Well, this is troubling.
Courtesy of Buzzfeed:
Four years ago, billionaire venture capitalist and Facebook board member Peter Thiel made one of his biggest bets: He went all in on Donald Trump. The normally tight-lipped and enigmatic Thiel gave a very public imprimatur as a prominent speaker at the Republican convention, tying his reputation as one of the most successful figures in modern tech to a presidential candidate despised throughout Silicon Valley.
“Tonight,” he said in a nationally televised address at the convention, “I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump.” He made history as the convention’s first speaker to declare himself “proud to be gay” and he extolled Trump not as “a return to the past” but rather a return to “that bright future.”
Thiel was used to making risky bets. He was a startup veteran, a PayPal cofounder who wrote Facebook a check for $500,000 months after it launched. But Trump was different. Few in Silicon Valley wanted in on that round. Still, just a week after the Access Hollywood tape leaked of Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women — a clip that sent other prominent Republicans fleeing — Thiel ponied up $1.25 million.
The donation was well known. But what has not been previously reported is just how much Thiel was willing to gamble on Trump’s MAGA movement during the 2016 election. His bet went far beyond money, speeches, or even mainstream Republican politics. Even as Thiel staked his reputation on the candidate in public, he met in private with the racist fringe that felt emboldened by Trump’s rise to power.
BuzzFeed News can reveal that in at least one instance during the summer of 2016, Thiel hosted a dinner with one of the most influential and vocal white nationalists in modern-day America — a man who has called for the creation of a white ethnostate and played a key role in an effort to mainstream white nationalism as the “alt-right.” And then Thiel emailed the next day to say how much he’d enjoyed his company.
Among those on the racist right, Thiel’s outreach raised hopes that his financial bet on Trump would extend into the ascendant alt-right movement, which despite its prominence was a collection of small and often cash-strapped organizations. One avowed white nationalist privately speculated that Thiel’s money and influence could have made him “our George Soros.”
Thiel’s wager on Trump paid off, at least at first, and the Republican candidate’s victory ushered him into a new echelon of political power. Thiel seeded allies throughout the new administration and won a direct line of communication with the White House.
So this Peter Thiel not only helped to elect the most racist president in decades but also financially supported the white supremacist movement as a whole.
And so you may be wondering what Thiel got for his troubles.
Everything and the moon it seems:
Palantir, the data analytics company he cofounded, is flush with government contracts and rushing to go public ahead of the November election. Facebook, where he is a board member, counts the Trump campaign as one of its largest political advertisers, and partly avoided the ire that peers such as Google and Twitter have faced from the administration. The people Thiel helped elevate in government now oversee billion-dollar budgets and national security decisions.
It appears that overwhelming greed suppresses any feelings of ethical or moral misgivings.
Or perhaps not, as Peter Thiel seems to have pulled away from Trump in the last few years and even more so as he has so severely mishandled this pandemic.
I think Peter Thiel serves as a prime example of somebody who supported Trump with dollar signs in their eyes, only to have them fall away to reveal the horror that resulted from that support.
I wonder just how many other Peter Thiels there are out there?