Related Ron DeSantis’s Censors Go After Inspirational Poem About Unity

Did you catch Ron DeSantis’s announcement on Twitter? No? Of course not. Who in their right mind would waste their time listening to DeSantis being interviewed by Elon Musk? Who would want to give any credence at all to the anti-woke culture warrior and the anti-worker robber baron?

It was a technical fiasco, anyway. No surprise. Musk has fired more than half of Twitter’s workers. It’s amazing the platforms functions at all. Guess what? You can’t turn out a good product or reliable service if you treat workers like cow dung.

But the real significance of DeSantis’s announcement via Twitter had nothing to do with Twitter’s technical glitches, nor with DeSantis’s culture-war campaign for the presidency. It’s that Twitter, under Musk, has fully embraced the political right.

Elon wants to be the darling of libertarian bros, but he’s aiming to lead democracy’s foes. He wants to crush unions and declare the United States a free-to-make-as-much-as-you-can-on-the-backs-of-working-stiffs zone.

He calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” but that’s rubbish. He wants to elevate the speech of people like DeSantis but suppress the speech of workers who want to unionize. He’s even gone along with Turkey’s recent ban on anti-regime comments during the run-up to the Turkish election.

Libertarianism has nothing to do with what DeSantis and Musk stand for. It’s authoritarianism.

DeSantis is not exactly a libertarian either, unless you define a libertarian as someone who bans books, forces women to give birth, threatens to take trans youth away from parents who approve of their getting gender-affirming care, prohibits teachers from mentioning gender identity or sexual orientation, bars teachers from talking about America’s history of racism, and wreaks vengeance even on Mickey Mouse for opposing his authoritarian policies.

Can we be frank? Libertarianism has nothing to do with what DeSantis and Musk stand for. It’s authoritarianism.

Twitter started to become a right-wing media hot spot when Elon lifted bans on thousands of accounts that had spread disinformation about the pandemic and the 2020 elections.

More recently, Tucker Carlson has said he would revive his show on Twitter after losing his Fox News slot (Musk has denied that Twitter has signed a deal with Carlson). It’s also been reported that The Daily Wire, a right-wing, anti-democracy media outlet, will make Twitter the home for all its podcasts.

Unquestionably, Twitter is benefiting from the dissatisfaction of the anti-democracy movement with Fox News. Elon can claim to be outside the mainstream media world of Rupert Murdoch. But Elon wants to be a force on the right because he wants total control. That’s been his business MO since the start, and it’s now his political MO.

Not content to be the (or among the) richest on the planet, not satisfied with taking over one of the biggest media machines in the world, Elon wants to impose his will on America and the world directly. Like . . . the former guy.

Elon said Tuesday he isn’t formally backing any Republican candidate. But his eye is focused on Trump. Right now, Elon wants to send Trump the message that he—Elon—has the power to make life difficult for Trump if Trump so much as hints at making life difficult for Elon.

Musk is a walking illustration of the damage exorbitant wealth can do. We need a wealth tax on billionaires.

Elon knows that the best way to deal with a bully is to bully him—show unremitting force and ally with other opposing forces. Which is why Elon is helping DeSantis. And why, earlier this week, Elon retweeted a campaign kickoff video for Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Elon is only 51. He’s barred from becoming president (he was born in Pretoria, South Africa), but otherwise there’s no end to the power he can wield over America and the world during the next decades. And make no mistake: He plans to wield it.

What should be done?

Start with what America did at the turn of the last century to the robber barons of the Gilded Age: We enforced the antitrust laws. We busted up the giant railroads and oil companies. Now we should bust up media monopolies like Twitter.

But don’t stop there. Musk is a walking illustration of the damage exorbitant wealth can do. We need a wealth tax on billionaires.

Wait, before you go…

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