Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report, the innovative maker of premium electric vehicles. That by itself has given him a prominent platform. But for some time now, Musk, who has also become the richest man in the world, has seen his influence extend beyond the business circle.
He has become the icon of a new generation of investors, who bet, for example, on cryptocurrencies, web 3, the new iteration of the internet, and the metaverse – a virtual world in which we will interact via avatars, helped by hardware like virtual reality headsets.
They want to disrupt whatever system is in place. And Musk, a serial entrepreneur who has built his brand on system disruption, sees himself as the symbol of this new era.
No surprise, then, that Musk has extended his reach to politics. His favorite targets are the Democrats and President Joe Biden, who he believes is glued to his teleprompter instead of getting things done.
“It’s hard to tell what Biden is doing, to be totally frank,” the mogul said recently.
“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter. The path to power is the path to the teleprompter. I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like ‘Anchorman.’”
Tesla’s chief executive is referring to the 2004 movie about a news anchor who will read anything written on the teleprompter, even if it ruins his career.
Musk Calls for a Moderate Party
After harshly attacking the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Musk announced on May 18 that he would now vote Republican. He’d voted for Barack Obama.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he said. But Democrats have become “the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”
But two days after this declaration, Musk made new statements that will bewilder Republicans, who were happy to have the tech tycoon in their ranks.
The entrepreneur wants a political big bang that’ll end the two-party system. He sees the current political system as a source of division and not representing everyone.
“I suggest no parties and just direct voting by the people of concise laws that everyone can understand,” Musk wrote on Twitter on March 19.
Musk goes further and proposes a third party, a kind of centrist party that would become the tent of moderate voices.
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“A party more moderate on all issues than either Reps or Dems would be ideal,” the billionaire said. “This is what most people in America want, but unfortunately it’s not realistic.”
He explained: “Generally, the party with less power (currently Republicans at national level) moves more toward center to win moderate votes, so control of House/Senate/President goes back & forth over time.”
Will the Billionaire Found a New Party?
The politicians will no doubt dismiss this as joke of a bored billionaire, but given Musk’s past, such a reaction could prove a mistake.
Musk is in the process of acquiring the social network Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. reportwhich he describes as the de facto Times Square of our time.
Control of the platform, where he has more than 94.1 million followers, gives him a big tool of influence. Musk can also tap into the base of fans of Tesla and his space exploration company, SpaceX, who have an unfailing admiration for him.
In the past, Musk has made important decisions after floating related ideas on social media.
This was particularly the case for the $44 billion proposed acquisition of Twitter. It all started with a poll he launched on the platform to find out what to do with the microblogging website, which he accused of not respecting the principles of free speech. A few days later, he disclosed a 9.2% stake in Twitter and on April 14 made a bid to acquire the entire company.
Before selling millions of Tesla shares last year, Musk started by polling Twitter users he asked for advice via a survey.
This isn’t the first time Musk has brought up the idea of a third voice. On May 12 he said that for 2024 neither former Republican President Donald Trump nor Biden was a candidate he would vote for.
He did say, on May 12: “Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter.”
Musk Responds to Sexual-Harassment Charge
Meantime, Musk has just dismissed reports, which surfaced on May 19, that he had sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private jet in 2016.
“And, for the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue,” Musk said.
“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will determine me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” Musk, 50, added.