Jul 22, 2016 ยท 2 minutes

When it was announced that Peter Thiel would speak at the RNC in Cleveland, a lot of people in Silicon Valley lost their minds.

Facebook executives moved quickly to distance themselves from their board member, Founders Fund portfolio companies (which include Pando) found themselves having to denounce one of their highest profile investors -- and one Thiel-backed founder even took out a full page ad in the Times attacking Donald Trump and, by implication, Peter Thiel.

Meanwhile, the rest of Silicon Valley moved quickly to assure the world that, no, Peter Thiel did not speak for them. At all.

Given the fallout from Thiel’s decision to stand on stage and support a racist, sexist, warmongering fascist, one might have expected a bombshell speech. An attempt to build a bridge between Silicon Valley and conservatives, perhaps. Or some fiery libertarian rhetoric about free speech, or a return to individual privacy and protection from government spying post-Snowden. There were even rumors that Thiel might take on the republicans over their bigoted bathroom laws or homophobia or over Pence’s support of gay conversion therapy.

But no. Instead we got five sweaty, gooning minutes of Thiel praising Donald Trump as the only man who truly understood that “culture wars” -- that is, the right’s war against women, LGBT Americans, minority ethnic groups, immigrants and just about everyone else -- are all just a distraction from what really matters. ‘WHO CARES?’ Thiel bellowed before grinning awkwardly as he awaited the standing ovation he had been contractually guaranteed. 

And then, after gabbling some bullshit about Clinton’s speaking fees (how much do you get paid to speak, Peter?) and her closeness with Wall Street (how’s the hedge fund working out?) he ended with a rallying cry -- “I call on my fellow Americans to vote for Donald Trump" -- and was gone.

Most in the audience had likely forgotten his name -- the little gay fella who said he doesn’t care that we hate queers -- before he even left the building.  Trump himself had to be reminded by the Hollywood Reporter that he'd even asked him to speak:

Trump needs reminding who [Thiel] is, and then concludes he must be a friend of his son-in-law Jared... Indeed, Trump doesn't appear to be interested in Silicon Valley, except to roll off his numbers on each social media platform.

 But Silicon Valley won’t forget who Peter Thiel is. His colleagues at Founders Fund who are now tarred with Trump's fascist brush won’t forget, and the kids building companies who can no longer bold his name on their investor page won’t forget.

More importantly, the countless (albeit still not countless enough) gay, non-white, non-male people who work in Silicon Valley who just heard the first openly gay speaker ever to address the fact at the RNC give Trump and the GOP a pass for all of their bigotry as long as the rich keep getting richer.

None of those people will ever forget who Peter Thiel is.

And for what?