Peter Thiel and The Trump Bubble – The Atlantic

Maybe. But from what we’ve seen and heard from Thiel, one gets the feeling that Trump’s gift for provoking outrage is central to the nominee’s appeal for his fellow billionaire. Like Trump, Thiel himself takes great pride in being a disruptive force. He favors revolutionary ideas and people with big plans for blowing things up and remaking the world. (His foundation even set up a grant-making body aimed at turning “wild ideas into world-changing technologies.”) He loves to slam Silicon Valley for thinking small. (A Twitter critic, one of his pet quotes is, “We wanted flying cars, and instead what we got was 140 characters.”) And in 2010 he established a fellowship to provide $2 million in grants to urge young entrepreneurs to quit college and start their own enterprises.

Also like Trump, Thiel loves to grump about multiculturalism and political correctness. (He in fact wrote an entire book on “The Diversity Myth”). He seems to feel strangely vindicated by the abuse he is taking over Trump. Early in his prepared remarks (which ran about 15 minutes), Thiel mentioned that the LGBT-interest publication The Advocate, which had once praised him as a gay innovator, was now asserting that in fundamental ways he is “not a gay man.” He informed the assembled journalists, “The lie behind the buzzword of diversity could not be made more clear. If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as diverse, no matter what your personal background.”

And, of course, like Trump, Thiel likes to play hardball with the media: After years of warring with the gossip site Gawker (which kinda, sorta outed Thiel in 2007), the billionaire secretly bankrolled the Hulk-Hogan-sex-tape privacy lawsuit that bankrupted the site. In his speech, Thiel called Gawker “a singularly sociopathic bully.”

On a gut level, in other words, Trump and Thiel seem made for each other in many ways.

Unless, that is, you start really thinking about Thiel’s professed horror of slick, out-of-touch politicians who assure voters they have simple solutions to the nation’s complex problems. Simplistic ideas like, say, “build a wall,” or  “ban all Muslims,” or, more fundamentally, Trump’s message that voters need only to put their faith in him because he is “the only one who can fix this.”

Looked at this way, Trumpism may be the biggest bubble to hit the body politic in decades. And when it inevitably pops, this time Thiel will be as much to blame for the resulting catastrophe as anyone.

Peter Thiel and The Trump Bubble – The Atlantic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.