Thursday, April 30, 2020
Sorry Elon, the rich-guy-blathering-idiocy-on-Twitter role is already filled
It didn't start with Donald Trump you know.
American history is rife with rich nutters leaping onto the political stage with a cry of "Death to tyrants."
While Trump has without question been most successful in injecting his execrable self into the news of the day, others certainly jammed their hands into the gears of history, where they could.
The one that immediately springs to mind is Henry Ford. Before he got into the business of fomenting anti-Semitism and promoting square dancing as a way to preserve American values, not to forget being a real and direct personal inspiration to Hitler, Ford decided he was going to end World War I, commissioning a "Peace Ship" and accomplishing pretty much nothing except draw derision on himself.
More recently, Texas oddball H. Ross Perot ran for president in 1992, briefly, before running away from it, vigorously, crying all the while, if I recall, that shady forces were spying on his daughter's wedding.
Twitter makes it easier than ever for wealthy with more opinions than sense to make themselves known. Elon Musk, who really should be digging that rich folks underground railroad he promised Chicago almost two years ago, instead on Wednesday was tweeting his heart out for, the virus be damned, Americans to get back to work, one assumes in his factories.
"FREE AMERICA NOW" he tweeted. "Give people their freedom back."
Nor was his rejection of the idea of civil society acting to save lives limited to the free-fire zone of Twitter. On a Tesla earnings call he referred to stay-at-home orders as "fascist," akin to "forcibly imprisoning people in their homes."
It's almost like he's auditioning for the Donald Trump role in American politics. Alas, that is already taken. We've got one too many as it is.
I suppose this is an improvement over his tweets in March, such as “The coronavirus panic is dumb.”
The moral of the story being: there are a lot of energetically idiotic people in the world. And being very, very good at one thing — making cars, stirring the pot on third rate reality TV shows — doesn't mean you have a facility for accomplishing anything in another realm of life. Which leads to a not-very-cheery thought for this rainy Thursday in our Plague Year of 2020. But one whatever decent Americans remain ought to bear in mind. Getting rid of Trump will definitely be a start, but certainly will not end our problems. There's always another puffed up potentate, weaned on cash and yes men, clamoring for attention.