EDITOR'S NOTE: Heed these words: “I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad…Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it! … I don't know what to do about…the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first, you've got to get mad!” This sounds like a rant on today’s conditions (minus comments on the pandemic). It’s from the 1976 movie Network. In the article below, Elon Musk is portrayed as the “mad” stand-in for the Howard Beale character in the film; the guy who was “mad as hell.” Of course, Musk, too, has his flaws in judgment (as everyone does). The author’s shortcoming is that the journo portrays Musk as the embodiment of unquestionable truth. Now, Musk may be correct on many counts. But if you fail to take a critical stance even toward something or someone you agree with, then you’re spitting out sheer propaganda. There can be striking elements of truth in propaganda, but the big difference is that it’s there not to help you see but to make you more blind. Agree or disagree, go have at it and see what you want to see.
The most significant political event in the last 18 months happened last week. No, it wasn’t the Pennsylvania primary, and it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the sham Jan. 6 committee.
It was the announcement by Elon Musk that he’s as mad as hell, and he’s not going to take this anymore. OK, he didn’t use those exact words from the 1976 movie “Network,” but he might well have been channeling the character Howard Beale when he announced to the world that he was voting Republican this year.
News anchor Beale was characterized as “The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves” when he realized the system he worked in – network television – was rigged, and that powerful forces were manipulating him and the audience. In a soliloquy eerily relevant today, Beale threw out the script and started telling the uncomfortable truth.
“I don't have to tell you things are bad,” he told his viewers. “Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work, or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it! … I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first, you've got to get mad!”
Well, Elon Musk has gotten mad – and when the world’s richest man gets mad, he just might shout loud enough that everyone will hear him.
The entrepreneurial wizard who founded or co-founded Tesla, SpaceX, and PayPal had already been in the news for his announced plan to purchase Twitter and take it private with the intention of restoring free speech to the platform. That alone could have earned him the title of “The Mad Prophet of Silicon Valley,” for like Howard Beale, Musk had discovered that powerful forces were manipulating him and his audience on Twitter, and Musk wasn’t taking it anymore.
By making a legitimate buyout offer, Musk gained the right to inspect the books, so to speak, and what he started to uncover about the social media giant was distressing. Long-blocked accounts were suddenly resurrected. Fake accounts (or bots) were confirmed to be inflating user numbers. Unhappy Twitter employees started to out themselves as operatives of the Democratic Party – or as one employee said, in an undercover Project Veritas video, “commies.”
But all of that was child’s play compared to Musk’s next move, which was to expose the left’s “diversity is us” sloganeering as a sham. That he did so on Twitter just added icing to the cake. Here was Musk throwing down the gauntlet on Wednesday:
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold,” Musk wrote, adding a popcorn emoji to suggest the show was just getting started.
The next day, Musk commented on his own post: “Judging by the relentless hatestream from the far left, this tweet was spot on.”
That hate is not unexpected. As many conservatives have noted since Musk made his announcement, “Welcome to our world.” There is only one permitted narrative, and it is that Republicans are dangerous white supremacists who live in a fantasy world and are mostly Russian propagandists. Democrats, on the other hand, are noble social justice warriors who ensure an open border, keep women’s sports safe for men, and punish schoolchildren for using the “wrong” pronouns.
Yep, you can bet that the mainstream media will try to silence, smear, cancel, and crush Musk. But like Donald Trump, Musk can take it. Being a billionaire has its advantages.
I can’t say I love everything about Elon Musk or his public persona, but I love that he has 91 million followers on Twitter and isn’t afraid to offend them. He is to the younger generation what Steve Jobs was to mine, and his refusal to bow to cancel culture will inspire many to do the same. The fact that a person identified as a liberal icon, someone who has been welcomed in Democrat circles for years, would publicly recant his previous support for leftist ideology speaks volumes about where we are as a nation.
A genius who knows how to put together cars and rockets has deconstructed contemporary American politics with penetrating simplicity: The party of “kindness” is now the party of “division & hate.” Wow.
That truth bomb just blew up the 2022 midterm elections, and maybe beyond!