Rarely does he apologize or admit his mistakes. It is even rarer that he himself contemplates a pause on his attacks against those he perceives as his enemies.
Elon Musk, the man with 140 million followers on Twitter, a platform that has belonged to him since the end of October, has built his influence and his power on what could be summed up as “I don’t care.” Basically, he says what he thinks and it doesn’t matter whether people like it or not.
It is his trademark. He calls this his freedom of thought, his independence, his freedom from self-righteousness. He’s a snub, he repeats, of political correctness.
He insisted that he had the right to tweet his opinions and will continue to do so, even if it scares away advertisers.
‘Soros Hates Humanity’
This bravado, for the critics, has escalated completely in the last days with his crusade against George Soros, one of the most famous financiers on the planet. Musk on May 15 began by comparing Soros to the character Magneto, a Jewish supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe, who “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization” and “hates humanity.”
Soros, 92, is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor.
The next day, Musk accused Soros of buying off district attorneys by funding their election campaigns so that they become his “pets” and obey his orders.
“Soros astutely identified a massive arbitrage opportunity in district attorney elections, where a relatively small amount of money has outsized influence,” the billionaire said on May 17. “Soros’s instructions to his pet prosecutors were (essentially) to minimize prosecuting even violent criminals.”
“That’s why a criminal – someone who had already stabbed his roommate – could brutally assault Dave Chapelle on stage with that same deadly weapon and yet receive merely a misdemeanor!” Musk charged, without providing evidence.
The attacks drew criticism from civil-rights groups.
To see Elon Musk comparing Soros to “a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’ — is not just distressing, it’s dangerous,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a civil-rights group that tracks and reports antisemitic actions. “It will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”
These criticisms would have put off the average person. But Musk, faithful to his strategy, found in them motivation to double-down on his attack on Soros.
“I’d like apologize for this post,” the billionaire posted on May 17, suggesting that Soros is even worse than the supervillain. “It was really unfair to Magneto.”
‘Soros Wants Open Borders’
And if these critics still had not understood that they would not get in his way, the billionaire then amped up the accusations made by conspiracy theorists against Soros.
“Does the public realize that Soros wants open borders? Literally not even checking to see if they’re convicted serial killers on the run, which has happened more than once,” Musk argued on May 18, without providing evidence.
Faced with this debauchery of attacks, Soros has remained silent. Requests for comments have gone unanswered. Something unusual happened, however.
‘I Will Endeavor to Be More Thoughtful in the Future’
A few hours following his latest inflammatory comments against the philanthropist, Musk himself admitted to having gone too far in his attacks. It all started with an interview on CNBC with Greenblatt about this anti-Soros crusade.
“Elon Musk s not anti semitic, there’s no question about that,” Greenblatt said. “But it’s unmistakable that he is arguably the most influential man on the planet, controlling what’s essentially our public square. And when he repeats conspiracy theories, when he amplifies ideas like George Soros, who’s a polarizing figure, who supports policies that I don’t agree with, still when you say he’s a supervillain trying to destroy humanity that feeds the extremists who want to kill supervillains and who think that George Soros embodies this idea of the Jewish conspiracy.”
Musk finally seems to agree and admitted a mea culpa.
“In fairness, I must concede that Joel has a good point,” the billionaire commented. “And I will endeavor to be more thoughtful in the future. Comic book analogies are obviously imperfect, to say the least. Just because George Soros can bend metal using his mind doesn’t mean he’s Magneto!!”
He then explained the differences he has with Soros over some issues, including crime and immigration.
“Anyway, my actual concern with Soros is that he has funded so many politicians and DAs who are soft even on violent crime, which has caused great damage to many cities,” Musk said.
He argued: “Also, while I am very much in favor of expanding legal immigration, we must have some vetting of who comes in, so that we do not allow dangerous felons to prey upon innocent Americans.”
He later clarified that he was agreeing with “Jonathan” Greenblatt and not with “Joel” as written by mistake in his tweet.
The question is whether this mea culpa comes too late, because the billionaire’s attacks have given credence to conspiracy theorists, who blame Soros for all the ills of the planet.