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COMMENT: Guess which Silicon Valley billionaire just ended up on the list released by California’s secretary of state of the Trump campaign’s list of selected GOP convention delegates. Hint: He really, really likes Ted Cruz. And called Trump “symptomatic of everything that is wrong with New York City,” back in 2014. But is apparently totally fine with Trump now.
“. . . . Peter Thiel, the billionaire PayPal co-founder, hedge-fund manager, and L.G.B.T.-rights advocate, is listed on the California ballot as a delegate for Trump at the upcoming Republican convention, according to a list of delegates submitted to California’s secretary of state by the front-runner’s campaign. He is listed as one of three representatives from California’s 12th congressional district. State election law dictates that delegates are selected by the candidates themselves, not the party, and the Trump campaign has been vetting potential delegates for several weeks. . . . “
Yes, the guy who once penned a piece for Cato Unbound explaining why democracy and capitalism are incompatible now that women can vote is now a Trump delegate.
Recall that Thiel is the principal stockholder in both Facebook and Palantir (which, their disclaimers to the contrary notwithstanding, makes the PRISM software at the core of Snowden’s “revelations”)
He also funded most of Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential super PAC.
The Facebook board member is breaking ranks with the tech world by publicly backing the presumptive G.O.P. nominee.
Most of Silicon Valley’s Republican elite may hate Donald Trump, but at least one major tech-industry venture capitalist is throwing his support behind the G.O.P.’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire PayPal co-founder, hedge-fund manager, and L.G.B.T.-rights advocate, is listed on the California ballot as a delegate for Trump at the upcoming Republican convention, according to a list of delegatessubmitted to California’s secretary of state by the front-runner’s campaign. He is listed as one of three representatives from California’s 12th congressional district. State election law dictatesthat delegates are selected by the candidates themselves, not the party, and the Trump campaign has been vetting potential delegates for several weeks.
Thiel’s politics are complicated. The Silicon Valley powerbroker donated heavily to both Ted Cruz and his later running mate, former H.P. exec Carly Fiorina, despite both candidates not supporting gay marriage. (Thiel’s name did not appear on a list of Cruz delegates the Texas senator submitted before dropping out last week.) The outspoken libertarian has also been a close ally and adviser to Kentucky senator and former presidential candidate Rand Paul, and previously donated millions to his father, former congressman Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2012. Thiel may be more closely aligned with Trump on the social-issues front: Thiel, who is gay, is an ardent supporter of L.G.B.T. causes (Trump, while echoing some social conservative rhetoric, recently opposed North Carolina’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” saying someone like Caitlyn Jenner could use whatever restroom she saw fit). More importantly, however, he is an avowed anti-elitist, despite his personal wealth, telling the New Yorker in 2011that the worldview of America’s elites was “skewed in an optimistic direction” due to luck and privilege. “[Their] story has been one of incredible, unrelenting progress for 61 years,” he said at the time. “Most people who are 61 years old in the U.S.? Not their story at all.” Thiel is well-known for the fellowship he set up in 2010 to encourage entrepreneurial teenagers to drop out of college to start their own companies instead of pursuing a traditional education.