Here’s a not-quite-surprising story that made its way around the web today: the Republican Party is one of taxi “disruptor” Uber‘s biggest supporters…or they’re using the hot brand to raise money and increase their appeal to Millennials. Or both.
We get the basic idea behind this distant partnership. The Uber guys and the GOP hate the same regulators or, as the fundraising petition puts it, “taxi unions and liberal government bureaucrats” (because the word “bureaucrat” could never apply to conservatives who double as public employees during the day).
Anyway, the real issue here is that both the GOP and the app company want Illinois governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, to refrain from passing a pending law that would place statewide restrictions on such “sharing economy” companies. Apparently the two parties share the Gary Gnu-ish opinion that all regulations are bad regulations.
They also both like free publicity — and the Republic National Committee’s annual meeting launched today in Chicago.
This isn’t just a techie libertarian thing: in March everyone’s onetime favorite family values/hip-hop guy Marco Rubio gave a speech praising the company for proving that the government should never “protect established incumbents at the expense of an innovative competitor.”
All those reports of sexual assault, unqualified drivers and vehicular homicide are simply natural byproducts of the free market.
Anti-tax dude Grover Norquist even argues that support for companies like Uber and Airbnb will help the GOP win votes among the city-dwelling crowd that hasn’t warmed to them in recent decades.
We wonder whether the brains behind the fundraising drive have ever seen this video:
We would ask Uber’s rep for his/her thoughts on the matter, but the company seems to think that PR is a waste of money.