I’ve had my Twitter account for 16 years, and over that span of time, I’ve sent out tens of thousands of tweets. Many have been nothing more that post notifications or “one off” charts that I’ve shared, and there have been plenty of them that have been edgy, saucy, or even provocative.
In spite of this, I’ve hardly ever caused a ripple on the water. Most of my tweets typically get anywhere from 10 to 20 Likes, and it’s usually from more or less than same people, even though I’ve got 24,500 organically-obtained followers. A couple of days ago, for example, I noted my dream world had zero taxes and zero government. Pretty crazy stuff. The reaction? Same as always: who cares? It’s just me musing.
On Friday, however, I sent out a tweet which, by my standards, was incredibly innocuous, and yet it provoked a relatively firestorm.
So let me establish a few facts:
- Elon has, in fact, paid tens of billions in taxes personally. Indeed, I believe he holds the record for the largest tax payment ever sent by an individual in history.
- Besides this, Elon has created several companies which, by way of generating employment, have likewise generated tax revenues of only God knows how many billions of dollars.
- In recent weeks, a flurry of federal lawsuits have been filed against Elon’s companies, including a lawsuit against SpaceX saying the company isn’t hiring enough refugees, and another against Tesla saying they have a racist work environment.
The juxtaposition between, on the one hand, Elon’s fire-hose of cash directed toward Washington, D.C. and, on the other hand, the (likely) politically-motivated, multi-pronged attack against Elon’s companies by the same government, seemed striking.
Thus, my tweet.
However, of all the tens of thousands of tweets I’ve ever sent, I’ve never seen such a nasty backlash.
I want to emphasize, these were the NICE ones. I’m not sharing the name-calling, ugly ones. The above represent the cream of the crop!
I was seriously puzzled at the reaction. First off, I wasn’t literally expecting the government to be sending the man a thank-you gift. (Although I’d hasten to point out that, years ago, when Facebook went public, a California legislator specifically said he would be glad to wax Mark Zuckerberg’s car to thank him for all the tax revenue he was sending to Sacramento).
But what on EARTH are the people above talking about? Cheat? Rob? Murder? (Although I’m not quite sure where “Forge” enters into the equation). These people are unhinged!
A big theme seems to be that the government pays for his services, such as with SpaceX. Well, umm, YEAH, that’s the business model. Just like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and all the rest of them. And I daresay the VALUE the government gets out of SpaceX runs CIRCLES around what any of these other lumbering, bloated, corrupt organizations provide, to say nothing of the fact that transporting cargo into space is infinitely more productive than creating more weapons of war (some of which go missing without explanation, like, oh, say, an F-35).
So as anti-government as I am, the notion of getting mad at Elon because he benefits from government purchases doesn’t hold water. I think the fundamental difference is that there isn’t a Frank Boeing, James Lockheed-Martin, or Benjamin General-Dynamics to assault. They’re just big-ass companies without any publicly-visible humans. But Elon Musk is tethered at the waist to Tesla, SpaceX, and so forth.
It’s also now quite evident to me just how much vitriolic hatred is directly toward the man. Why? His wealth? His libertarian mindset? Indeed, looking at the profiles of some of the loony-tunes that were flipping out, their principal purpose in life seems to be dissing on Elon Musk as much as possible. I mean, if that’s how one wants to spend their time, OK, but it seems like a bankrupt existence to me.
The one and only intended thought expressed in my tweet was the disparity between what Elon was doing for Washington and what they, evidently, were giving back in return. I guess if you REALLY read between the lines, and hold it up to a fun-house mirror, you could conjure up an assertion on my part that there should be a quid pro quo for taxes submitted, but that actually wasn’t on my mind at all.
It just seemed………… ironic.
I think this entire experience is symptomatic of the kind of divisions in our country now, where people will find anything – – anything at all – – to create an Us versus Them.
It runs the gamut. Black versus White. Rich versus Poor. Straight versus LGBTQ. Old versus Young. Trump versus Biden. Gaetz versus AOC. On and on and on. And now, evidently, Elon-Fan versus Elon-Hater.
So what’s the net result? For me, that’s easy. Do the same thing I did years ago with Trump and just shut my mouth up about it, because it isn’t worth the headache of a bunch of wack-a-loons pissing into my face.
If they want to wallow around in their hate and misery, I’ll leave them to it. For me ,I guess I’ll just stick to the charts and let these creeps enjoy themselves in their own self-congratulatory psychoses. Sheesh.