Peter Thiel: I’m voting for Trump because politicians are ‘just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’ – Business Insider

Peter Thiel speaks at the National Press

Screenshot/National Press

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel, a major supporter of Republican
nominee Donald Trump, said during a major speech in front of the
National Press Club on Monday that Trumpism “isn’t crazy, and
it’s not going away.”

Thiel, who has been heavily criticized by fellow Silicon Valley
tech magnates for his unabashedly pro-Trump stance, which was
amplified by his speech in front of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland his
, said the Manhattan billionaire “points toward a new
Republican Party beyond the dogmas of Reaganism.”

“He points even beyond the remaking of one party to a new
American politics that overcomes denial, rejects bubble thinking,
and reckons with reality,” he said, per his prepared remarks.
“When the distracting spectacles of this election season are
forgotten and the history of our time is written, the only
important question will be whether or not that new politics came
too late.”

The founder of PayPal and prominent venture capitalist, who
helped bankroll wrestling star Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit that ended up
crushing the news website Gawker, acknowledged the election year
has been “crazy.”

“Real events seem like they’re rehearsals for ‘Saturday Night
Live,'” Thiel said. “Only an outbreak of insanity would seem to
account for the unprecedented fact that this year a political
outsider managed to win a major-party nomination.”

“To the people who are used to influencing our choice of leaders,
to the wealthy people who give money and the commentators who
give reasons why, it all seems like a bad dream,” he continued.
“Donors don’t want to find out how and why we got here. They just
want to move on. Come November 9, they hope everyone else will go
back to business as usual.”

The election, he added, “is less crazy than the condition of our
country” and he’s voting for Trump because other politicians are
“just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Thiel criticized the rising costs of medicine, the country’s
overpriced healthcare system, outstanding student debt held by
many young Americans, stagnant incomes, and the country’s
involvement in foreign wars.

“Now, not everyone is hurting,” he said. “In the wealthy suburbs
that ring Washington, DC, people are doing just fine. Where I
work in Silicon Valley, people are doing just great. But most
Americans don’t live by the Beltway or the San Francisco Bay.
Most Americans haven’t been part of that prosperity. It shouldn’t
be surprising to see people vote for Bernie Sanders or for Donald
Trump, who is the only outsider left in the race.”

Thiel said he doesn’t agree with “everything” Trump “has said and
done,” pointing out Trump’s boasts of being able to make unwanted
sexual advances on women, which were made public when a tape from
2005 was leaked.

“Nobody thinks his comments about women were acceptable. I agree
they were clearly offensive and inappropriate,” he said. “But I
don’t think voters pull the lever in order to endorse a
candidate’s flaws. It’s not a lack of judgment that leads
Americans to vote for Trump; we’re voting for Trump because we
judge the leadership of our country to have failed.”

His fellow coastal elites, he said, are intimidated to dissent
from what he essentially deemed as groupthink that says the views
of “half of the country” can not be tolerated.

“This intolerance has taken on some bizarre forms,” he said. “The
Advocate, a magazine which once praised me as a ‘gay innovator,’
even published an article saying that as of now I am, and I
quote, ‘not a gay man,’ because I don’t agree with their
politics. 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.”

Thiel then began attacking the country’s free trade agreements, a
common theme of Trump’s presidential campaign. He then went back
to criticizing America’s involvement in foreign wars, claiming
that the Democratic Party is now more hawkish than the GOP, and
Trump voters are voting against such involvement.

“Voters are tired of being lied to,” he said. “It was both insane
and somehow inevitable that DC insiders expected this election to
be a rerun between the two political dynasties who led us through
the two most gigantic financial bubbles of our time.”

“President George W. Bush presided over the inflation of a
housing bubble so big that its collapse is still causing economic
stagnation today,” he continued.

“But what’s strangely forgotten is that last decade’s housing
bubble was just an attempt to make up for the gains that had been
lost in the decade before that. In the 1990s, President Bill
Clinton presided over an enormous stock market bubble and a
devastating crash in 2000, just as his second term was coming to
an end. That’s how long the same people have been pursuing the
same disastrous policies.”

Trump is rejecting those stories, he said, adding that while no
one would suggest the real-estate magnate is “humble,” he’s right
about a “much-needed dose of humility” in US politics.

“Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that
government never works,” Thiel said.

“They know the government wasn’t always this broken. The
Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo
Program — whatever you think of these ventures, you cannot doubt
the competence of the government that got them done. But we have
fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free market
ideology serve as an excuse for decline.”

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