The word “controversial” gets tossed around a lot, but it certainly applies to Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.
The co-founder of PayPal has always been an outspoken libertarian, but he became famous this year for subsidizing Hulk Hogan’s victorious lawsuit against Gawker, the online news site that posted a “sex tape” of the wrestling icon without his permission and was eventually forced into bankruptcy.
Now Thiel’s name is in the news again, after his pro-Trump speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. went viral.
Cataloguing all the things he says are wrong with America, he told the audience:
“No matter how crazy this election seems, it is less crazy than the condition of our country. Just look at the generation that provides most of our leaders. The Baby Boomers are entering retirement in a state of actuarial bankruptcy. 64% of those over the age of 55 have less than a year’s worth of savings to their name. That is a problem, especially when this is the only country where you have to pay up to ten times as much for simple medicines as you would pay anywhere else.”
As for Trump, Thiel said:
“I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump has said and done, and I don’t think the millions of other people voting for him do either.” (…)
“But I don’t think the voters pull a lever in order to endorse a candidate’s flaws. It’s not a lack of judgement that leads Americans to vote for Trump. We’re voting for Trump because we judge the leadership of our country to have failed.”
Thiel’s speech certainly sounded like one given by a man who will one day seek political office. The Drudge Report linked to it with the headline “A star is born,” and that was the feeling expressed by many who listened in.
It will be interesting to see if Thiel is offered, and accepts, a role in President Trump’s White House.