Elon Musk, Twitter and the politics of turmoil

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Tim Miller: Not the political intruder we want, but maybe the one we deserve?

Elon Musk (played by Wario) Saturday Night Live): I’m not the villain, I’m just being misunderstood.

Batman (from a college parody): when? Come here!

Miller: This isn’t my party, I brought it to you the fort. I always hear from fellow squishies that we need an outsider to break the bipartisan monopoly. In their minds, this fictional person is sensitive, practical and of moderate political taste – an American Macron.

Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory): Is this possible?

Miller: Sadly, voters here don’t seem to really dig into it. The truth is, if we were to get a third party candidate who could dismantle the political system, he would surely be crazier than the practical person we dreamed of.

Video game characters: He’s a sparrow! It’s a plane!

Captain Kirk: It is such a thing. . . Completely different.

Miller: The candidate who might succeed at this likely has a problematic habit of publishing, a penchant for demonizing people they don’t like as pedophiles, and tabloid marriages that keep them in the news. No, not that guy.

Alec Baldwin Donald Trump: Wonderful.

Miller: This. Musk is a rare and controversial figure who is popular across party lines. He works for a company that can make an impact on climate change, while also talking about political correctness on social media. He hates Social Justice Warriors, but it’s hard to see him say “Advance Christian Soldiers” too.

Mike Allen: Do you believe in Allah?

Dwight Schrute: I’ll take that as a no.

Miller: Although Elon’s most important trait is not ideology, it is his mastery of mass communication in the modern era. Take, for example, how he inserted himself into this week’s new cycle. For some reason, Elon decided to make his way to become the largest contributor to Twitter.

Eileen Benes: Can he do that?

Jerry Seinfeld: he did.

Miller: So it looked like Musk would join the company’s board of directors, so he could voice his complaints about Twitter’s censorship practices. This is what the typical investor would do: Work behind the scenes to get Twitter to stop overly politicized speech restrictions, like silencing the Hunter Biden laptop story I mentioned last week, and then try to help the company grow so the investor can make it happen. More banks.

Stefano / Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris in series of bad events): What a reasonable idea.

Miller: Not Elon, he was reminded that board members have, you know, fiduciary responsibilities.

Jonah Sims (Ben Feldman) Superstore): This seems incredibly uninteresting.

Miller: And that those commitments to the company might get in the way of his posting on **** was one of the reasons he backed out at the last minute and then sent out a long thread on Twitter about how awful the company he was already investing millions in.

Pepper Brooks (Jason Bateman in dribble ball): It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.

Miller: This shows that Elon understands that his most valuable asset is controlling the economy of interest.

musk: Where are the aliens? They may be among us. Some people think I’m a foreigner.

Miller: He was rewarded with blowing up **** for Lolz and creating the drama. Not by being practical and trying to push things forward.

Miller: She reinvented electric cars, and sent people to Mars in a rocket ship. Do you think I’d be freezing cold, common man?

Miller: It’s the economy of attention that fuels his ability to send rocket ships to the moon, both figuratively and literally. And sometimes getting attention is a good thing, like when SpaceX helps Ukraine get online. And sometimes it’s bad, like when he downplays a pandemic that has killed millions. But no matter what you think of his hot business, as a matter of business, the strategy works.

musk: I don’t really have a business plan.

Miller: Check out this chart from my colleague at the fort A few months ago. Tesla is worth more than General Motors, Ford, Honda and Toyota combined, despite selling the fewest cars ever. The reason is that investors are betting in part on the future, but also because Elon dominates the same market with his fans. So could this kind of populist, paradoxical, trolling spirit disrupt politics the way the auto industry did?

musk: We don’t really think about it at all.

Miller: I think the answer is yes, with the right messenger.

a partner: truly?

Donkey: really really.

Miller: Unfortunately for Elon, but perhaps fortunately for the rest of us, he’s not an American, so he can’t do it himself, at least on a presidential level, as long as that rule holds.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Hercules in New York): Tired of the same old faces.

Miller: But when contemplating a future where a new politician, unconstrained by either party, offers a third path, look to an iconoclastic advocate like Musk as a model—not the hardworking teacher’s pet that some of us might prefer.

musk: Fine. I’m not sure I want to be me.

Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito in It’s always sunny in Philadelphia): You are full of shit.

Miller: See you next week for more “Not My Party”.

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