Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and the issue of settling scores

Elon Musk and Donald Trump share the adjective “vanity” as both want to be the center of attention and a platform to display arrogant and eccentric behavior. Both the CEO of “Tesla” and the former US president used the “Twitter” platform as a sword and shield to arouse the feelings of tens of millions of followers and fend off opponents. .

Trump “armed” Twitter before banning him from the platform shortly after the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Musk was a regular on Twitter and frequently mocked stock market regulators and eventually decided to buy the platform.

They now face a settlement of accounts this week, prompted at least in part by their use of the Twitter platform to promote their agendas and “feed” their “inflated” identities.

Trump faces a unanimous recommendation from a congressional committee to the Justice Department on Monday that he be criminally prosecuted for his role in the attack on the Capitol by supporters who were moved by his public statements that day, on and off social media .


Immediately after that could come the release of Trump’s tax returns, now in the hands of another House committee, whose privacy he has fought to preserve for years.

After firing nearly half of Twitter’s workforce and causing chaos on the back of “reckless and ever-changing policies,” Musk essentially asked users if he should fire himself. In an unscientific poll he conducted, the majority of the 17.5 million respondents said he should step down as head of Twitter…and no one knows if he will honor the result as promised.

“The main thing that Trump and Musk have in common is their inexperience with real failure, failure with consequences,” said Eric Dzenhall, a consultant to companies in crisis. He added, “Although Trump has failed many times, he has always been protected by family money and incredible luck.” Although Musk is a genius, he has had the good fortune to build several companies on government funding.

selectivity at work

Shortly after buying the platform, Musk once again called on the former president to return to Twitter, but so far Trump is sticking to his “Truth Social” platform, which is a social media platform created was by the “Trump Media and Technology” group overseen by former US President Donald Trump in October. The first is 2021.

Musk’s call was a selective exercise of the right to free speech, as he also suspended a variety of key journalists from Twitter and blocked links to “banned” social media sites like Facebook, before backtracking somewhat on both fronts.

Trump and Musk operate with the sense that things begin and end with the CEO. But Musk has also built viable companies and real wealth, and unlike Trump, he has grappled with self-branding, fraught real estate deals and shady businesses involving steak and vodka or even his real estate investor, the University.

Musk has 120 million followers on Twitter, and Trump, a Republican, had 88 million when he was banned from the stage after the attack on the Capitol in January. Some argue that the site has greatly amplified their voices, in a way that has benefited Musk’s business and Trump’s political career over the years, albeit at the expense of their reputations.

In 2017, Musk tweeted, “Abominable sight of hell,” and it was like a wake-up call for him. As he wrote in a tweet in 2018: “Likes are rare on Twitter, and criticism is harsh.”

“That’s great”

On that platform, Musk appeared less as an engineer, a visionary who invested in electric cars, built reusable rockets and cared deeply about climate change than, to some, a person steeped in right-wing conspiracy theories and misogynists.

A month ago, Musk taunted Trump about his struggle after Twitter agreed to let him back, posting a photo of a naked woman with the Twitter logo covering her privates… “Don’t be tempted ,” Musk said in a blog post.

Both men have used Twitter to attack mainstream media, spread misinformation, push the boundaries of what is acceptable in social media, and engage in provocations that are difficult to condone.

But of the two, Trump was the only one who had the power. And the wealthier Musk appears much smaller in the game to influence public opinion, as his attention is more focused on tweets about company policy and management.

Their policies do not match, Musk’s right-wing and liberal beliefs are accompanied by a commitment to controlling global warming, for example, while Trump does not. Their personalities also differ in some respects, as Musk admits the mistake and can sometimes offer excuses; While it is impossible for Trump to do so.

Their work ethic is not the same

Trump, 76, of Queens, New York, spends most of his time on the golf course at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, after a volatile presidential term. Musk, a 51-year-old South African who lived in Canada as a young man, is known for working crazy hours at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters these days.

But as an inconvenience, they can also be twins separated at birth. “Both of them are freelancers … There’s never a plan, there’s never a strategy. There’s just a quick set of tactics. It’s worked out well for them,” Desenhall noted, adding, “It will not be the case. for the rest.”

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