In May 2020, Elon Musk announced that he would vote for Republicans moving forward in a tweeter post. According to him, the Democratic party used to represent kindness, but now it represents hate and divisiveness. Thus, he can no longer support this party. However, his shift to the right isn’t overnight, but many have observed it since 2018.
According to Donor Lookup, a website that tracks political donations reveals that up until 2016-17, Elon Musk was a major Democrat donor. He even publicly stated that he voted for Hilary in the 2016 election and was a registered democrat in California.
Over the years, as Elon Musk’s net worth increased, his view shifted from being a Democrat to a Republican. However, Elon says that his views haven’t shifted. The Democratic Party’s views have changed and have been hijacked by the extremist left.
However, changing political affiliation from the Democratic party to the Republican party is no surprise.
Tax The Rich Movement
The “Tax The Rich Movement ” by a few prominent democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), Senator Warren, Senator Bernie, and others made Elon Musk angry. According to democrats, billionaires aren’t paying their fair share and using various tax-avoidance schemes.
In November 2021, senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.” This tweet didn’t mention anyone by name. However, Elon Musk responded, “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”
In December 2021, Time Magazine announced Elon Musk as the person of the year. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.” In a twitter thread, Elon Musk referred to her as “Senator Karen.”
In September 2021, house representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez went to New York Met Gala wearing a dress that said “Tax The Rich.” In a twitter reply, Elon Musk mocked the dress and writing and tweeted, “Can only read one side. Looks like “ax the itch”?”
These tweets only come when someone says that billionaires and the rich should pay a fair share of tax. This statement somehow makes Elon Musk angry.
However, Elon Musk has some valid arguments on why billionaires can avoid taxes. It’s not the billionaire’s fault, but it’s the tax loophole in the IRS tax code that rich people exploit.
For example, the IRS only taxes people on their income. However, Elon Musk typically doesn’t have an income. He takes a $0 salary from Tesla and minimal pay from SpaceX. The majority of his net worth is tied to Tesla and SpaceX shares. Over the years, Tesla’s market capitalization soared, and his net worth also increased manifold, making him one of the wealthiest men on earth.
Even though Elon Musk, on paper worth billions, his yearly earnings are minimal. Thus he pays nominal taxes. According to Elon Musk, he is cash poor.
Elon also refutes Senator Warren’s claim that he paid $0 federal taxes in 2018. Technically the claim is true. However, it’s a lie by omission. Elon Musk overpaid taxes in 2017; therefore, in 2018, he didn’t have to pay taxes because he had already paid in 2017.
This entire tax argument from democratic politicians infuriates Elon Musk. Therefore, he distanced himself from them over the years and leaned toward the republican party, whose policy favors billionaires like him.
United Auto Works (UAW) is a union representing auto workers in America. However, Tesla employees aren’t members of this union. According to him, UAW left Tesla to die during the 2008 recession. They didn’t help. Over the years, Tesla built their business.
Currently, Tesla workers’ wages are 15% higher than other auto manufacturers.
Elon Musk has publicly shown his dislike for unions. Thus, many in the democratic party who are pro-union push Elon on this issue. It bothers him. He thinks as unions previously abandoned Tesla, they aren’t working for the best interest of workers.
On the contrary, Republicans are typically anti-unions. This view aligns with Elon Musk’s viewpoint. Therefore, he shifted his support from the Democratic party to the Republican party over the years.
Snubbed by Biden Administration
Tesla is the major electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. Tesla made EVs popular and desirable. Their success opened the door for many new EV startups such as Lucid, Rivian, etc. Moreover, traditional auto manufacturers who never made an EV are now promising to make many types of EVs in the coming decades. Thus, Tesla is the company that pioneered electric vehicles in this world.
In 2021, the Biden Administration held an EV summit. Ford, GM, and other vehicle manufacturers got invited to that summit, but they didn’t invite Tesla. It infuriated Elon Musk. Ford and GM would never have made an EV unless Tesla existed.
President Biden (democrat) called GM the EV leader at that summit even though GM sold only 26 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021 and Ford sold less than 1,000 vehicles. At the same time, Tesla sold more than a quarter-million vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021.
According to Elon, Tesla did more good for the environment than other vehicle manufacturers and oil companies. It’s helping the environment by transitioning global transport from internal combustion engine vehicles to EVs. It’s a fantastic thing and aligns with Democratic policy. However, various democratic party members have vilified Tesla and Elon Musk. This treatment made him frustrated, and thus he shifted his support from the Democratic party to the Republican party.
Free Speech Argument
No other famous person uses Twitter like Elon Musk. He tweets a lot. He doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. A long time ago, he deactivated his accounts from Facebook and Instagram over privacy concerns.
Elon is an avid Twitter user, and he disagrees with many Twitter policies. According to him, Twitter is a modern-day digital town square. Therefore, everyone on this platform should have first amendment free speech protections. People should be allowed to say whatever they like if it doesn’t violate federal and state law. No one should be banned from Twitter for political opinions or views.
Elon Musk says that Twitter has a left bias. It primarily silences right-leaning voices. However, Twitter disagrees.
Twitter says that it’s a private company. Therefore, first amendment protection doesn’t apply to them. To make Twitter a better place, they can silence and ban controversial views and opinions.
This back-and-forth argument regarding Twitter’s free speech created a lot of media attention where left-leaning media criticized Elon, whereas right-leaning media praised him. Elon Musk realized that his argument resonated with the Republicans’ argument.
Elon Musks’ shift towards the republican party happened over the years. Elon Musk fights back when most CEOs and billionaires stay silent over media and political attacks.
Whether Elon Musk is Democrat or Republican, most people will not benefit from his shifting viewpoint. He will always do what is best for him, not for the nation or the country. According to his statement, he is in the business of making money, not charity.