Musk’s Success Drives Progressives Crazy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Musk’s Success Drives Progressives Crazy
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Elon Musk in Vancouver, Canada, April 14, 2022 (YouTube/TED)

WASHINGTON — The progressives, once called liberals, have a new target to hate. He is Elon Musk. By the way, the progressives have become very complacent about their targets for hatred. They hate Musk today, but it cannot be only because he is the richest man in the world. There is a tremendous competition to be the richest man in the world, and what I would have thought would make this competition all the more ferocious is that most of the competitors are Yanks. From week to week or month, to month billionaires such as Jeff Bezos (of Amazon), Bill Gates (of Microsoft), and Mark Zuckerberg (of Meta) are competing with Musk to be the richest man on the planet. It all depends on the stock market at any point in time.

Right now, it is Mr. Musk. He is rumored to be worth between $171 billion and $300 billion depending on the value of his holdings at any one time, and it has the progressives furious. But why do they not get exercised over the other billionaires? As I say, it seems that the progressives have become complacent about so many Americans competing to be the richest man on the planet. Back in the good old days I should think that having so many American billionaires competing to be the richest man in the world would have do-gooders such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders up in arms. You would think these left-wing senators would be on the Senate floor night and day shouting for confiscatory taxation or, better yet, a simple wealth tax.

Possibly it would become malum prohibitum to earn more than a reasonable sum, say $500,000 annually. I could see Bezos settling for $500,000 annually, and Zuckerberg, too.

I would trust a centrist such as Elon Musk any day before I would trust a leftist.

Actually, Musk has been on thin ice with progressives for years. Why would the do-gooders allow him to start up Tesla, the hugely successful automobile company? Well, yes, Tesla is a battery-powered vehicle, so Elon cannot be all bad. Moreover, it was all good news when his engineers announced that they were experimenting with putting robots behind the wheel of a Tesla rather than humans. There was also some talk of putting a speed governor on each car. But it has not gone beyond the talking stage, and Teslas whiz past me on I-95 all the time. No one seems to care. They even pass me in the Safeway parking lot.

Then there was Musk’s invention of SpaceX. The progressives supposedly applauded Musk’s futuristic talk about SpaceX, but the truth is he is adding tremendously to his carbon footprint in outer space, and his guff about colonizing Mars is a lot of hooey. As for his ownership of Neuralink, the neurotechnology company, already the Biden administration is investigating Neuralink’s treatment of monkeys and rats and possibly goldfish.

Yet what is unforgivable is his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Musk’s promise to keep Twitter “politically neutral” has fooled no one in the leftist camp. The ink was hardly dry on his contracts when he fired more than half his employees. He claims, “Twitter … must be politically neutral.” Yet it already was politically neutral or as politically neutral as the leftists can imagine. The fact is that the Left has no conception of political neutrality. Anywhere one might go looking for political neutrality one will find political bias, and the bias is usually from the left. The erstwhile liberals — now progressives or, more properly, now leftists — are all bigots. I would trust a centrist such as Elon Musk any day before I would trust a leftist. Last week’s dump of Twitter documents accumulated before Musk took the company over proves it.

My guess is that Musk is as familiar with liberal bigotry as I am. He sees Twitter for the business opportunity that it is. A truly open forum will attract conservatives, moderates, independents, and that rare creature once called a liberal. I am uncertain if the true liberal is still around. Yet if he is still around, he might help Musk make his politically neutral Twitter work, and, if he does, he might make Musk another few billion dollars. Keep your eye on Musk. He has shown wise investors that he is the guy to watch.

Glory to Ukraine!

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
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R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief ofThe American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: The Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn’t Work: Social Democracy’s Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. He makes frequent appearances on national television and is a nationally syndicated columnist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, National Review, Harper’s, Commentary, The (London) Spectator, Le Figaro (Paris), and elsewhere. He is also a contributing editor to the New York Sun.
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