Peter Thiel: We Must Talk ‘Frankly’ About America’s Problems

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A list of speakers for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (OH) includes Peter Thiel, the litigious Silicon Valley billionaire investor, Facebook board member, and Donald Trump delegate, who, most recently, funded a revenge lawsuit against Gawker that forced the media company into bankruptcy. In a statement, Thiel explained why he wants to appear at the convention, an obligation even top Republicans have ducked. “Many people are uncertain in this election year,” he wrote, “but most Americans agree that our country is on the wrong track. I don’t think we can fix our problems unless we can talk about them frankly.”

In any other election year, Thiel’s presence at the convention wouldn’t be all that surprising. A known libertarian, he was one of the most prominent backers of Ron Paul’s 2012 Super PAC, and during primary season he was a key donor to Carly Fiorina’s Super PAC. But the fact that Trump is 2016’s presumptive Republican nominee makes Thiel’s support curious. On everything from trade to immigration to government data collection, Trump’s policies stand in direct opposition to the ones laid out by major industry groups like the Internet Association and TechNet.


Peter Thiel: We Must Talk ‘Frankly’ About America’s Problems