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While many people are stunned Donald Trump won, one person saw it coming, and embraced it wholeheartedly: Peter Thiel.
Thiel is a billionaire thanks to his early investment in Facebook, where he is a board member. He was a co-founder of PayPal, and an investor in a number of technology companies.
He was also a loud supporter of Trump, which made him an outcast in Silicon Valley, where many tech industry execs and workers people are distraught over Trump's victory.
Two weeks ago, Thiel explained his support for Trump at the National Press Club. He also explained why he thought Trump would win.
In retrospect, Thiel nailed the Trump phenomenon:
"I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally. ... I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally, so when they hear things like the Muslim comment or the wall comment, their question is not, 'Are you going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China?' or, you know, 'How exactly are you going to enforce these tests?' What they hear is we're going to have a saner, more sensible immigration policy."
For what it's worth, this line seems to be lifted from The Atlantic. But Thiel amplified it at the Press Club.
The world will wait to see what a Trump presidency looks like, but Trump's first speech as president-elect reinforced Thiel's statement. Trump was gracious. He didn't insult anyone, and he focused on big themes that people around the country want to see change.
And he didn't say one thing about building that great wall.
It's anybody's guess where Trump goes next, but Thiel would probably advise Americans to pay closer attention to the spirit, and not the letter, of what he says.