While people might always need to narrow down Elon Musk’s political leanings to a party, his identity as a person is not up for debate. The man is one of the most popular billionaires in the world. Born to a South African father and a Canadian mother, the controversial entrepreneur is the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, the founder of The Boring Company, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc., and the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX. Thus far, Time magazine has named him thrice on its 2010, 2013, and 2018 lists of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. With his wealth and influence, it is not difficult to see that his support can be an advantage to any political candidate.
Elon Musk Once Said He’s Half-Democrat and Half-Republican
Although America’s politics is structured around a multi-party system, the contention has always primarily been between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. They are the most powerful parties in the country and citizens often find themselves conditioned to align with one of the two. Elon Musk is one of the not-too-many Americans that have chosen to not pledge their allegiance to any of these parties. While some have associated with other parties like the Reform, Socialist, Libertarian, and what have you, Elon opted to be an independent voter.
In a 2011 interview, the Tesla CEO described himself as half-Democrat and half-Republican. He said he’s somewhere in the middle of the two parties: fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Several years down the line, he again talked about his political position publicly. In a July 2018 tweet, the SpaceX founder responded to another tweet about his political affiliation which suggested he was conservative. The billionaire asserted that he is not conservative as he divulged that he is registered independent and politically moderate.
Thanks Jack. To be clear, I am not a conservative. Am registered independent & politically moderate. Doesn’t mean I’m moderate about all issues. Humanitarian issues are extremely important to me & I don’t understand why they are not important to everyone.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 14, 2018
Elon buttressed that being moderate does not mean he’s moderate about all issues, especially when it comes to promoting human welfare. According to him, humanitarian issues are “extremely important” to him and ought to be important to everyone. The previous month, June 2018, he took to the same platform to share that he is a socialist. Elon Musk tweeted that true socialism seeks the greatest good for all; asserting that he isn’t the kind that wants resources to be shifted from most productive to the least productive.
He Has Donated To Politicians In Both The Democratic and Republican Parties
Elon Musk and Barack Obama!! pic.twitter.com/nb5IzXMHhS
— SARA (@_Saraphim) July 5, 2020
Looking at the donations Elon Musk has made to support political candidates, one would agree he is politically moderate as he has claimed. The billionaire has donated to candidates from the Democratic party almost as much as he has donated to candidates from the Republican party.
In 2012, Sunlight Foundation reported that Elon had personally donated about $725,000 to various campaigns since 2002. In addition to that, it was estimated that his company, SpaceX, had spent over $4.8 million in political contribution and lobbying the United States Congress. It is said that he made his biggest personal political contribution to Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Earlier in 2004, he donated $2,000 to Republican President, George W. Bush’s reelection bid. Also, he contributed $5,000 to the campaign of Republican Senator Marco Rubio. While these donations seem to prove that the entrepreneur is not a member of the two popular parties, it has been suggested that he rendered some of these supports to look out for his business interests.
For instance, it was pointed out that he supported Marco Rubio because the republican is a senator from Florida, a state considered to be crucial to the space industry. As you would easily find, the state is a center for technology and manufacturing industries – the hub for the commercial space industry and home to companies like OneWeb Satellites, Blue Origin, and SpaceX. Elon Musk’s support for Barack Obama has also been heavily scrutinized with claims that the Treasury Department during Obama’s presidency inappropriately provided stimulus money for Elon’s company.
Elon Musk Served On Three Presidential Councils Under Donald Trump
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and President Donald Trump…
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Before Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, Elon Musk expressed that the Republican isn’t the right person to lead the country. For him, Trump didn’t have the character that would reflect well on the United States. But then, Trump became president to the surprise of many and Elon didn’t hesitate to commend him when he appointed Rex Tillerson, an engineer and energy executive as the Secretary of State.
It soon emerged that Trump reached out to Elon Musk to join his business advisory team. If people expected the SpaceX founder to reject the offer, they were mistaken. Elon accepted to work with Trump and justified it; stating that the president would make better decisions if he surrounds himself with more voices of reasons.
Eventually, he got to serve on three presidential councils under the Donald Trump presidency. Records have it that he served on councils that advised Trump on business, manufacturing jobs, and infrastructure. In June 2017, the billionaire decided to step down from the presidential councils. This was after Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord. He tweeted that Climate change is real, arguing that leaving the Paris accord is not good for the United States and the world at large. Serving in these presidential councils is the closest Elon Musk has come to hold a political position.