In spite of protests from civil rights activists, Google has reportedly confirmed that it will go ahead with its decision to livestream the Republican National Convention from Cleveland, Ohio this July. The company also said that it will provide virtual reality tools and real-time data on election trends during the convention much like it has done during the televised debates over the past few months. Even though Google has come under increasing pressure in recent times to withdraw its association with the RNC because of all the controversies surrounding the GOP frontrunner, Mr. Donald Trump, the company has steadfastly maintained that its role in the Republican Convention will be strictly that of a neutral and nonpartisan observer, much like that of the media outlets covering the event.
It’s worth remembering that just yesterday, a few left-leaning organizations had petitioned Google asking the company not to attend the 2016 GOP Convention because of the possibility of the anointment of Mr. Trump as the party’s Presidential candidate for the November elections. According to Federal Election Commission reports, Google had donated “at least $350,000” to the RNC in 2012, but the company has refused to divulge how much money it has donated to the party this time around, if any. Other companies that are being asked to reconsider their decision to sponsor the event includes Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco, Coca-Cola and Xerox, among others.
Even as Mr. Trump’s popularity has soared within certain sections of the American population, a lot of younger and well-educated voters have expressed their distaste for the New York real estate tycoon in no uncertain terms. Many establishment Republicans have also questioned his understanding of international geo-politics and his grasp of the free-market economy, while a lot of progressive organizations and activists have been up in arms over the attention he’s been getting in the mainstream media. A lot of that aversion stems from the fact that Mr. Trump’s vision for the future of America and his various observations on women, immigration, minorities and the disabled, not to mention his advocacy for torture of POWs and families of suspected terrorists have made many Americans highly uncomfortable about the direction the country might take if he was actually elected to the White House.