Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

The problem with traditional conservatives is that they’re too anti-government to fulfill Thiel’s vision. Fortunately for him, Trump is no traditional conservative

Tonight, tech billionaire Peter Thiel will speak at the Republican national convention and make his case for why Donald Trump should be the next president of the United States. Most of the media is baffled by Thiel’s endorsement. And it’s true that at first glance the two men aren’t an obvious match. Trump is an authoritarian populist who promises to abolish free trade. Thiel is a self-described libertarian who worships capitalism. Thiel is also one of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley – and Silicon Valley hates Trump.

So why would Thiel embrace Trump? So far, observers have offered two explanations. One is Thiel’s contrarianism; another is his lifelong crusade against “political correctness”. Thiel certainly enjoys courting controversy, whether it involves funding a lawsuit to destroy Gawker or funding a fellowship to induce kids to drop out of college. And Thiel shares Trump’s antipathy to the “politically correct” rhetoric of diversity and multiculturalism, as well as to affirmative action.