With many high-profile Republicans withdrawing their support for Donald Trump in the wake of lewd comments the Presidential candidate made in 2005, the Trump campaign received a large and unexpected campaign donation from a high profile tech titan over the weekend. Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and the man largely responsible for the dramatic downfall of Gawker, recently opened up his checkbook to the tune of a $1.25 million donation to Donald Trump’s campaign.
Originally brought to light by The New York Times, a source reportedly close to Thiel relayed Thiel’s belief that America is in dire need of fixing and that Trump is the man for the job.
Outspoken and controversial in his own right, Thiel made huge waves earlier this year when it was revealed that he was personally bankrolling Hulk Hogan’s aggressive and unabating campaign to sue Gawker into a oblivion. While Hogan took umbrage with Gawker posting a sex video of his without consent, Thiel’s near-obsession with bringing Gakwer to its knees dates back to a 2007 article where the now-defunct publication outed Thiel as gay.
Now given Trump’s laughably poor grasp of the tech industry, one might reasonably wonder what specifically is the driving force behind Thiel’s enthusiastic support of Trump. To that end, it’s worth noting that Thiel — a self-professed libertarian –once penned an article where he attributed a weakening democracy to women being granted the right to vote.
“Since 1920,” Thiel wrote a few years back, “the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.”
Notably, Thiel appears to stand alone with respect to tech luminaries opting to take a public position in support of Trump.
Truth be told, the tech community on the whole appears to skew towards Hillary Clinton in overwhelming fashion. This past July, 150 tech executives penned a letter in opposition to Trump, arguing that a Trump presidency would be a “disaster for innovation.”
The letter — co-signed by Steve Wozniak, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and more — reads in part:
We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline.
We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.
Just another day in the wackiest and most insane election in U.S. history.