Another "Progressive" Billionaire, Elon Musk Surrenders to Trump

Comments

1
Let's hope they can be a moderating influence, or publicly blast him in response to S#!T Trump does.
2
is everyone at the stranger truly this hilariously naive? super-rich progressives are only "progressive" to the point that it helps their public image. you don't get super-rich by being a great human being, you get super-rich by stepping on everyone and anyone you can in order to get to the top. at the end of the day, these people are interested primarily in one thing: how to retain as much of their cold hard cash as possible. if giving trump a verbal blowie helps accomplish that, then that's what they're going to do.
3
@2 straw man crap. Please don't make shit up.

What's sad to me is that this is the plot of Cars 2, which was by far the dumber of the dumb Cars movies.
6
What would be gained by ignoring Trump? Why would you not take the opportunity to possibly influence him positively?

I really don't understand what people expect to be done and what would happen next as far as everyone who is supposed to not talk to Trump at all. This is real life, not 7th grade where you put the silent ice on your "enemy" for the rest of the quarter. What do you want instead?
7
The Stranger says a lot of stupid shit but this is truly beyond the pale. What would anyone stand to gain from refusing to talk to the man? He's going to be president whether you like it or not. The best thing you could do at this point is attempt to change his mind. That does not make any of these people sellouts. These are big issues we're talking about here -- the fact that you're willing to throw the entire planet under the bus in favor of making a petty political statement is indefensible.

Also: Elon Musk is truly trying to improve the world. Steve Jobs made fucking iPods. There's a world of difference between the two and that was a bizarre and insulting comparison.
8
Remember @6 and @7 two or three years hence, when Latinos are regularly stopped to show their documentation, Muslims are being disappeared, unions have been extirpated, and the administration is endorsing Russia's ongoing re-annexation of eastern Europe.

Gates and Musk are only the most recent, and richest, to aid in normalizing what's coming. Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco were similarly aided by plutocrats who, along with their self-interest, believed they could exert some control over their nations' destinies.
9
@8 again, what is to be gained by ignoring him?

You have offered absolutely no counterargument of any kind.

How is Musk presumed to "aid" Trump? How are you comparing him to Nazi-backers?

He hasn't offered any capital, he has made no "deals."

Big doofus called a summit/whatever for rich techie leaders, and he went. That's all that happened.

Here come you all: "yeah, and man if everyone who was for real just DIDN'T GO TO THAT SHIT, like FUCK TRUMP, WE AREN'T LEGITIMIZING YOUR LIE-SIDENCY, we'd REALLY RESIST TRUMP! WOW YEAH! FUCK ALL THESE SPINELESS" etc etc etc.

Step the fuck back.

Are you still in high school? Do you understand the dynamics of how the players of the world interact?

He is the biggest figure in American business and he went to some hoo-ha hosted by the moron elect. So he should not go, because you want him to feel things the exact same way that you do or else he's a terrible person.

You're making a mountain out of a molehill and demonstrating the emotional immaturity of all you whiny-asses spend time on instead of constructive conversations.

Would it have been better if nobody went to that shit? Of course. But we live in the real world, you fucking children.
10
TIL hoping to keep your job is a racist passion.

11
It's like in the final scenes of They Live, where the rich guy says, "Quite an operation, ain't it?"
12
Elon is no more of a sell out than Black citizens who sign up to be cops or Assistant District Attorneys are. You can't change the room unless you're in it.

If Trump's policies roll forward in the manner I expect (like his cabinet appointments have signaled, to date) then I expect these people hoping to influence the room to be vocal as they leave the table. If they don't, THEN we can start throwing around the term "sell out."
13
CHZA - thank you for saying it. 100%
14
The problem with these meetings is that it legitimizes Trump.

It reinforces the false idea that he has a mandate to carry out his lunatic agenda, and that his daily clowncar of bad decisions is winning anyone over. It causes egregious harm to have these conversations at a time like this. People of any stature or influence have a duty to turn their backs on this neofascist incompetent until he demonstrates the slightest inclination to behave respectably and serve the national interest.
15
@9, I'm getting neither your hyperventilating rush to defend Musk, nor your inability to grasp that normalizing the incoming Trump administration (as the tech titans have done here) has a high potential to be greatly damaging to the U.S. and the world. I do understand your desire to pretend that everything's going to be okay, and that all this is merely business. Lots of people seem to feel that way, but it's going to be the grease on the Trumpistas' axle. I do sincerely hope that I'm wrong. By the way, what kind of person says "step the fuck back?" Please, watch less teevee.
16
Anyone who thinks they can exert any level of influence over that maniac is delusional. There is no moderating or reasoning with someone who has failed upwards his entire life with no repercussions to show for it. He's always going to do whatever the fuck he wants.
17
I just wonder how bizarre it is to think that winning the US presidential election somehow does not "normalize" someone, but a couple billionaires talking to someone "normalizes" them.

I think he is already pretty "normalized" considering how about half of the US voters wanted him to be president, despite what John Oliver told you.

If anything, you should be trying to get as many people who think like you to influence him as possible.
18
The Stranger does understand that (in all likelihood) Donald Trump WILL be the next president, right...?

At some point that means people are going to need to engage with him. You can keep up this tantrum and insult everyone who does but it's only going to further isolate you.

Learning to make the best of a bad situation is part of adulthood.
19
@14 hate to break it to you but the Electoral Vote will legitimize Trump, not some meetings with billionaires (most of whom he's met previously).
20
@17 because playing nice/bipartisanship with far right nut-jobs has gotten us anything so far? I don't think so.
21
@17 no, obviously the way to handle it is to ignore him at every turn. Every interaction with him that isn't a four-dozen-tweet "thread" is considered a "normalization."

The yelly labelers are not interested in having a discussion about how real adult grown-ups have to interact with each other, so the thing they can't understand is now a bad-thing label.

Want to bring up the subject again? See how quick someone like @15 spews out words with no counterpoint. Everybody is operating on their emotional kneejerks to everything instead of rational thought. The same who gave us "oh so you're a misogynist" for any hint of opposition to Hillary.
22
@18 why? it didn't work for Republicans to be intransigent? Grow a spine.
23
@22 So you condone everything that happened in the last 8 years?

If not than your a hypocrite for suggesting it's ok now. IMHO that's not something to brag about!
24
@21 It's not a question of labels, it's a matter of tactics necessary to build a strong grass-root movement. Shitty compromises with the far right aren't going to help if you haven't noticed yet.
25
@20 do you have issues with reading comprehension? Why are you stretching "talking to" with "bipartisanship"? These aren't even politicians. As another moron on this end of the spectrum, maybe you could explain this dichotomy of either you ignore Trump completely, or you're enabling and working with him with great glee?
26
@23 condone what? I certainly didn't condone sitting on my ass while Obama mostly pushed for neoliberal policies for the last 8 years.
27
@20: I don't know why you directed that at me, the content of your statement had nothing to do with what I said.

I will say though, that part of growing up is realizing that sometimes you have to work with people who are shitty, or people you hate in order to do what is for the best. Demonizing anyone who talks with the future president is just really, really, stupid. People are trying to run a country here, not deciding who can join them in the tree-house for lemonade and comic books.
28
@24 what compromises were just made? Please tell me. You seem to know exactly how terrible everything is already going to be while I'm just over here looking at actual facts of what has happened and what has not happened.
29
@25 'talking to' Trump as if weren't already plainly obvious that he is going to push through, in short order, a bunch of extremist policies for which he has no mandate is exactly the wrong thing to do.
30
@28 "what compromises were just made?"

pretending that one can have a truthful exchange with Trump is already a compromise to an alternate reality
31
Sitting at a table with Trump and a bunch of press photographers isn't going to change anything - he's going to do whatever he can get away with and we all know this because that's how he's lived his entire life - but it's also not going to normalize him. That ship sailed months ago. This is just another sideshow, and I'm pretty sure everyone sitting at that table figured that out really quick if they didn't know so already. Even Peter Thiel looks like he has no idea wtf he's doing there.
32
@28 "while I'm just over here looking at actual facts of what has happened"

because the composition of his administration isn't telling us what policies he is going to push for? That didn't happen? Are you suggesting like his PR that he is a lot nicer than what he appears?
33
Who in the fuck ever thought Elon Musk was a progressive in the first place? He's a modern day Walt Disney.
34
@30, 32 thanks for continuing to not provide any actual counterpoint to the specifics at hand.
35
If I had the opportunity to be on a Trump advisory panel I would do it.

At best, I'd be able to provide important information and make good advice that he just might follow.

At worst, I'd have an ear inside his administration and I could use the information I gather from those meetings to undermine the motherfucker's efforts.

I see no advantage to not doing it.
36
You realize, don't you, that "progressive billionaire" is an oxymoron.
37
@5 OOOOOooooooo!!!!!

What you (they) said. Pedantic panderings of a pent up petulant pituitarily postponed populace, gets you pop culture at it's most curdled.

The NW, and seattle in particular, live in a socialist bubble where real world only invades with it craps on their stoop or in their walking path...then the tirades start.

Techies paying homage to Trump is the smart play, if business is their main goal...and it is.

Like it or not libs, Business was on the ticket in November...Dear Leader (his ego was swayable, note all the meetings at the whitehouse...to be sure the course was on track) and hildebeest were mere children when it comes to that arena.
38
Disappointing but unsurprising. One lesson for the rest of us from Timothy Snyder (expert on eastern European history, particularly the Holodomor/Great Terror/Holocaust):

"Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You've already done this, haven't you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom."

More lessons here (recognition points of authoritarianism begins at 33:00): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nEmBmGK…

I hope we're better than this, but if I'm honest, I think wisdom and tolerance is going to be on the losing end in the West for some time.
39
Stop pretending that capitalists are going to save us.

The rich are not superheroes.