A Silicon Valley billionaire, who two weeks ago announced a $1.25 million donation to the campaign of GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, told reporters Monday that he supports Trump because of his stands on the large issues facing the country.
Thiel said he appreciates what the America people appreciate about Trump, in that he understands what the problems are and what has to be done about them.
Trump is grounded in reality, not ideology, he said.
“He doesn’t think the force of optimism alone can change reality without hard work–just as much as it is about making America great,” he said.
Trump’s agenda is about making America a normal country,” he said. “A normal country does not have a half-a-trillion-dollar trade deficit. A normal country does not fight five simultaneous undeclared wars. In a normal country, the government actually does its job.”
In the same way, after being asked about Trump’s pledge to ban Muslims from coming into the country, Thiel said he personally would not support a religious-based test, but that was not actually what Trump was trying to communicate.
Trump’s point was that there is something dangerous about Islamic terrorism and Americans need to get a handleon it before it causes the country more trouble, he said.
“The press always takes him literally, but never seriously,” he said, while the people take him seriously but not literally.
Thiel said he is a political libertarian, but he is not an anarchist.
“Today, it is important to recognize the government has a job to do,” he said. “Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians saying government never works. They know government was not always broken.”
There are three solid examples of this, he said. “The Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo program–whatever you think of these ventures, you cannot doubt the competence of the government.”
But it has been 40 years since the federal government has approached that level of competence, he said.
Today in Washington, there are too false choices: Do more with more or do less with less, he said. “What about doing more with less?”
Thiel said: Look at the F-35 fighter jet, a multi-billion dollar project that produced a jet that cannot fly in the rain. “Why don’t we find a less expensive fighter that flies in the rain?”
The technology investor addressed reporters at Washington’s National Press Club, reading from two left-right teleprompters. After his remarks, Thiel, who wore a gray business suit with an open shirt collar, took questions from NPC President Thmas Burr, a reporter with the Salt Lake City Tribune, from cards submitted by the audience. This is the custom at the press club, where when reporters make the rules there is no shouting of questions. When it was over, Burr presented Thiel with a National Press Club coffee mug.
Thiel said Trump’s approach to governing is a “New American Politics” that rejects the old order and must be embraced to turn the country around.
“When the distracting spectacles of this election season are over and the history of our time is written, the only important question will be whether or not that New Politics came too late.”