The differences between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seem obvious to many. Not to Tim Draper, though.

"I don't like either candidate," the venture capitalist told Inc. Wednesday, adding later that he was "torn," "in denial," and that he might vote for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

"At this point, I'm just sad," Draper, an investor in Skype, Baidu, and Tesla, said as the G-Startup Worldwide startup competition wrapped up at the Hyatt Regency hotel in San Francisco.

He said both candidates are overly restrictive on economic issues: "I don't like the idea of any kind of protectionism."

Draper is known for espousing libertarian views and once proposed a state ballot measure that would have split California into six states, including a state of Silicon Valley that would consist of Bay Area cities.

Draper's argument was that the breaking up of the state would fix government inefficiencies. He reportedly said during a 2014 event where he promoted the initiative, "We've gone from, in effect, a very free country to one where it's moving toward, I guess it's slavery."

With regard to protectionism, on Wednesday he cited Trump's anti-immigration views and said Clinton "is so protective of the workers that she's going to shut down Uber."

"Uber is, like, the coolest thing ever," he said, adding that he is not an investor.

He said neither the Republican nor Democratic parties reflect the interests of "free market thinkers" in Silicon Valley, a voting bloc he said the parties treat as an ATM. "They just come here to raise money."

He said both candidates are "out of touch" when it comes to issues of cybersecurity, and that they were running campaigns based on messages of fear. Draper, who is in his 50s, told a crowd of 20-somethings that had clustered around him that while they were too young to know, the world had improved greatly over time, down to details as minute as the quality of chairs such as those on the stage next to him and the carpet on the floor of the room in which they stood.

"They get elected by spreading fear," he told the mostly-Millennial crowd. "All of you should read Dune," he added, referring to the science-fiction novel by Frank Herbert. "Dune says fear is the mind-killer."

Published on: Sep 29, 2016