Tesla’s chief executive officer is one of the most controversial billionaires in the world. Elon Musk made numerous statements that angered people. For example, he insulted Senator Elizabeth Warren because she said Elon Musk should pay more in taxes.
Furthermore, he wrote to Senator Bernie Sanders, who also thinks that Tesla’s CEO should pay more in taxes, “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.” Several years ago, Elon Musk called Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue children in Thailand, a “pedo guy.”
He is no stranger to sexist jokes as well. After considering all his tweets, it is not surprising that many people do not like him. Some people hate him for a number of reasons.
The world’s wealthiest person not only created a growing fleet of electric vehicles but also made gasless cars cool. Musk wants to build, essentially, the fastest trains in history. Tesla’s CEO condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sent satellite internet terminals to the Ukrainian people. So why do so many liberals hate him so much?
However, not a long time ago, it was conservatives who disliked Elon Musk. During a 2012 presidential debate, Barack Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney called Tesla a “loser,” lumping the company with the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra.
What changed since then? Here are several major developments that turned the world’s wealthiest person into a liberal bogeyman.
Elon Musk and progressives
After former President Donald Trump’s attempt at a January 6 coup, Twitter kicked Donald Trump off the service. They thought that Elon Musk would reverse Twitter’s decision regarding Trump’s Twitter account.
That’s precisely what the world’s wealthiest person plans to do with Trump’s account. Tesla’s boss said on Tuesday he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former President Donald Trump if his acquisition goes through.
Once Musk announced he was interested in taking over Twitter in part to make it a free speech platform, questions arose about whether he would invite Donald Trump back to Twitter.
One of the most extravagant billionaires on Tuesday acknowledged that Donald Trump said he wouldn’t return to the platform. Nevertheless, some people close to him say they expect Trump to return to Twitter anyway.
Progressives vs. billionaires
Moreover, there are two other aspects of progressive thinking that have become much louder and more important since the Obama administration.
The first aspect is the rise of the “ban billionaires” movement. According to many progressives, no person should be extremely wealthy. Interestingly, this sentiment comes mainly from a renewed class consciousness in the Democratic Party since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 primary run.
Undoubtedly, “ban billionaires” and the increased concerns over income inequality and racial equity is a big part of Musk’s declining reputation among progressives.
However, we should mention another reason as well. It is no secret that the way progressives interpret the phrase “free speech” has changed. Elon Musk says he wants to make Twitter a haven for “free speech” on the internet.
Over the past two years, in particular, he embraced a narrow as well as specific understanding of free speech. It is one shared by other famous people who created a brand on orthodox thinking, like Joe Rogan.
Sexual harassment is one of the biggest challenges for social media companies. Musk’s decision to buy Twitter has the potential to influence Twitter’s approach to such violations, as Musk is a free speech absolutist.
His approach to the pandemic is also controversial. According to progressives, we should trust experts. The world’s wealthiest person does not seem to trust these experts, and Musk often uses his large platform on Twitter to regularly question them.
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