Goldberg: Why is Peter Thiel, a GOP megadonor, buying a Maltese passport?
As you know, this week the New York Times reported that Peter Thiel, the wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist, had been granted special visa by the government of Malta, in a case of apparent hypocrisy as much as any.
I couldn’t find all the details in the Times’ story, but did get a link to the story from Peter Thiel himself:
What I find curious is why the government would choose to grant a visa to an individual whose business practices have been widely called into question. The media has painted Thiel as a self-promoting egomaniac, but as I’ve said, he’s not the kind of person who would intentionally seek to advance his company’s interests at someone else’s expense.
I wish Peter Thiel the best. I wish the Times the best. But as much as I respect and admire Thiel for his intellect and success and his desire to do good, I feel it’s a little rich for him to claim he only ever sought to advance his company’s interests.
He’s been outspoken about the dangers of the internet, and its power. And he has spent a staggering amount of money funding the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs. But he has also been clear that he would prefer to not be at the center of the new internet economy — he wants to be a part of a world that welcomes him, rather than a world that seeks to control him—and perhaps as a result has chosen to give away his fortune, rather than risk his reputation and career.
Thiel is perhaps best known for being a major contributor to the Donald Trump campaign, which was in large part an effort to raise the profile of the tech industry in Washington. But he’s been the most outspoken on issues of internet regulation and free expression, and also on issues of privacy and intellectual property, which are important to him.
But he is