On this edition of Parallax Views, tech billionaire Peter Thiel, known for his libertarian and conservative political leanings, infamously backed Donald Trump's successful 2016 Presidential bid. Although Trump may be out of office, Thiel hasn't given up on using his immense wealth to back political candidates presenting themselves as "populists" in the Trumpian mold. For example, he has contributed to the Senate campaign of Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance in Ohio.
He's also contributed $10 million dollars to the Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. Masters, who co-wrote the best-seller Zero to One with Thiel, serves as the President of the Thiel Foundation and the chief operating officer of Thiel Capital. Although Masters is running as a "populist" candidate, some of the issues Masters if focusing on in his campaign could serve to benefit Thiel's investments. Specifically, the issues of border-security and China, which are key issues in Masters' purview, could stand to benefit Peter Thiel's in surveillance technologies vis-à-vis Palantir (the company, it should be noted, that was providing technology to ICE under Trump). In other words, Masters successfully taking a seat in the Senate could be good for Thiel's border security and weapons investments.
Joining us to discuss all of this is Senior Advisor at the Quincy Institute and investigative journalist at Responsible Statecraft magazine Eli Clifton, Clifton recently penned a piece entitled "Meet Peter Thiel’s military industrial candidate" for the aforementioned magazine. We also discuss, briefly, at the beginning of our conversation the controversies around the recently arrested Tom Barrack as it relates to the UAE and foreign influence operations on U.S. foreign policy.