A diary has been sitting around on the rec list all evening, and anyone just looking at the rec list would be given the impression that Elon Musk is a secret GOP plant, trying to hide the fact that he wants America to fall under a permanent reign of Republican politics.
Reading the diary itself…. would leave the person with the exact same impression.
Only when you actually start reading the comments do you realize that the entire premise of the diary is nothing more than a hit job. Let’s recap: according to this story, which originated on the Daily Beast, Elon Musk is a “Top GOP PAC Donor” , “the single biggest donor to the GOP’s Protect the House PAC”, “with the knuckle-draggers.” This is all part of him “support[ing] the GOP’s platform.”
Despite the facts coming in, the diary remains on the rec list, unchanged. So time to write one of my own.
Is the problem that what the diarist wrote is simply wrong? Because after all, it is simply wrong. The top donor to the PAC is Robert McNair, who gave almost ten times what Musk gave. Musk actually comes in at 48 (leading many more accurate, but still sensationalist, headlines to report that he was in the “top 50”).
But no. That’s not the problem. I’ll let Nate Silver point out the real problem:
Giving to both sides? Indeed, more to the point, up until this most recent report, all of the donations on record for Musk since April of last year were to Democrats.
Wouldn’t it be great, you know, if someone actually asked him why this donation occurred? Oh yeah, they did, long ago, but the other diarist didn’t see fit to include Musk’s response:
Hopefully this won’t shock anyone when I say this, but: if you want to be listened to by a politician, you better be a donor. I know, shocking, right? A sub-$40k donation is nothing to someone like Musk, and it’s also hardly going to tip an election, particularly when you’re donating to the opposite side as well. But money talks in US elections, and it’s no secret that candidates pay far more attention to what their donors have to say than to what people who don’t donate to them have to say. Even Warren Buffett donates to Republicans from time to time. Does our need for purity tests mean we have to turn on him as well?
But… but… in this current political climate, how could he stomach sitting down and writing a check? Well… he didn’t. It’s automated, set up long ago.
What exactly are his politics? He…
- Supports a universal basic income
- Supports inheritance taxes
- Supports a 40% average tax rate, albeit primarily through luxury consumption taxes
- Supports the Paris Accord, to the point of leaving the presidential business advisory council in protest over the US withdrawal (later lamenting, when asked to do something about the kidnapped children, “I couldn’t even keep the US in the Paris Accord, but if there is some way for me to help these kids I will do so”)
- Supports working toward the rapid elimination of fossil fuels — to the point of having risked everything he owned to keep Tesla afloat in its early history (back in the days before Tesla when people thought of EVs as glorified golf carts) rather than letting it go and being assured of a comfortable life.
- Opposed the “Muslim Ban” and rejection of refugees.
As he mentioned, most of his donations aren’t to politicians or PACs, but causes. Let’s see what various groups have to say about his donations.
— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 15, 2018
Musk noted, for example, that all of the money he’s donated to the GOP combined amounts to just half a percent of what he’s given the Sierra Club alone — an amount he considered acceptable to keep the communications door open to the former.
Despite how much he’s promoted causes we support… we just can’t have less than perfection. We’re in purity mode here. Like how we eat our own every primary season. So we can’t have any of this.
Burn the witch.
(FYI: To anyone who wants to discuss Tesla in the comments, some recommended reading)