Photo Credit: iStock.com/dickcraft
Elon Musk bought out Twitter last month, and since then it has been a ridiculous ride.
He has thrown many tantrums since then, which have affected a lot of lives.
But that’s not all.
On Nov 19, he did something that we all feared he might do, but were hoping he’d be decent and sane enough not to.
Alas, no. On Saturday, he launched a poll on Twitter, asking its users whether Donald Trump should be allowed back on Twitter or not. Donald Trump, the same guy who incited thousands of his followers to commit violence on January 6, 2021.
In the poll, the majority voted in favor, and like a villainous resurrection, Donald Trump’s Twitter account was alive again.
Horror, I know, but nothing we didn’t see coming.
Elon Musk and Donald Trump have got a weird relationship. On paper, they shouldn’t be best friends. Their core beliefs do not match. Elon Musk is an environmental evangelist and Trump thinks climate change is a hoax.
Yet, they were the best of chums back in the day. Supporting each other’s causes and celebrating each other’s victories.
However, it didn’t start that way. In 2016, as the US presidential race was in its most heated phase, Musk threw in his lot with candidate Hilary Clinton. He didn’t believe Trump’s character reflected all that well on the U.S. He didn’t consider him the right guy for the job.
And was always very vocal about his beliefs.
The AEI meeting wasn’t secret and I was only there for a few hours to talk about Mars and sustainable energy. Nothing to do with Trump.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 9, 2016
But after his win in the election then-president Trump responded to all that by appointing Musk to be on two of his advisory boards and the relationship found a more solid footing.
Here’s the entertaining timeline of their tumultuous relationship.
After blasting the guy repeatedly on his Twitter, it was a shock to see him on Trump’s advisory board. Here’s how Musk defended it.
Regarding the meeting at the White House: pic.twitter.com/8b1XH4oW6h
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2017
Being on the advisory board, and Trump’s reign in general, helped Musk immensely. While Trump doesn’t believe in climate change, he’s a big fan of space exploration. During this time as president, he favored ventures and companies, such as Musk’s SpaceX, to do exactly that.
In return, Musk held his end of the bargain.
This may sound surprising coming from me, but I agree with The Economist. Rex Tillerson has the potential to be an excellent Sec of State.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2017
It left his fans confused and seriously affected his eco-friendly street cred.
Later the same year, the budding bromance suffered its first hiccup when Trump announced to pull America out of the Paris Agreement. It didn’t sit well with Elon Musk who wants the global economy to run on clean energy. The guy has an EV company to run, after all.
The temperamental billionaire could not sit on his hands while another excitable billionaire undid his years of work. So, Musk jumped ship.
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
But this didn’t seem to rattle the president. Apparently, the two remained on good terms. Musk even learned to trash talk people online, Trump-style.
He called a British diver ‘pedo’ when he criticized Musk’s mini-submarine technology. Later, he called another expert idiot in response to his online criticism.
You’re an idiot
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2017
While talking to CNBC, Trump made their bromance public by calling Musk ‘one of our great geniuses’.
“I spoke to him very recently, and he’s also doing the rockets. He likes rockets. And he does good at rockets, too, by the way. I never saw where the engines come down with no wings, no anything, and they’re landing. I said I’ve never seen that before.”
In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, the entire world had ceased its normal functions to ensure the safety of the masses. The government had declared emergency orders and all but essential activities were asked to be shut down.
Elon Musk made headlines by refusing to follow these orders, and reopened his Fermont, California Tesla factory.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
Then-president Trump responded by egging him even further, and showered him with public support. Elon Musk replied with, what I imagine to be a misty-eyed, thank you, complete with an exclamation mark and all.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2020
The factory reopened, workers showed up to work, and the county government took no action. But Musk wasn’t done. To show his disapproval at being asked to follow rules like everybody else, he threatened to move his company headquarters from California to another state like Texas or Nevada, and may even shut down the California factory. He said his final decision about the matter would depend on how his company is treated by the state of California in the future.
Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
In May 2022, while sharing his political leanings online, he admitted to having almost always voted for Democrats.
I support free speech, but not any one candidate. In fact, I gave money to & voted for Hillary & then voted for Biden.
However, given unprovoked attacks by leading Democrats against me & a very cold shoulder to Tesla & SpaceX, I intend to vote Republican in November.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2022
It wasn’t a surprise to learn that he didn’t vote for Donald Trump. They weren’t really buddy-buddy then. But Trump took offense and called him a “bullshit artist”.
But, back on our timeline, we’re at the point where the presidential elections are concluded and Biden has been elected to govern the country. But it wasn’t that easy.
Trump had refused to accept the election results and his superfans had stormed the US Capitol building. All the while, Trump was using his Twitter account to incite the protestors even more and attempting to sow doubts about the legitimacy of the election results.
For his role in January 6 attacks, an inquiry was launched against him and Twitter banned him from using the platform.
Image Source: Twitter
It was no surprise that Musk wasn’t all that happy with Twitter’s rigorous content moderation. He wanted everyone to have a voice and a platform via Twitter, and to make this happen, he started the company’s buyout process.
I made an offer https://t.co/VvreuPMeLu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
By this point, people were getting anxious about him and everyone had concerns about the takeover. Many of them were fearing that the buyout would mean a reinstated Trump account. A few weeks later, he made those fears come true.
Talking to a Financial Times virtual conference, he expressed his fury about the ban. He called it a mistake, a morally bad decision, and ‘foolish to the extreme’.
He said, “I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
He further said, “If there are tweets that are wrong and bad, those should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension—a temporary suspension—is appropriate, but not a permanent ban.”
Talking to CNBC, Trump expressed his displeasure at how he was treated by Twitter and refused to join the platform again even if the ban was lifted.
He promoted his own social media website, Truth Social, which he said was a really happening place (it’s not) and praised Musk immensely.
Image Source: CNBC
If you think all is well in the love shack, you haven’t been following this mercurial story properly.
I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican.
Massive red wave in 2022.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2022
Musk angered Trump when he posted this.
Trump replied with this:
Trump on Elon Musk: “You know, he said the other day, Oh, I’ve never voted for a Republican. I said, I didn’t know that, he told me he voted for me. So he’s another bullshit artist.” pic.twitter.com/1cBiZsX1BJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 10, 2022
As you can, he wasn’t really happy that Musk had lied to him. He believed he was Musk’s first Republican candidate, only to be lied to so publicly later. The audacity of Musk!
But Musk was having none of it.
I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.
Dems should also call off the attack – don’t make it so that Trump’s only way to survive is to regain the Presidency.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 12, 2022
Raging mad about Musk’s comments on his political future and his nerve to ask him to ‘hang his hat’, Trump lashed out.
He wrote on his Truth Social website:
“When Elon Musk came to the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects, whether it’s electric cars that don’t drive long enough, driverless cars that crash, or rocket ships to nowhere, without which subsidies he’d be worthless and tell me how he was a big Trump fan and Republican, I could have said, “drop to your knees and beg,” and he would have done it”.
In absolute toddler fashion, Musk tried to rattle his former bestie even more with this incendiary response.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 12, 2022
But just when it was getting juicier, they both stopped; presumably because Musk had to deal with his Twitter buyout that he didn’t want to go on with anymore and Trump became focused on gathering more political support for his next run for presidency.
All hell broke loose when Musk was forced to proceed with his Twitter purchase. His first order of business was to fire almost half of company employees, and threaten the rest.
But Trump approved.
Writing on his Truth Social profile, Trump said,
“I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country.”
He went on to say, “Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better.”
Of course, Musk had to immediately thank him and he did that by launching a poll on Twitter so users could decide if they wanted Trump back on the platform or not.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
As you can see, a slight majority voted in the favor of reinstatement, and just like that, Trump’s suspended account was active again, alive with all of his previous tweets, rants, and attacks.
Among those who celebrated, Musk’s approval was heard the loudest.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
The last line is in Latin and translates to ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.
Here’s Trump’s active Twitter account.
While the account is definitely active again, Trump hasn’t returned to tweeting yet. He’s sticking with his Truth Social presence, which he also has contractual obligations to.
It is going to be morbidly fascinating to see him on Twitter again, not gonna lie. But the resistance has already started mounting. Activists are choosing to stay and fight. They are also forcing advertisers to halt their funding for Twitter and see if Musk takes heed. Chances of that are slim, though.
Because it’s not just Trump that he has welcomed back on the platform. Entertainer and rapper Kanye West was also allowed back on after his suspension due to his anti-semitic comments. And unlike Trump, he has started tweeting.
God help us all.