Thiel, Stringham, DRH.jpg

Thiel, who supports gay marriage, plans to say that although he does not agree with all the policies in the official GOP platform, he believes fighting over cultural issues such as “bathroom bills” is a distraction from more important matters.

Thiel intends to make the case that the most paramount challenges facing the country center on the economy and foreign entanglements. He strongly opposes an expansionist military policy and plans to say that he agrees with Trump that the United States should avoid unnecessary wars.

This is from Matea Gold, “Peter Thiel plans to make history as first GOP convention speaker to announce that he is proud to be gay,” Washington Post, July 20, 2016.

HT2 Tyler Cowen.

Just when I think there’s nothing to like about Donald Trump, I see him holding back on risking war with Russia. Here’s how the editors at the Wall Street Journal put it in an editorial titled “The GOP’s Putin Confusion“:

This week Republicans were given a glimpse of the GOP’s changing foreign policy during a platform fight over language regarding Ukraine. A delegate proposed an amendment that called for the U.S. to provide Ukraine’s military with the “lethal defensive weapons” it needs to protect itself from Mr. Putin. But in the end that was watered down to a more milquetoast “appropriate assistance.”

This is a telling change because it shows the subcommittee that edited down the language seemed to be worried that the call to give Ukraine lethal weapons (the only kind that will make a difference) would be too provocative. That’s the same argument that President Obama has used to justify withholding lethal aid, and it’s a victory for Mr. Putin. It’s wrong on the merits because the Russian will keep pressing Ukraine until the price becomes too high. Lethal aid would raise that price.

A friend who has been following the Republican convention more closely than I have tells me that it was the Trump forces that pushed for watering down the language.

Thiel is a strong supporter of free markets. The above picture is of Ed Stringham, Thiel, and me (I’m the one with the white hair) at an annual meeting of the Association for Private Enterprise Education.