Billionaires tend to be very eccentric people. But Mr Peter Thiel’s action of donating $1.25 million to the Republican Party candidate of the forth coming US general elections took many in Silicon Valley by surprise.
So what is the almighty surprise behind one man supporting a particular candidate?
In he first place, Mr Thiel is not just any rich man living in the United States. He was the co-founder of the PayPal, the world’s biggest cross-border online payment portal. Apart from that he is a board member of the largest online social forum, Facebook.
So he is one of the big wigs of Silicon Valley so to speak.
Again you might ask was is wrong with a Silicon Valley big wig supporting a particular candidate? The fact is, most Silicon Valley big shots are against everything Mr Trump stands for. And they have come out to publicly state their opposition to the idea of a Trump Presidency. Many of them are not just talking about their opposition to Trump, they are actually putting up their money in support of Mrs Clinton, Trumps rival representing the Democratic Party.
For many of silicon Valley executives, Trump represents many of the things they hate. For instance, Silicon Valley have been trying to show the world there is no system of organized discrimination against women and minorities. To prove this, many firms are appointing more and more minorities into sensitive positions.
Mr Trump on the other hand, had said it loud and clear on several occasions that his policies would be tougher for minorities and immigrants to live in the US.
As for women, his disdain for them is clear for all to see.
So this is the type of man that a Silicon Valley billionaire is supporting with over a million dollars to help him become president.
It seems though that Mr Thiel has a history of disparaging remarks against women. In 2009, Mr Thiel wrote in a blog that since women were given the right vote in 1920, democracy has benefited negatively. In other words, he is saying that stopping women from voting would be a good thing for American democracy.
For the records, he put up a statement that his words were taken out of context.
Perhaps, his latest action of helping to prop a man well known for his strong views against women showed that his blog post back in 2009 was not taken out of context at all.
Mr Thiel though is somebody that is known to court controversy over the years. In one famous case, he helped pay the legal fees of Hulk Hogan the superstar wrestler when he sued Gawker for publishing details of his affair with a lady that isn’t his wife.
Mr Hogan won the case. Gawker had to file for bankruptcy after it couldn’t pay the big fine imposed by the judgement.
Mr Trump is a hugely divisive figure in US politics and it was thought that all Silicon Valley was united in their opposition to him. Even Facebook came under the wrath of Trump’s supporters when they accused the social forum of favouring news that are bias against Mr Trump in News Feed and Trending News.
Facebook was forced to issue a statement that it would change that policy.
And just recently, Google introduced Facts Check, a feature on Google News that is designed to tell readers the facts behind any trending news item especially in politics.
Many are of the view that Fact Check was introduced to inform the public of the lies Mr Trump is fond of throwing out to the media as the truth.
All these goes to show how much Silicon Valley does no like Mr Trump.
Mr Thiel though, is hedging his bets on Trump. I hope for the sake of the world, this is one time his bet is misplaced.
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