Musk May Be One of Us, Setting Coastals Atwitter


A few years ago, who’d have thunk it? But Elon Musk has earned his spurs as a resident of Flyover Country. Now he seems to be more like one of us than one of them. And Musk’s $44-billion purchase of Twitter, carrying coastal elites kicking and screaming into a bold new era for the censorious social giant, is only one reason.

Musk’s electrifying — yes, I used that pun — blitzkrieg of Twitter is about as close to an action movie as doing business can become. Beginning with the moment he took a 9% stake in the grotesquely misnamed “free-speech platform” a few weeks ago, Musk put on edge the people who’ve seen nothing wrong with how Twitter “protected” Americans from ideas and thoughts they insisted were too wild and dangerous to be spread.

But when he subsequently bulldozed over Twitter’s management and board and bought the company out from under them, Musk turned these same critics apoplectic. New York Times editorial board member Greg Bensinger called Musk’s Twitter “a scary place.” Ari Melber of MSNBC panicked on air that Musk “could secretly ban one party’s candidate, or all of its candidates” — seemingly ignorant of the irony that Twitter under its current ownership has done exactly that, and heedless of Musk’s clear proclamation that he would take down practically all of the ideological guardrails around Twitter.

And the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, published an op-ed by a former CEO of the social site Reddit, calling for government regulation “to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.” Speaking of rich.

He's Out There

Yes, Musk has said he wants to die on Mars. He’s been married three times, has had other consorts, goes back and forth among them and shows no sign of settling down, demonstrating the same sort of peripatetic behavior toward significant others that he does with his many groundbreaking business endeavors. His seven children by various of these women have names like Exa Dark Siderael and XAE A-XII.

And, yes, of special importance to us in Flyover Country, Musk singlehandedly upended our crucial auto industry with Tesla, and now there’s no taming the transformation that he started. At the same time, this genius who spouts principle seems to have delved into nepotism with Tesla’s $2.6-billion bailout of SolarCity, a solar installer that was founded by two of his cousins.

Often in the past, Musk has spoken and acted too much like the zealous greenies on the coasts who elevate what they hope will be climate-change mitigation above all other considerations of life in the here and now as well as in the future. Musk quit one of President Trump’s early councils of CEOs, for example, after the administration pulled out of the toothless Paris climate accords.

And while the risk-taking attitude of the world’s richest man may know no personal bounds, Musk has been irresponsible to the point of heedlessness in hyping the autonomous-driving capabilities of early Tesla systems, even after trusting such capabilities seemed to have cost at least a couple of drivers their lives.

Read the rest of this piece at Flyover Coalition.

Dale Buss is founder and executive director of The Flyover Coalition, a not-for-profit organization aimed at helping revitalize and promote the economy, companies and people of the region between the Appalachians and Rockies, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. He is a long-time author, journalist, and magazine and newspaper editor, and contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and many other publications. Buss is a Wisconsin native who lives in Michigan and has also lived in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Photo: courtesy Flyover Coalition.