• Jacob Borsting

Liberals: Stop Cancelling Elon Musk

CC: Daniel Oberhaus (2018)
CC: Daniel Oberhaus (2018)

You would think that the man behind the first commercially successful electric car manufacturer, a revolutionary solar panel corporation, and a mission to colonize Mars, would be a hero among liberals. You would be wrong.

Elon Musk has arguably done more for humanity in his career thus far than any living political leader today. Even if some of his most ambitious projects such as the Hyperloop (carbon-free air sealed tube transportation system) or his obsession with bringing humans to Mars don’t come to fruition under his watch, he has started the conversation. Time after time he proves what was once thought as infeasible is possible.

But through a series of controversial tweets and a public spat with Alameda County health officials regarding the reopening of the California Tesla plant in Fremont, Musk finds himself in the crosshairs of many Democrats. Over the last few weeks, the Tesla CEO criticized coronavirus shutdowns, denounced pronouns on Twitter and stated that another stimulus package would not be in the best interest of the American people, infuriating many on the left. On top of that, it doesn’t help to be a billionaire in an age where some liberals chant “eat the rich” and vilify the uber-wealthy.

As a left-leaning individual, I don’t agree with the sense of urgency to cancel Elon Musk and I frankly think it’s sickening. Try to name another billionaire who wants to create a better future for humanity. It doesn't get more altruistic than that. Just to name a few of Elon’s accomplishments and goals...

  • Created mass-market fully electric vehicle, changing trends in an industry riddled with carbon emission

  • Introduced stylish solar panels to the market, silencing critics opposed to solar roofing for aesthetic reasons

  • On the forefront of hyperloop technology, aiming to create a mass system of connected high-speed airtight transportation tubes, cutting travel time drastically and the need for domestic air travel

  • Ensuring the longevity of the human race by establishing a human colony on Mars

I could go on but my point is that he is a true visionary. A character straight out of science fiction if you will. Does he, like anybody, occasionally say something I find distasteful? Yes, absolutely. Should that take away from what he is doing for the world? Hell no.

‘Cancel culture’ has blinded allies on the left and rather than seeing Musk for the true humanitarian he is, they would rather he be remembered forever by his latest, arguably insensitive, tweet. To call someone out when they are wrong is one thing, to deem them as an evil billionaire with no regard for the rest of us is another.

Take one of Elon’s latest controversies, a tweet regarding the next economic stimulus package. “Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo” read the tweet. Far-left twitter ripped the billionaire apart, with many noting Musk’s extreme wealth. Even Bernie Sanders took a shot at the Silicon Valley mogul, calling him a hypocrite nine hours following Musk’s tweet. I mention Sander’s delayed response because, like many, Bernie Sanders either failed to read the Tesla CEO’s subsequent tweets or blatantly ignored them.

An entire six minutes, yes six whole minutes, after Musk’s first tweet he replied “As a reminder, I’m in *favor* of universal basic income”. Eleven minutes after that Musk spit some truth regarding proposed stimulus packages. “These are jammed to gills with special interest earmarks.” He went on to say, “If we do a stimulus at all, it should just be direct payments to consumers.”

Why on earth are the Bernie Bros upset about that?! These coronavirus stimulus packages could care less about the average American. The stimulus packages include billions tied up for new military equipment and a new FBI headquarters. Not to mention the billions of dollars in the last package already “loaned” out to corporations with little verification, only to be later forgiven. Sure Musk is a billionaire, but read the damn context! He immediately followed the tweet up saying universal basic income is a good idea and explained why he was critical of another stimulus package in the first place. But to some, surprisingly even Bernie Sanders, that did not matter.

To say every tweet Elon Musk sends is undeserving of criticism would be foolish. I’m not sure I can defend Musk’s continuing downplaying of the pandemic neither can I defend his insensitive comments towards gender pronouns. But this is life and it is rare to find an individual in which you share every single political and societal belief.

It is also rare to find someone that has done so much in such a short period of time to make legitimate progress on astronomically ambitious human achievements. Elon Musk is a truly special individual. That being said, he is a human, he is not perfect and he may say things in which some find legitimate moral conflict. I encourage those enraged at Musk’s blunders to remember his triumphs. He has changed the rules of aerospace. He has changed the landscape of the automotive industry. He has shown that an environmentally friendly capitalist future is possible, and his best work is yet to come.

So to my fellow liberals, I get itthe guy can say some dumb stuff. Go ahead and call Elon out when you feel it is necessary. He seems to be active on twitter, you never know maybe he’ll read your tweet and change his whole perspective. But stop wasting your time attempting to paint him as some heartless billionaire. Read the context, be willing to understand other viewpoints, and remember that we’re all human and humans make mistakes.

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