Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal, a worldwide, online payment system. He has made billions a result of his innovative company, making him a “winner” in the eyes of GOP nominee and friend, Donald Trump.
He’s also cashed in as a result of his ownership of a CIA-backed data mining firm, making his own beliefs about the rights to privacy, or his own privacy, anyway, rather suspect.
Forbes writes in a profile of the multi-billionaire, staunchly Libertarian Thiel:
‘Venture capitalist and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel found himself at the center of controversy when FORBES revealed in May that he had been secretly funding lawsuits in an attempt to destroy Gawker Media. […] Thiel, in admitting his role as a funder, said he considered his actions “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done” in an interview with The New York Times.’
The billionaire venture capitalist funded former wrestler and reality TV show star, Hulk Hogan, in his lawsuit against Gawker when they released footage of Hogan having sex with his friend’s wife. Hogan won millions as a result of that lawsuit and Gawker went bankrupt.
Thiel had a long-term grudge against the now-defunct Gawker, who outed him as gay back in 2007. While tactics such as those used by the tabloid website, especially when used to out a man publicly before he has done so himself, are clearly wrong and despicable, their right to do so is guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is, after all, the despicable speech that tests an American citizen’s belief in the right to free speech much more so than speech with which one agrees.
Not according to Thiel.
Now, Thiel reports that Donald Trump has spoken with him about filling a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court. Never mind that Thiel has absolutely no experience as a judge and that his interpretation of the First Amendment is clearly skewed, he’s a billionaire. He’s a winner.
He’s a friend of Donald Trump.
Thiel also wrote in a 2009 essay that he no longer believes no longer believes “freedom and democracy are compatible.” His reasons included women being given the right to vote and poor people being eligible for public assistance.
‘The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, 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.’
The Huffington Post say the two sources of this information have requested anonymity as a result of both Thiel’s and Trump’s willingness to pour their vast resources into lawsuits shutting down their detractors.
Thiel’s spokespeople, as well as Donald Trump’s, deny the reports.
For Rachel’s Maddow’s take on Peter Thiel and his speech at the Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump, see video below:
Featured image via Getty/Joe Raedle