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Where would President Zuckerberg stand on the issues?

Zuckerberg has shown the ability to work with people on both sides of the political aisle

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 1, 2017 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4979

Every year,  Mark Zuckerberg sets a goal for himself. One year it was to read two new books every month, and last year it was to build his own AI- powered assistant

This year's goal was to visit all 50 states, and to "talk to more people about how they're living, working and thinking about the future." It seemed like a good idea for Facebook, now one of the largest media companies on the planet, whether it likes that label or not, to go and actually talk to some of the people it is representing.

It was only this weekend, though, that Zuckerberg's tour started to seem like something else entirely: a warm up for an eventual run for President of the United States.

He visited Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin, at least three out of four of which would be considered swing states in the next election. Just take a look at the post below and tell me that if this doesn't look like a typical campaign stop for a presidential candidate. Just replace Zuckerberg on that tractor with Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton and that's exactly what it is. 

Let's say Mark Zuckerberg were to actually run for President. Here are the positions he would likely take on some of the major issues affecting the country right now:

  • Immigration

As the driving force behind Fwd.us, a pro-immigration PAC, immigration is the area where Zuckerberg has made his feelings most clear. It's also the area that has caused his biggest rift with President Trump.

Trump went after tech companies over H-1B visas, accusing companies in the tech ecosystem of using these visa to pay workers lower wages, and to take away jobs from qualified Americans.  He even went so far as to call Marco Rubio, "Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator," for his support of H-1Bs. 

The organization responded to Trump's accusations, saying that "The idea we should radically restrict pathways for highly-skilled immigrants to come and stay here is –again – just wrong."

After Trump proposed a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States, Zuckerberg made vocal support of the Muslim community, and when the President unveiled hus travel ban earlier this year, Zuckerberg once again repudiated him.

"We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don't pose a threat will live in fear of deportation."

  • China

Zuckerberg has taken a keen interest in China, both personally and professionally.

On the personal side, his wife, Priscilla Chan, is of Chinese heritage, and one of his previous annual goals was to learn Mandarin, something he pulled off in pretty impressive style.

On the professional side, Zuckerberg has made it clear that he sees China as an important partner for Facebook. Even though the site is officially blocked in the country, he has still said it that is one of the company's biggest ad markets due to Chinese businesses using it to sell products outside of their home country.

Facebook also recently found itself mired in some controversy when it was reported that Facebook was developing a censorship tool aimed directly at appeasing the Chinese government.

The software would stop posts from appearing based on the geographic location of the user. That would let a third-party, likely a Chinese company, would have full control and be able to decide which stories and topics users get to see. Zuckerberg himself was said to be supporting and defending the effort. 

Though China may be a controversial issue for him, people should remember that whatever Zuckerberg's feelings about the Chinese market when it comes to Facebook, they might not be the same were he to be in charge of the country's entire trade policy. 

  • Gay marriage

While the issue of gay marriage should be off the table at this point, having been decided on by the Supreme Court, it's still an issue that means a lot to a lot of people on both sides. On this issue, Zuckerberg has clearly come out in favor of gay rights.  

"I’m so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recognized as equal couples under the law," he wrote in a Facebook post when the Supreme Court ruling came down.

"We still have much more to do to achieve full equality for everyone in our community, but we are moving in the right direction."

  • Bipartisanship

One thing Mark Zuckerberg has been good at is spreading the wealth around, donating to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, sometimes even in the same state; he has had held fundraisers for two New Jersey politicians, Senator Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie.

Others he has donated to include Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Marco Rubio, along with Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

You could argue that this is just a smart play from a businessman; it's probably more important for Zuckerberg to curry favor with whoever is in power, rather than just those he agrees with. However, he has done the same thing inside of his business, with his board of directors containing a wide swath of the political spectrum.

On the right is Peter Thiel, Facebook's first investor and a major supporter of Donald Trump. Thiel is now working for the President as one of his advisors. On the left, you have Marc Andreesen and Netflix founder Reed Hastings, both very vocal critics of the President and his policies. 

If you ask the American people, they will tell you that they think elected officials are too partisan, and that they should work together to solve issues. Zuckerberg has already demonstrated a willingness to listen to both sides, and to get people of different stripes to work together for a common goal.

Let's make one thing clear: Mark Zuckerberg isn't running for President. That's what he says, at least, though that doesn't always mean it's the truth. There's also the factor of his age: he's 32 right now, and though he'd be 35 by Inauguration Day 2020 (the minimum age for someone to be President), he'd still be eight years shy of JFK, who remains the youngest elected President ever. 

It's not even clear which party he would choose, as he has refused to pick one or the other, instead calling himself, "pro-knowledge economy." Even if Zuckerberg does wants to be the leader of the free world, it seems a bit premature at this stage.  

It's kind of a shame though, since he has already demonstrated the type of leadership we could use more of in Washington.

(Image source: entrepreneur.com)


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