Peter Thiel (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Peter Thiel endorses Trump: "Fake culture wars" don't matter -- "Who cares about who uses which restrooms?"

The openly gay Silicon Valley innovator wasn't booed, but he didn't address the party's anti-LGBTQ platform


Scott Eric Kaufman
July 22, 2016 5:28AM (UTC)

PayPal co-founder and legendary Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel addressed the crowd at the Republican National Convention Thursday and continued to distance himself from his peers in the technology industry by openly advocating for a Donald Trump presidency.

Thiel is only the second openly gay man to speak at the Republican National Convention, but unlike Jim Cole, he is expected to address the issue -- despite the fact that this is the most explicitly anti-LGBTQ platform in the party's history.

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Unlike his fellow leaders in the tech sector, who believe that Trump not only fails to embrace "the ideals that built America's infrastructure," he doesn't believe in "freedom of expression, openness to newcomers, equality of opportunity, public investments in research and infrastructure, and respect for the rule of law,"

Thiel did not speak about Silicon Valley, however, but ordinary Americans and Wall Street brokers. "This isn't the dream we looked forward to," he said, before noting that his parents "found the American Dream right here in Cleveland." In 1968, he continued, the tech community wasn't limited to one city, but extended across the country, and was supported by the government.

He claimed that the government was "once high tech too," but "today, our government is broken, our nuclear bases still use floppy disks, and our newest fighter jets can't fly in the rain." Thiel said that level of "incompetence" was unacceptable, and has led to a situation in which "instead of going to Mars, we've invaded the Middle East" -- a problem which should clearly be laid at the feet of Democrats.

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Thiel added that "Donald Trump is right -- it's time to end stupid wars and rebuild this country."

As to his commentary on LGBTQ issues, he noted that when he was growing up, "the great debate was about the Soviet Union -- now it's about who gets to use which bathroom. Who cares?"

"Fake culture wars," he said, "only distract us from our economic decline -- and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump."

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Peter Thiel Rnc 2016

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