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LAST WEEKEND, former President Trump at a rally in Alaska lashed out at Elon Musk calling him “another bullshit artist.” The former president started talking about the purchase of Twitter, then mentioned that Musk announced his switch to the GOP—but still proceeded to insult him, because according to Trump, Musk lied to him by telling him that he had voted for him.
When I heard Trump’s words, I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing, “why in the world would the former president want to make an enemy of one of the most influential people in the world?” – I asked myself. Elon Musk is not only the richest person on the planet (and a possible big donor for electoral campaigns), but he is also a person whose influence goes beyond the political sphere. Everything the entrepreneur says trends and lands headlines. His hundreds of millions of followers on social networks refer to Musk for decisions. So why would you want to make an enemy of someone like that?
This is in no way a defense of Musk. You may or may not sympathize with him. The point is that strategically it is really absurd to publicly insult him considering his recently announced support for the GOP. During the last few months, we have begun to see how big businessmen (not only Musk) but also Jeff Bezos have begun to show themselves critical of Democratic policies. All in part because of the progressive party’s continuous attack on their wealth.
Embracing people like Musk and Bezos is important both economically and from the level of influence as they can reach a base of undecided voters who are — in the end — the group that decides elections. The Republican and Democratic bases are quite well defined. It is the undecided — particularly those who understand little about politics and are guided by feelings and the words of influential people like Musk — who tip the electoral balance for one of the parties. With that being said, I insist, why do you want to make an enemy of Musk?
The Trump administration’s public policies, taxes, economic agenda, and national security were well-founded. Despite all this — in addition to a contentious 2020 election — part of the reason Biden is in power today is because of Trump’s relentless ability to make enemies and not be tactful when it comes to rhetoric.
For the good of the country, the GOP and Trump shouldn’t be attacking Elon Musk. Enough damage has been done to the country by the Democrats. The former President has enough fabric to cut there without alienating his base against one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the last few decades.
If Trump wants the GOP to retake power and save the country, he should stop burning bridges and start building them. That’s what great statesmen do.
This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on July 12, 2022. Subscribe for free here!
Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American