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Thiel is one of the more outspoken Silicon Valley conservatives, giving to Ron Paul and Ted Cruz
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I don't think it's any big secret that Silicon Valley is, overall, a pretty liberal place. In the 2012 election, for example, Silicon Valley employees donated more than six times as much to Barack Obama than they did to Mitt Romney. After all, it is in the Bay Area, not a place known for any kind of conservative politics.
That does not mean that everyone thinks alike, of course, and the tech world does have some outspoken people on the other side of the aisle. Now one of the most famous conservatives in tech will actually have a hand in picking the Republican nominee for President.
Peter Thiel, former CEO of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, is going to be a delegate for Donald Trump, representing California at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, according to a document filed with the California Secretary of State.
It's not surprising that Thiel would back the Republican nominee, as he has a long history of giving money to previously conservative candidates. He supported Ron Paul's bid for the Presidency in 2008, also backing the eventual nominee, John McCain.
Thiel also has history with other candidates in the 2016 race. He gave money to Ted Cruz's Senate bid in 2012, and this year he donated $2 million to a Super PAC supporting his fellow Silicon Valley Republican, Carly Fiorina, who was also, very briefly, Cruz's running mate.
As liberal as Silicon Valley is, I doubt there's much bias against those who vote conservative. I mean, look at how successful people like Thiel, Fiorina and HP CEO Meg Whitman are. Backing Trump, however, might be a step too far, as some of Thiel's former, and current, business partners have made it clear that they are no fans of the Donald.
That includes Keith Rabois, who worked with Thiel at PayPal, has called Trump an "opportunistic liar." Marc Andreessen, who sits on the Facebook Board of Directors with Thiel, has gotten into Twitter feuds with Trump, and has Tweeted things like this:
More on Donald Trump's hooker-running immigrant grandpappy: https://t.co/p9EbDN1sET— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) November 20, 2015
Then there's Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has been in a simmering feud with Donald Trump since last year, ever since Trump called out Silicon Valley, and Zuckerberg in particular, over its immigration policy.
Zuckerberg then essentially declared himself to be the anti-Trump after he proposed a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States. Most recently, he implicitly called Trump out at the F8 developer conference in April, after which Facebook employees at the company asked him if they should actually try and stop Trump from becoming President.
Even Thiel himself once criticized Trump as being "“sort of symptomatic of everything that is wrong with New York City.”
Thiel is also no stranger to controversy, and to making sometimes outlandish statements. For example, he once compared the current education system to the Catholic Church in the 16th century,
"It has become a very corrupt institution. It was charging more and more for indulgences. People thought they could only get saved by going to the Catholic church, just like people today believe that salvation involves getting a college diploma," he said.
While some may find these stances to be somewhat offensive, they are nothing compared to what has spewed out of Trump's mouth this election season. From his aforementioned call for a ban on Muslims, to his comments about Mexicans, to the time he made fun of a reporter with a disability, Trump has managed to degrade both himself, and the office of the Presidency, merely by getting this close to it.
VatorNews reached out to Thiel for comment on why he supports Trump. We will update this story if we learn more.
(Image source: cnbc.com)
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