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Peter Thiel: Tonight’s Republican Convention Spectacle?

Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel | Credit: Flickr

After a week that has already seen “PlagiarGate” and Cruz’s onstage diss of the official Republican nominee, tonight’s appearance by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor, and overlord Peter Thiel at the Republican National Convention could end up being yet another story that won’t die. Given Thiel’s recent public notoriety, ranging from his role in the Gawker lawsuit to his likening of university administrators to subprime mortgage brokers, it’s difficult not to wonder if Thiel’s speech could end up upstaging Trump’s. Who knows what might emerge from the tech provocateur’s mouth?

News organizations have widely reported that Thiel will talk about being gay, a public stance he has embraced only recently. Beyond that, the unpredictable tech billionaire is expected to lambast Silicon Valley’s near-universal support for Hillary Clinton. Thiel has said he supports Trump because of the candidate’s anti-war position and economic credentials. Of course, Thiel has also said he longs for the days before women could vote, which, in an essay for the Cato Institute, he called the last time “in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics.”

Thiel appears tonight around 9 pm Eastern time, one of the last speakers before Trump, and he is expected to be onstage for about five minutes. Whatever his focus, his speech is not likely to resonate well with his Silicon Valley colleagues. Last week, 145 tech leaders signed an open letter voicing their opposition to Donald Trump’s candidacy.