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Peter Thiel: Tech Billionaire Bails on Political Donations

Peter Thiel, a Republican megadonor and early supporter of former US President Donald Trump, has told associates that he is not planning to donate to any political candidates in 2024, according to two people close to the businessman. This decision comes after Thiel became increasingly frustrated with the Republican Party’s focus on hot-button cultural issues, such as abortion and restrictions on transgender students using bathrooms in schools. He believes that this approach is distracting from more pressing economic issues, such as innovation and competing with China.

Thiel’s decision has been a long time coming, as he has been unhappy with the Republican Party’s shift towards the right on social issues for some time. In 2016, he expressed frustration with the party’s focus on cultural flashpoints, saying that “fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline.” He has also identified as a libertarian, a political philosophy that emphasizes individual freedoms, and has been critical of Trump’s chaotic presidency.

Thiel’s plans are a significant blow to the Republican Party, as he has been one of the party’s largest individual donors in recent cycles. He has contributed around $50 million to state and federal political candidates and campaigns since 2000, and was the 10th largest individual donor to either party in the 2022 midterm congressional elections.

Peter Thiel (Via Peter Thiel/Twitter)

Thiel’s decision to step back from politics is also driven by concerns about his family’s safety, according to a source close to him. As a prominent figure in the tech industry and politics, Thiel has faced criticism and backlash from some quarters, and has reportedly been concerned about the potential risks to his family.

Thiel’s move is part of a broader trend of business-minded donors growing disillusioned with the Republican Party’s shift towards the right on social issues. Several top donors have expressed hesitation about supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce a run for the White House soon, after he signed a bill into law that bans most abortions after six weeks in Florida.

It remains to be seen whether Thiel will change his mind and return to supporting political candidates in the future. However, his decision to step back from politics is a significant blow to the Republican Party and its ability to attract top donors and talent. As a prominent figure in the tech industry and politics, Thiel’s absence will likely be felt, and his decision to focus on his business ventures and personal life is likely to be closely watched by observers.

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