Why Progressives Fear Elon Musk
By William Haupt III (The Center Square)
“I’m nauseatingly pro-American. I would have come here from any country long ago. The U.S. is where great things are possible – if you want to make them happen.” – Elon Musk
One of the left’s greatest heroes and biggest supporters was the guy who created a fleet of electric vehicles that made gasless cars the coolest thing on the left coast. He plans to invest billions in rapid transit trains and owns a rocket ship company.
He condemned the invasion of the Ukraine. He also has no use for big oil. He has been a leftist icon since he arrived in northern California.
Since equity, diversity and inclusion have become the core tenets of left-wing political orthodoxy, one would think that an immigrant from Africa who received an Ivy League education and became a major eco business owner can do no wrong in progressive America.
After all, anyone who could possibly put big oil out of business, producing a car those on the left dream of, should be a hero.
When Democrats heard that Elon Musk would be head of a group of investors purchasing Twitter, this was less than a symbolic “dream” for Democrats and socialists. In fact, now that he heads one of the world’s largest social media enterprises, most progressives are saying that he sold them out.
“This is the most threatening thing that has ever happened in our democracy.” – Elizabeth Warren
Few Democrats are happy about a white African immigrant purchasing Twitter. In fact, many on the left are bellyaching that the new owner of this social media giant is promising to make Twitter an open forum for free speech. It’s a dichotomy that after years of proclaiming only Democrats want to protect democracy, the majority of them are publicly protesting the key hallmark of our democracy.
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Restrictions on speech in any public forum is government censorship which is in violation of the Constitution. Such restrictions deprive people of their right to hear what they want to hear, to say what they want to say and debate issues they disagree upon to protect republican health.
A healthy society depends on education, and education is founded on the principle of free speech. How we value the right of free speech is put to the test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends us warrants the same constitutional protection as speech that we find agreeable. If we allow government to suppress free speech, they will ration democracy for us.
It’s no secret that for decades Democrats have enjoyed their years in the sun basking in the glory of immortal support from liberal media. When liberal candidates are falling on their backsides, or facing personal, social and political scandals, the liberal media always finds ways to bail them out.
”It’s impossible to keep America informed without help from the traditional media.” – Barack Obama
The biggest censorship scandal of the century took place during the 2020 presidential campaigns when social media giants Facebook and Twitter blocked all postings from the New York Post that exposed damaging information about Hunter Biden’s notorious laptop. Executives at Facebook and Twitter admitted they were told by the Democratic Party to block anything mentioning the Bidens’ scandals. They said they were asked to do this until after the election was over and was certified.
Once the AP press release hit the newsrooms that Elon Musk was the new official owner of Twitter and he promised to reinstate Donald Trump’s account and reveal how Twitter had run interference for Biden and the Democrats, this sent liberal media into attack mode. The left feels betrayed that Musk, a moderate who had supported their party in the past, opened this can of “political worms.”
Progressives loved Elon Musk when he was filling their election coffers with thousands of dollars so they would help grow his electric car company, Tesla, Inc. He was a celebrity and a savior to the progressives and environmentalists who were resolved to shut down big oil.
But Democrats saw the other side of Musk, the businessman, when he bought Twitter. Musk realized the pitfalls of relying on half truths, censorship and orders from the left to support Twitter. Musk announced that he was going to shut down Twitter’s leftist-only arena and end censorship. To increase profits and market share, Twitter’s new business model would be a forum for free speech.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean tweeted, “Hi Twitterverse. Many thanks for the knowledge and sharing over the past ten years or so. If Musk takes over Twitter I will be off within a few hours. Might be just as well for my well being but I’ve learned a lot of stuff from you.”
“Sometimes nothing goes right, like when I ran for president. This is another one.” – Howard Dean
BLM race baiter Shaun King was so distraught at Musk owning Twitter that he blamed it on white power. “At its root, Elon Musk purchasing Twitter is not about left vs right. It’s about white power. This man was raised in Apartheid by white nationalists. And that’s his definition of free speech.”
Progressives’ definition of “free speech” is, “It is OK for them to say anything they wish, but it is not OK for conservatives to say what they wish.” Musk says he only wants to make Twitter a haven for “free speech”. But progressives disagree. They gripe that conservatives will destroy liberal Twitter.
Musk’s down-to-earth style of communication makes many internet users believe that Musk is just like them. And this is exactly what bothers progressives. Musk can stir up controversy anytime he wants, which forces progressives to defend unpopular positions in a forum they think that they own.
Author Jess Scott wrote, “Hypocrites get offended by the truth.” In the make-up-rules-as-you-need-them progressive constitution, it’s OK when we do it to you but you can’t do it to us. Musk has simply told the left and liberal media, “Political rules that apply to only one side are not rules. They are partisan wish lists dressed up as terms and conditions. If there are no neutral spaces in which to debate differing opinions, then there is nothing legitimate to be learned by anyone on a forum.”
Over the past few years, Musk has embraced a specific understanding of the 1st Amendment and free speech. Unwilling to live under the social restrictions of apartheid, he migrated from South Africa to Canada. While studying for his U.S. citizenship, he realized the importance of the Bill of Rights and especially protecting free speech. He believes his heterodox thinking provokes healthy discussion.
Social media is the new public square, and it matters who sets the rules. Instead of Silicon Valley elites like Mark Zuckerberg deciding what can and can’t be said, Elon Musk’s platform will allow free and open public discourse, which is healthy for democracy. And this will also make politicians more accountable when they hear people talking about them.
”You either move very quickly and you work hard to improve your product, or you get destroyed by some other company.” – Elon Musk
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.