Republican megadonor Peter Thiel won’t be financially supporting political candidates in 2024, following losses by his midterm candidates. Reuters reported that the former backer of Donald Trump isn’t pleased with how the GOP has focused on culture war issues like abortion and anti-trans bills.
Apparently the idea to sit out the election entirely had been brewing for a while, according to Reuters:
Thiel came to this conclusion by late 2022, the sources said. He believes Republicans are making a mistake in focusing on cultural flashpoints and should be more concerned with spurring U.S. innovation - a major issue for him - and competing with China, the business associate said.
Thiel’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Committee could have sent a signal to Republicans seeking his money; He called the spate of bills trying to govern trans children’s bathroom use a “distraction.”
“I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican,” Thiel said on stage. “But most of all I am proud to be an American. I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform, but fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.”
“Four political sources” told Reuters that the megadonor is “taking a step back” from American politics, generally. However, previous reporting by Puck found Thiel to be indecisive. For example, he sat out the 2020 presidential election, but then returned to the 2022 midterms to fund 16 federal candidates. A “friend” of Thiel’s told Puck that Thiel “makes periodic claims at random dinner parties or whatever that he’s just totally over politics, and thinks the whole thing is dumb and then six months later he can’t stay out of it.”
If Thiel sticks to staying out of politics, it will free up a lot of his money to fund an anti-feminist menstrual tracking app and non-pronoun-using dating apps. And who can say which is worse way to light money on fire?