Well, it’s happened again. Elon Musk is winning the media battle for the hearts and minds of our political pundits. In a stunning turn of events, conservatives nationwide are hailing the self-proclaimed socialist a “conservative hero.” The man who took billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, consistently stood against Donald Trump’s policies, and endorsed Andrew Yang for president is now Thomas Paine reborn.
Let me say it louder for the people in the back of the room; Elon Musk is not a conservative hero.
If the bar for being deemed a conservative hero is simply saying you don’t like the virus measures, then those rad spring breakers must also be conservative heroes. If the bar involves being a proponent of limited government, well, I’d say he misses the mark on “great.”
Musk’s greatest pioneering feet seems to be missing delivery deadlines and experiencing quality control problems. Could Henry Ford get away with missing delivery numbers quarter after quarter? Certainly not. Musk’s shortcomings with SpaceX and Tesla are so consistent and spectacular that people have dedicated webpages to following them. Is that the outcome we’d expect from a “bold entrepreneur?”
When you consider that Tesla, founded in 2003, had to wait until 2020 to finally turn a profit, one must wonder if he’d ever have done it without his billions in government giveaways. After all, Musk seemingly shuffles his operations around to whatever state, city, or country will fork over the most in subsidies, and his company’s sales frequently crater when that government largesse begins to phase out.
Being reliant on handouts, perhaps to keep your companies afloat, doesn’t make you a free-market hero; it makes you a leech who is beholden to the welfare state. Maybe you can claim his time at X.com, the precursor to PayPal, was disruptive and groundbreaking, but those days are long gone, and his current subsidy-dependent ventures are nothing of the sort.
When you examine the body of work around his current companies, it becomes clear this modern-day Edison is nothing more than a charlatan. But apparently his “brave” action to reopen his government-subsidized plant makes him Howard Roark with a different accent.
Generally, when vocal leftists briefly flirt with the “red pill,” it’s to protect their own interests. What does this wannabe George Mason stand to gain from his newfound love of liberty?
Well, it’s being reported that Musk is short on cash, and his troubles may soon get worse. The shutdown may earn him $41 million in fines from the state of New York for failing to meet the state’s employment conditions for the $750 million taxpayers there provided him to build his Tesla plant. The result for Musk is that when sending ventilators wasn’t enough to woo politicians into re-opening his factories, the only option left to protect his government money train (aside from begging for a deferral on the benchmarks) was to break the law.
That seems to be the biggest reason conservatives are hailing him now. If you remove the context, he’s a noble business owner who’s fighting to open his factory against big government oppression. But in reality, he’s a man who’s become wealthy because of, and openly supports the levers of, big government. The only reason he is seemingly fighting the system now is to preserve the governmental subsidy aggregations that he’s already reaped.
So no, Musk is not a hero, conservative or otherwise. He just plays one when convenient. It’s high time for the rest of the country to recognize as much.