Billionaire venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel predicts that Donald Trump will get a second term in 2020.
“I think that if he runs again, he will get re-elected,” Thiel said at an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York on Thursday.
Thiel also expects that it’s “probably the case” that the Democrats will do “quite well” in the midterm elections this fall. “The question about 2020 is a much trickier one,” Thiel said. “It’s really one of — is there anything that was learned from Hillary Clinton’s defeat?”
He added that he thinks there’s a “vague parallel” to the way the Democrats have treated Trump to the way Republicans treated President Barack Obama. Thiel added that the “fundamental mistake” Mitt Romney made in 2012 is thinking that he could just show up and win.
“There’s a reason Obama got elected. There were some very real problems in this country. You had to talk about those problems,” he said. “It was a failure by the Republicans not to do that in 2012. And I think the Democrats are setting themselves up for an even bigger version of that failure.”
Trump “hate factory”
He noted that a “hate factory of hating Trump all the time” is going to prevent Democrats from “seriously engaging with the issues.”
Thiel, a Republican, was the most prominent voice in Silicon Valley to publicly support Trump. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Thiel said that Trump is a “builder” and that he would “end the era of stupid wars.”
“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,” he said at the time.
Thiel, who faced pushback in Silicon Valley for his support of Trump, recently relocated to Los Angeles from the San Francisco area. Thiel says he doesn’t have a problem being in a don’t have a problem being in a minority politically or in any other way.
“I don’t want to exaggerate that,” he said when asked if the pushback was one of the reasons for the move. “So, I think the political uniformity is downstream from all these other kinds of things. I think people are much more frustrated by the fact they can’t afford to live there, much more frustrated that local schools don’t work, all the local things that don’t work. That tends to gets displaced in intense ideological fights about Trump.”
A “one-party state”
He added that Silicon Valley has “always been a very liberal place,” but that it has almost become a “one-party state.”
“If you have something that’s 85-15 as split, that’s pretty lopsided but understandable. If you have something where the apparent split is 99 to 1, that’s sort of near unanimity. That’s not because the 99% have figured out the truth,” he said. “That’s where you’re dealing with something that’s almost totalitarian, that’s almost a one-party state. So when you have complete unanimity that tells you the political correctness has gone too far.”
Thiel doesn’t think his support of Trump is contrarian. “I thought supporting Trump was one of the least contrarian things I ever did,” he said. “In the Silicon Valley context, it was somehow the most contrarian thing and the least contrarian thing I’ve ever done.”
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.