The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Elon - Part 3

Elon Musk is NOT Donald Trump. But like Trump, he has begun to live rent-free in the heads of more than a few progressives. His acquisition of Twitter has led to his demonization by many on the Left*—all because he advocates against censorship and for free speech. Oddly, there used to be a time when the Left was the most vociferous advocate for the same things. 

No more. Now the Left actively silences opposing voices using cancel culture and has gone so far as censoring hard news that ruins their preferred narrative (think: the censoring by Twitter, Facebook et al of the Hunter Biden laptop story in late 2020).

These actions, among many vicious and dishonest (or in some cases, outright ridiculous) positions (think: the Brett Kavanaugh hearings or the mostly-peaceful Antifa-BLM riots that ravaged cities in 2020 or the "defund the police "debacle) have made the following cartoon, tweeted by Elon Musk, become an accurate representation of the current political position for millions of Americans.

 The  cartoonist, Colin Wright, writes:

When my cartoon went viral, it resonated with many people—and caused dissonance in the left-wing media. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent called it a “silly chart” that has been “brutally debunked.” His colleague Philip Bump described it as “simply wrong” and an “obvious exaggeration.” Mr. Bump even provided a series of actual silly charts showing “the average ideological score (using a metric called DW-NOMINATE)” and “evaluations of ideology as measured in the biennial General Social Survey (GSS).”

Debunking a cartoon with a chart is like answering a love poem with a syllogism. Politics and culture, like most of human reality, can’t be reduced to data and abstractions without losing much of their essence. And self-styled progressives, who love to talk about the importance of “lived experience,” are awfully disdainful of their critics.
Indeed they are. But when they call those of us who criticize their positions "racists," or "misogynists," or "bigots" or ... you know the list, it's a lot like having a 3-year old throw a tantrum and scream, "I hate you!" 
You might be taken aback for just a second, but then you consider the source. You realize that the child is unable to reason in a mature manner, is incapable of debating in an unemotional way, and allows anger to take over his persona. So you decide the child's outburst isn't worthy of a response, and you (and millions upon millions of others) move slowly right, just like the stick figure does in the cartoon. 


* Here's a typical example from MSNBC's Mehdi Hassan:
"If [the “neo-Nazi faction" of the GOP expands in Nov.], we may look back on this .. as a pivotal moment, when a petulant & not-so-bright billionaire casually bought one of the most influential messaging machines & just handed it to the far-right.”

Here's a few things I can guarantee, even though I know only what Hassan's Wikipedia bio gives us: 

  1. Musk has demonstrated, through his actual accomplishments (rather than empty or angry words or "journalist accomplishments") that he has a genius-level intellect. By referring to Musk as "not-so-bright," Hassan takes on the role of a "petulant" child who knows nothing. 
  2. Musk has accomplished more (changed the auto industry; fostered a cleaner environment; revolutionized space travel) in a decade than Hassan could accomplish in a 100 lifetimes.
  3. By suggesting that Musk is somehow sympathetic to "neo-Nazis," Hassan beclowns himself.

But then again, Hassan looks like a Leftist genius when compared to CNN's Joy Reid.

UPDATE (5-5-2022):

Elon Musk's insistence that censorship serves no useful societal purpose is at odds with the anti-free speech position now adopted by many left-wingers. Their house organ, the New York Times, ran a smear today with the headline:

"Elon Musk Left a South Africa That Was Rife With Misinformation and White Privilege"

It appears that since they can't win the debate on free speech, the left proceeds in their attempt to character assassinate anyone who opposes their destructive position. Cancel culture, censorship, shadow banning, and now, even physical attacks can be somehow justified becuase the left thinks it has a monopoly on morality and "justice." They have neither.

As Ed Morrissey wryly notes in a take-down of the NYT smear: "NYT: Say, why didn't Elon Musk end apartheid as a teenager?" After outlining Musk's family's continuing and consistent opposition to apartheid while they lived in South Africa (Musk left the country when he was 17), Morrissey writes:

So, with that in mind, it doesn’t sound at all like Musk was “detached from the atrocities,” trapped in a disinformation bubble, or was unaware of the implications of South African policy. It sounds much more like Musk saw all of that and got away from it as soon as he could, and made choices that demonstrate his formation around the realities of both apartheid and propaganda campaigns.

In much the same way the NYT promulgates smear after smear against others they disagree with, they're now trying to demonize Musk. It won't work.