Donald Trump probably isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you think of the word “humility.” But Silicone Valley billionaire Peter Thiel says Trump’s potential dismantling of a longstanding establishment in Washington will force just that among the nation’s political class.
Thiel made the remarks during a speech to The National Press Club in D.C., explaining why he is one of few among big names in Silicon Valley to vocally endorsed Trump for president.
Watch Thiel’s full speech:
For his efforts to help Trump’s election, including donating more than $1 million to the Trump campaign, Thiel has been derided by his tech peers and the liberal news media. The New York Times even went so far as labeling the PayPal founder “toxic.”
But for Thiel, like thousands of libertarian leaning American conservatives, the “toxic” far better reserved for the cesspool of cronyism and corruption in Washington D.C., where career politicians have come to see public positions as opportunities to fill their own pockets at the expense of the American future.
“No matter how crazy this election seems, it is less crazy than the condition of our country,” Thiel said.
“Just look at the generation that supplies most of our leaders,” he added. “The baby boomers are entering retirement in a state of actuarial bankruptcy. “
The tech billionaire noted that some 65 percent of baby boomers have less than a year’s worth of savings to their name.
Thiel went on to deride Washington’s willingness to subsidize the well-being of people in other nations while Americans are left with a broken and unaffordable healthcare system, a mountain of student loan debt and a continually faltering economy.
And these, he believes, are just the types of problems a Trump White House could reverse.
“Faced with such contempt, why do voters still support Donald Trump? Even if they think the American situation is serious, why would they think that Trump, of all people, could make it any better?” Thiel asked.
“I think it’s because of the big things that Trump gets right. For example, free-trade has not worked out well for all of America. It helps Trump that the other side just doesn’t get it … we’ve lost tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs to foreign trade. The heartland has been devastated,” he added.
Thiel noted that he is like millions of other Trump supporters in that there is much about the candidate that he doesn’t like. But, he said, a vote for Trump remains a valuable referendum on decades of failed leadership from the more polished political establishment in Washington.
“For a long time, our elites have been in the business of denying difficult realities,” the businessman said.
Thiel noted that this leads to the creation of bubbles, which burst with devastating consequences.
“It was both insane and somehow inevitable that D.C. insiders expected this election to be a rerun between the two political dynasties that led us through the two most gigantic financial bubbles of our time,” Thiel said, noting George W. Bush’s role in the housing crash and Bill Clinton’s involvement in the stock market’s collapse during the 1990s.
“Nobody would suggest Donald Trump is a humble man,” Thiel said. “But the big things he’s right about amount to a much needed does of humility in American politics.
“Just as much as it’s about making America great, Trump’s agenda is about making America a normal country,” the businessman continued. “A normal country doesn’t have a half trillion dollar trade deficit. A normal country doesn’t fight five simultaneous undeclared wars. In a normal country, the government actually does its job.”
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