The evolving political views of Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk are a fascinating topic. Musk has said that he supported Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joseph Biden in different presidential elections. Musk is a known admirer of Obama, and once toured SpaceX with him.
In 2017, Musk announced that he was stepping down from then-President Donald Trump’s business advisory counsels after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords.
Soon after, “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk said at the time. Musk, after all, is the CEO of Tesla, the most prominent electric car company, and electric cars have long been associated with environmentalism and liberalism.
However, in the last two years—and especially after his purchase of Twitter (now known as X) — Musk’s political views have taken a clear rightward turn.
“Given unprovoked attacks by leading Democrats against me & a very cold shoulder to Tesla & SpaceX, I intend to vote Republican in November,” Musk announced last year.
The pandemic, especially his battles with government officials over the closings of Tesla factories during the lockdown period, appear to have driven Musk’s politics to the right; he has also been outspoken about trans issues. And since purchasing the former Twitter, Musk has frequently amplified or agreed with messages expressing extremist and conspiratorial sentiment.
As for the Republican presidential race, Musk has pushed for Donald Trump to return to the X platform and refused, for a time, to cooperate with a warrant requested from Special Counsel Jack Smith for access to Trump’s account. He also hosted a launch event for Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign, which was plagued by glitches.
Now, another Republican candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, says that he would like Musk to advise him, should he become president.
According to NBC News, Ramaswamy made the comments at a town hall this week.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know better, Elon Musk recently, I expect him to be an interesting adviser of mine because he laid off 75% of the employees at Twitter,” Ramaswamy said.
Musk has in the past described Ramaswamy as “a very promising candidate.”
A busy man who currently runs multiple companies, Musk would appear unlikely to have the time to play much of an active role in a Ramaswamy Administration; then again, Ramaswamy, despite his rise in the polls, remains highly unlikely to actually become president.
But Musk and Ramaswamy are clearly part of the same milieu – of young-ish, tech-inflected, Silicon Valley-oriented wealthy people, whose politics have drifted increasingly right over the years. The tech industry was very liberal-coded for a long time, especially during the Obama years, but that has begun to change in recent years.
More importantly than that, Ramaswamy is likely signaling to the type of people who are massive admirers of Elon Musk that he is their candidate – as well as to the type of people who hear about a company laying off 75 percent of its employees and consider that a good and admirable thing.
Also this week, Ramaswamy had a less pleasant interaction with another famous man – rapper Eminem.
As reported by NBC News, the performing rights organization BMI has sent a letter on Eminem’s behalf, “objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical compositions.” Ramaswamy had rapped the Eminem song “Lose Yourself” on stage at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month.
“BMI will consider any performance of the Eminem Works by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach of the Agreement for which BMI reserves all rights and remedies with respect thereto,” the letter continues. Similar letters from artists to Donald Trump asking to pull their music from his rallies have been a regular feature of the news since Trump first entered politics.
“To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real slim shady,” a Ramaswamy spokesperson told NBC.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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