Peter Thiel will take to the stage tonight at the Republican National Convention to deliver a speech endorsing Donald Trump, a move that will enrage many of Silicon Valley’s liberal technology giants.
One of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, Thiel is the founder of the online payment system PayPal and a Republican Party mega-donor. He was announced as a delegate for Donald Trump in May and is practically the only major figure in Silicon Valley to endorse publicly him.
Thiel, an openly gay ideological libertarian with an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion, previously supported Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential bids and Ted Cruz’s Senate race in Texas, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
It is also causing concern in Silicon Valley that, according to Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times, it will become “another plot point in the larger story line that Silicon Valley is exclusionary and narrow-minded and that its innovations are advancing global inequality.” Over 140 Silicon Valley executives signed a letter lambasting Trump last week, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has ramped up attacks against the Republican presidential nominee through his FWD.us immigration advocacy group.
Silicon Valley is gaining a reputation for its growing disdain towards conservatives, with Facebook being found to have suppressed conservative voices whilst amplifying movements such as Black Lives Matter, and Twitter declaring war against conservative media in January after unverifying Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos before permanently banning him this week.