Peter Thiel is to Trump What Henry Ford was to Hitler
The similarities between their relationships are striking
A visionary technology entrepreneur that changed the world, who started a newspaper to push his world view, backs a dangerous demagogue. I could be talking about Peter Thiel, ‘The Stanford Review’ and Trump or Henry Ford, ‘The Dearborn Independent’ and Hitler.
A few days ago the New York Times reported that Thiel was to donate $1.25 million to Trump, 94 years earlier the same paper reported that Ford was financially backing Adolph Hitler. At the time many people didn’t take Hitler seriously, much in the same way Trump was perceived early on.
Like Thiel, Ford was a famous, iconic technologist who associated with other big technologists of that era. It was a disturbing, unsettling move by someone who was seen as representing the future and American entrepreneurial zeal.
Ford’s Hitler support seemed contradictory as did Thiel’s of Trump, both stated they did not like totalitarian governments, but backed a political figure who was clearly totalitarian. Ford was rewarded by the Nazi party for his loyalty and support, in 1938 he was given the ‘Grand Cross of the German Eagle’ (below), the highest Nazi honour for an individual.
Similarly Thiel was given a coveted speaking spot at the RNC, a spot on Trump’s transition team and was even rumored to be possibly in line for a supreme court nomination (denied by campaign.)
Ford saw Hitler as a way to further his world view, as a noted anti-semite he saw Hitler as an ally against an imaginary cabal of jewish bankers. Thiel stated in a New York Times op-ed that he sees Trump as a way to challenge the political establishment he openly despises saying he is “exactly what we need to move the party — and the country — in a new direction.”
Trump rails against ‘political correctness’ as a corroding force, which is a main tenet of his campaign. So does Peter Thiel, who co-authored a book about that very thing, titled the ‘The Diversity Myth’ and in an interview with Glenn Beck said “I think the biggest political problem we have is the problem of political correctness.” Ford and Hitler shared the view that there was a jewish conspiracy of bankers controlling the world, Ford published a book about it that Hitler openly cited as a great inspiration. Hitler quoted it heavily it in ‘Mein Kampf.’ Interestingly some have accused a recent Trump speech of copying notions from the pages of aforementioned anti-semitic propaganda.
Ford financially backed Hitler in a number of ways, his first contribution helped fund Hitler’s Bavarian rebellion. In 1939 the German Ford Motor company sent Hitler money on his birthday and it has been claimed Ford helped finance Hitler with money from sales of automobiles and trucks that he shipped to Germany. Not only has Thiel sat on Trump’s campaign finance team, he just donated $1.25 million to Trump. Like Thiel, Ford also used his wealth and the courts to crack down on reporting about him.
Perhaps Thiel will sue me for this, which would only strengthen my analogy. Shortly before Ford’s funding of Hitler came to light, a Jewish lawyer named Samuel Untermyer was quoted in the New York Times calling Ford a ‘mad hatter’ for his anti-semitic crusade. Untermyer said that Ford thought:
“because he can make cheap automobiles he alone possesses the statesmanship and financial genius to rule the world”
and later continued
“Why can’t the people realize that a cheap, petty, ignorant man who has grown rich can get just as crazy as any poor devil of an inmate of a lunatic asylum? The only difference is that is that one is locked up for the public safety while the other is permitted to roam at large to the great peril of the public.”
We would all do well to keep Untermyer’s points in mind when reassessing our views of Peter Thiel in light of his recent actions.