He despised unions, underestimated political correctness and embraced the idea of a government with limited power. So conservatives may now be disappointed with their withdrawal from the Twitter buyout deal.
In any case, as a man who smokes pot during interviews, flirts with Hollywood by showing up in movies, and contemplates the destruction of Mars, it has been adopted by mainstream politicians as a force to be reckoned with. Not likely to go.
In a polarized United States, the 51-year-old tycoon’s opposition to Covid-19 restrictions is often seen as a gesture of sympathy for the Republican side, although he has made signs to suggest otherwise, such as against drastic immigration measures. To control their disdain.
The world’s richest man criticized the President Joe Biden To propose a tax credit for electric cars made by unionized workers. It also went on to call for an end to all US federal subsidies.
However, he energetically sought government support and received billions in payments for his companies.
International investor James Hickman, founder of the libertarian-style newsletter Sovereign Man, sees Musk as a brake on “minority tyranny,” a sort of space for the tech, media and academic elite to make decisions for the rest of society. are and are “consistently wrong”. ,
“What makes someone a true liberal is the ability to completely reject labels and be completely independent in their thinking,” Hickman told AFP.
“Musk clearly falls into that category, both politically and professionally,” he said.
Other analysts have suggested that, as inconsistent as his political philosophy may seem, Musk rarely contradicts his own business interests.
His political endowments also do not lean specifically towards any one party or point of view.
A self-proclaimed independent “liberal” but also a self-proclaimed “socialist,” Musk moved from super liberal California to deeply conservative Texas in 2020. He has donated to governments in both states, despite criticizing Texas’s anti-abortion laws and California’s “satisfying” business environment.
Freedom of expression?
Other donations were given to prominent Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the leader of the Republican minority in the lower house, Kevin McCarthy, and the Republican Party itself.
However, Musk has no problem attacking Washington power figures on social media, as he did. Donald TrumpIncluding against former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and Biden himself.
In addition, he speaks highly of freedom of expression, which he describes as “the foundation of a functioning democracy”.
Musk complains that Twitter uses too much censorship in its regulation of speech, while refuting his argument in a tweet to the company’s CEO Parag Agarwal as ruthless Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Critics say his passion for unfiltered discussion often seems more superficial when his own interests are at stake.
Some media outlets are concerned about Musk’s reaction to the critical reporting of Tesla. The billionaire was accused of sending an army of his followers against journalists.
“I will build a website where the public can assess the veracity of any article and track credibility scores for each journalist, editor, and time of publication,” he tweeted in 2018. The initiative came to nothing.
Judd Legum, a former Hillary Clinton campaign official who published the “Popular Information” political bulletin, also pointed to a tweet from 2018 in which Musk threatened to liquidate Tesla employees’ stock options if they decided to unionize. decided.
Critics say this behavior is part of a pattern in which it suppresses less powerful voices and is reflected in the inclusion of notoriously restrictive non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) for workers to sign.
One such agreement reportedly warned employees that they were “not allowed to speak to the media without explicit written permission”, but the company failed to warn them that the law protects them from retaliation when working. The situation was being discussed.
Baruch Labunsky, an expert in online marketing and web consulting, says it would be safe to describe Musk’s policy as “pragmatic” amid so much “conflicting evidence”.
“He is often classified as a moderate, but that designation does not accurately describe a person whose businesses benefited from government tax exemptions and business subsidies,” Labunsky told AFP.
The consultant views Musk as a “fundamentally selfish” celebrity.
“Musk can play politics because he is rich and outspoken,” he concluded.