Elon Musk Is Still Not Your Savior

Conservatives may have noticed the recent spat between Donald Trump and Elon Musk. Trump called Musk a “bullshit artist,” and Musk replied it was time for Trump to “sail into the sunset.”

But Trump has a point. Remember how Musk was supposed to save free speech on the internet by buying Twitter for $44 billion and sending the Twitter censors packing? Now, he’s backing out of the deal, allegedly because of doubts about the number of human customers Twitter has, as opposed to “bots.” 

Many suspect, however, that the original $44 billion price tag now looks absurdly high, given that tech stocks have been hammered over the past few months, and Musk is actually trying to save himself some money by renegotiating. Another distinct possibility is that Musk has taken note of the Left’s fury—and the pique of many of his virtue-signaling customers (a lot of CNN viewers drive Teslas)—and decided that remaking social media along libertarian lines isn’t worth the hassle.

In any case, Musk’s retreat on the Twitter front has left many conservatives crestfallen, because it means that in the short term, and probably the long term, all major social media companies will remain in the hands of woke ideologues committed to “curating” the internet and purging it of dissent, including principled conservatism.

Thanks a lot, Elon!

There were always compelling reasons to doubt Musk’s bona fides as the savior of free speech, however, and suggestions that he was a “conservative” were simply delusional.

Musk admits he never voted for a Republican before this year. He’s described himself as a “socialist,” and, true to form, the business model of the world’s richest man is heavily dependent on government subsidies, tax breaks, and contracts.

Musk is a fervent advocate of climate alarmism, since it helps to justify government support of “green energy” projects like his electric cars. Musk is also deeply committed to expanding his business operations in China, and he has thus lavishly (if cynically?) praised the dictatorial regime of the Chinese Communist Party.

Musk has generally parroted the Left’s agenda on social issues too, and he’s lived an “alternative lifestyle” himself, fathering 10 children with three separate women, with three of those children born within a month of each other in late 2021! Musk’s idea of “traditional family values” consists of naming a recent son X, and a daughter Y. Father knows best, indeed!

You have to hand it to Musk, though. He practices what he preaches. He’s said that “a collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces.” That must be why he recently visited a famous Berlin sex club wearing a Zorro mask. Practice makes perfect, right? I mean, unless he spent his time there workshopping a new platform for the GOP. Seems unlikely, though.

All in all, Musk is a sometimes brilliant and visionary egomaniac, a ruthless and wildly successful businessman, and an intriguing celebrity with a unique backstory and a tendency to express himself freely and without concern for what anyone else thinks (and a healthy respect for others who dare to be different). All of this makes Musk an occasionally sympathetic figure for conservatives, who, like Musk, are outsiders disdained by the woke elite. 

None of this, however, makes Musk a conservative, per se, and there’s certainly nothing in his background that would suggest that his dedication to conservative, constitutional principles can compete with his vanity or his desire to make money.

In other words, conservatives, Republicans, and Trumpers, if you’re looking for a man to make the world safe for right-wingers again, don’t pin your hopes on Elon Musk. He’s about as likely to persuade Twitter to un-censor you as he is to build a city on Mars (which is also, naturally, on his to-do list).

If you’re in the market for a savior, then, get out the Good Book and start reading. Musk will disappoint you 99 percent of the time. God has a much better track record.

About Nicholas L. Waddy

Nicholas L. Waddy, an associate professor of history at SUNY Alfred, blogs at www.waddyisright.com.

Photo: Elon Musk on a speedboat in Mykonos, Greece, 16 July 2022. MEGA/GC Images

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