Never one to shy away from Twitter outrage, Elon Musk has sparked another drama with nothing more than a few drawings of stick people.
Musk shared a diagram with what be believes to be the political spectrum between those who skew between the left (progressive/liberal) and right (conservative).
The diagram compares how Musk feels his political views have changed from 2008, 2012 and 2021, as left-leaning politics have become more pronounced, he observed.
According to the picture, while he considered himself as a “left-leaning” person in 2008, he’s grown progressively centralist and then right-leaning in 2021.
Meanwhile, people with left-leaning views – who he used to identify with – have become increasingly negative towards him.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk explained that while he “strongly supported” former US president Barack Obama, his allegiance to the Democratic Party has wavered.
“I strongly supported Obama for president, but today’s Democratic Party has been hijacked by extremists,” he wrote.
Although Musk is a fan of over-exaggeration in his tweets, the “extremists” he’s referring to are likely the most progressive members in the Democratic Party such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders and Ayanna Pressley. In US politics, these members support policies like publicly-funded universal healthcare for Americans, and promote rights around gender and trans identity and support more open Immigration.
It can also be argued that the extreme far-right Republican politicians are more extremist than their Democratic counterparts. However, like Musk’s diagram, people who previously considered themselves as progressive, now no longer feel “progressive enough”, which drags them into the centre.
As author Tim Urban wrote in response to Musk’s post: “It’s true that on aggregate, the right has moved more to the extreme than the left in Washington. But the small group on the far left has become very *culturally* powerful & out of fear, the rest of the left has often allowed them to speak (and make policies) for the whole left.
“So even though the left hasn’t moved that far left (as is shown by voting results), the left is in a sense being held hostage by their extreme wing, making a lot of people who enthusiastically voted for Obama feel politically homeless today.”
It’s a view that many agree with, including the co-creator of DogeCoin, Billy Markus.
“This is how I feel. 10 years ago I would have called myself progressive cuz I believed in equality and not being an asshole over trivial things,” he tweeted.
“Now I consider myself moderate because I believe in equality and not being an asshole over trivial things.”
In response, Musk simply commented with: “Same.”
Those who disagreed reminded Musk about the US Capitol riots, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Complex in Washington DC.
“Remind us which party incited an insurrection on the US Capitol,” wrote political commentator Brian Taylor Cohen.
“Which party is passing total abortion bans in the states. Which party thinks climate change is a hoax. Which party is banning books.”
In another comment, US congressional candidate and former state senator for Ohio, Nina Turner, hinted that his shifting politics could be attributed to his ascending personal wealth compared to the stagnant minimum wage.
Musk has been a constant critic of political correctness “woke culture” – or the “woke mind virus” – and considers it a threat to free speech.
Responding to a tweet about Netflix losing subscribers for the first time in more than 10 years, Musk wrote: “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.”
In the weeks before he forked out A$61 billion ($67b) to buy Twitter, Musk also regularly tweeted the importance of free speech on the social media platform, sayingit should cater to both sides.
“A social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10 per cent on left and right are equally unhappy,” he wrote.
Despite his controversial views, Musk saidhe accepts that championing free speech also means accepting criticism from other people.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” he wrote.
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