge for America.”
Big Tech political contributions
Rep. Ken Buck
Pledge for America
Political Action Committees (PACs)