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Sunday, May 22, 2022
The left hates Elon Musk because he’s a twin threat that doesn’t tolerate BS
It’s simple, really: Because he can’t be controlled, and because he doesn’t tolerate BS.
The left can’t stand either. It insists on control, to the point of systematically eliminating or co-opting anything that might serve as an independent power center. (Their fear is justified: “Music clubs” turned out to be a major factor in Czechoslovakia’s 1989 anticommunist Velvet Revolution.) And it insists on not merely spreading BS, but on requiring people to repeat and endorse its BS as a sign of submission.
Musk is thus a twin threat. As the sometime richest man in the world, he has a lot of power, and it’s not under anyone else’s control. And he’s a nerd, with a nerd’s low tolerance for bull. Where more socially “polished” people would go out of their way to show fealty to leftist tropes popular among the Gentry Class regardless of their absurdity, Musk is happy to point out that the emperor has no clothes.
When I was a kid, comic books and novels were full of “tycoons” — brash, vigorous men who had made fortunes and were out to change the world. But in real life, tycoons were pretty scarce. It was an era when IBM was the biggest tech company, and everything was done by committee. Which was disappointing, because the tycoons seemed to be the ones interested in funding spaceships, time machines, moon bases and so on.
Well, now it’s the 21st century, and the tycoons are back.
And the thing about tycoons is that they’re not timid creatures of committees. They speak and act on their own, and they don’t let themselves be constrained by the conventions of less capable people.
Musk is our greatest tycoon, and while NASA can’t seem to get a spaceship into orbit reliably, he’s been launching rockets and satellites and astronauts at a pace that no mere nation-state can achieve. And he’s doing this while also manufacturing electric cars that no one else can match, digging tunnels that no one else can equal, and dominating the field of residential solar energy. His critics, meanwhile, only dominate the field of kvetching.
Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, has been a reliable supporter of the establishment. If he’s straying from the reservation, who knows what’s next?
This is a mortal threat, because the left’s BS can only flourish in an environment where no one challenges it.
Expect blowback: Musk recently warned that he would become the target of political attacks, and that’s already happening. He’s also facing attacks from the Democrats’ weaponized federal bureaucracy, with the SEC — what Musk calls the “short sellers’ enrichment commission” — going after him for suddenly discovered “issues” with Tesla. Meanwhile the FAA and EPA are suddenly slowing down SpaceX’s work with dubious environmental demands. Democrats are particularly incensed that Musk has built successful businesses without unions.
The problem for the Biden administration is that it’s become weak and contemptible, meaning that fewer people are afraid. (Biden’s Hispanic support has fallen to an incredibly low of 26%).
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” Musk wrote this week. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.”
Expect more lefty defections, as Musk reminds people that there’s no need to kowtow. That it took an immigrant to remind Americans of this fundamental American truth doesn’t speak well of our current political culture. But thank God — and Elon — that someone’s doing it.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.