By any reasoned measure, Elon Musk should be a liberal icon. Among other accomplishments, he single-handedly moved electric vehicles from niche product into the automotive mainstream (granted, with a not-insignificant amount of government incentive), built what could be a cheap and efficient solution to internet connectivity in rural areas, and is the living embodiment of John F. Kennedy’s vision for the future of America’s space industry.
Yet, the Left treats Musk like the villain from Harry Potter – he who should not be named!
What reason has Musk given liberals to hate him so? None, other than growing wealthy from the products of his genius and labor. In the liberal world, where “profit” is a four-letter word, this is a cardinal sin. There are exceptions, of course, for members in good standing of the liberal tribe, where you can be fabulously rich so long as you kowtow to the party line, or stuff your wallet with mega speaking fees a la Stacey Abrams or misdirect donor funds to personal use like the former leaders of Black Lives Matter.
Musk is a visionary entrepreneur and unapologetic capitalist who refuses to bow at the altar of liberalism.
The South Africa-born naturalized U.S. citizen actually has contributed greatly to furthering many of the erstwhile goals of the Left, such as electric vehicles to replace those powered by fossil fuel, and in many ways more than any Democrat in the modern era. Still, he is treated by them as a pariah.
Take, for instance, Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live last year. Despite the ratings bump he would bring to a wholly mediocre era of the show, cast members rushed to social media in protest, citing his wealth as his primary offense.
While SNL crybabies try to “change the world” with dull comedy, and Democrats in government dole out billions in taxpayer funds for “green” boondoggles, Musk is actually getting it done, even if the Left refuses to award him any credit.
Prior to the release of the Tesla Model S in 2012, EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt were, to put it mildly, as bland as a kale smoothie. Because of its styling and performance, the Model S was a market hit, and later models have continued to pace the industry.
However, making EVs “cool” was not Musk’s only contribution to an industry that once was in danger of flatlining altogether. To sell his cars, Musk had to fight tooth and nail to upend a long-standing, archaic regulatory environment that limited competition by forcing manufacturers to sell vehicles only through approved middlemen – dealers. The legal battles were tough and expensive, but Musk’s victories paved the way for other upstart EV companies today.
Then there is Starlink, a satellite-based internet access project of Musk’s company SpaceX. In addition to providing Ukraine with a reliable means of internet connectivity as they defend their land from Russia, Starlink is perhaps the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver high speed internet access to rural areas of the United States – another major social initiative pushed by Democrats.
Even Musk’s less well-known companies, like the Boring Company, have massive value to Democrats. Liberals have long bemoaned urban growth in cities, which brings traffic congestion and allocation of scarce real estate for roads that could otherwise be used for parks and “affordable” housing. The Boring Company bores safe and what eventually will be cost-effective commuter and utility tunnels; with the potential to transform cities by moving traffic underground. Compare Musk’s solution to Boston’s union-controlled “Big Dig,” which took almost a decade longer than projected to complete, and a budget that soared to an adjusted-inflation of nearly $21.5 billion.
These are but a few examples from a 50-year old CEO who is just now hitting his stride. It is hard to overstate just how important have been Musk’s contributions already to humanity, based on his intellect and work ethic.
Unlike so many on the Left who demand worship and praise for doing far less, Musk requires only that his detractors inside and outside government stay out of his way, and that he be paid for his achievements – two irredeemable character “flaws” that drive liberals to despise him even more.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th District in the House of Representatives from 1995-2003. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and is Chairman of Liberty Guard (a non-profit, pro-liberty organization). He also heads the Law Enforcement Education Foundation (LEEF) and a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies. Originally published at Townhall.com.