by Victor Davis Hanson
Elon Musk has finally managed to buy Twitter. And the moment he did, the enraged Left flipped out.
Abruptly leftists began trashing their favorite electronic communications platform as the domain of the nation’s elite, professional classes. Had they just discovered that they had been racists and privileged users all this time?
And what happened to the Left’s former worship of Musk as the man who revolutionized the clean, green automobile industry with his Tesla electric car company?
Or Musk the space revolutionary and hip star trekker, who with his own money helped ensure the United States remains preeminent in space exploration?
Or Musk, the patriot who is providing free next-generation internet service to the underdog Ukrainians fighting Russians for their lives?
No matter. The Left reviles Musk because he has announced that Twitter will be the one social-media platform whose business is not to censor or massage free speech in an otherwise monopolist, intolerant, and hard-Left Silicon Valley.
Who knows, Musk might even allow former president Donald Trump to communicate on Twitter—in the fashion that the terrorist Taliban, Iranian theocrats, and violent Antifa protesters all take for granted in their daily access to Twitter.
But how did the once free-speech, anti-trust, let-it-all-hang out Left become a Victorian busybody, a censorious Soviet, and an old-fashioned robber-baron monopoly?
When it discovered that few Americans wanted left-wing, socialist politics it turned elsewhere. It found power instead through control of American institutions, from academia and Wall Street to traditional and social media.
When Musk merely talked about buying Twitter, the Left shrieked that an outlier multibillionaire owning a media—and especially a social media—venue was unfair. The buyout was supposedly “dangerous” and “a threat to democracy.”
But the more the Left screamed, the less people listened.
After all, left-wing Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has roughly 15 times more market capitalization than Twitter. It has an audience of 2 billion users—over seven times larger than Twitter’s 271 million.
Zuckerberg’s monopoly on global social media and his enormous wealth were stealthily put in service to the Democratic Party in the 2020 election. He reportedly infused nearly $420 million of his media money into warping the vote in key precincts, by augmenting and absorbing the work of state registrars to empower likely left-wing voters.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the second wealthiest man in the world, owns the influential Washington Post. It has moved markedly to the activist Left under his patronage.
Multibillionaire Lisa Jobs, widow of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, owns The Atlantic. It has become an increasingly hard-Left political magazine.
So in Orwellian fashion, apparently most media-owning, left-wing billionaires are good? But one social media-owning, non-left-wing billionaire is bad?
How exactly might a Musk-owned Twitter alter an election?
By emulating the former directors of Twitter and the rest of Silicon Valley social media who canceled not just conservatives, but any new communication they felt harmful to the 2020 Biden campaign?
From the outset, it was clear that Hunter Biden’s lost laptop incriminated his dad, Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Joe Biden was referenced by his own quid pro quo, grifting son variously as “the Big Guy” and “Mr. Ten Percent”—a full partner in peddling Beltway influence to rich foreign actors.
Yet in lockstep, social media banned most coverage of the pre-election laptop story.
It instead spread its standby false narrative of “Russian disinformation.” We now know the laptop was always authentic. The crude efforts to suppress mention of it were classic politicized news suppression.
Still, the Left may well have some reason to be terrified of Elon Musk. Should he liberate Twitter from left-wing scolds and groupthinkers, would other renegade new companies and old standbys follow his lead?
Is Musk’s $46-billion acquisition the internet equivalent of Germans in November 1989 with sledgehammers smashing down the Berlin Wall?
Does Musk sense that the looming November midterm elections may result in one of the rare landslide verdicts in American history?
Does he assume the public prefers a muckraker who demands free speech rather than corporate insider cronies censoring expression they don’t find useful?
Polls show that the American people have had their fill of 14 months of self-inflicted, ideology-driven disasters. And why not, given the nonexistent border, spiking crime, inflation, unaffordable gasoline, and neo-Confederate racial fixations?
Are the recent Netflix implosion, the CNN+ disaster, the Disney debacle, the Virginia statewide and San Francisco school board elections, the polls showing massive defections of Latinos from the Left, and the grass-roots pushback against government-imposed mask wearing, and explicit transgender education in the k-3 grades—also symptoms of a reckoning on the horizon?
The country is ready for a revolution. And Musk believes he can lead it with his Silicon-Valley sledgehammer.
So, as the Left says, “Bring it on.”
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Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.
Photo “Elon Musk” by The Royal Society. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “Silicon Valley” by Coolcaesar. CC BY-SA 3.0.