Nolte: Will Elon Musk Be the ‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Twitter Needs?

elon musk
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk says he wants to purchase Twitter. If he does, we’ll soon learn if he’s the “free speech absolutist” he claims to be.

You never know what’s going on when it comes to billionaires, especially tech billionaires. These are mercurial guys, insanely ambitious guys, with impossible codes to crack.

Well, not all of their codes are indecipherable. But, unfortunately, too many of these guys are just bad guys, straight-up villains right out of those terrific 70’s conspiracy movies that had stars like Robert Redford and Warren Beatty on the run. You know, power-hungry megalomaniacs who see human beings as either utilitarian or in the way.

Tesla owner Elon Musk, the richest man on earth by a pretty wide margin, a guy worth almost a quarter trillion — with a “T” — dollars, is presenting himself as someone different. Unlike billionaire villains like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, and Jeff Bezos, Musk has made moves that caught the ear of right-leaning people like myself, who are desperate to see at least one of these guys become a champion of individual liberty.

For example, Musk moved much of his operation out of the failed state of left-wing California and into the red state of Texas. Although he sells electric cars, Musk called for more domestic oil exploration after gas prices hit record highs earlier this year. He’s also made several public statements that make it sound like he understands the importance of free and unfettered speech in a democracy—something the above-mentioned freaks do not. And now, as of today, he’s made a pretty serious offer to outright purchase Twitter and take it private.

CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing “Cyber Rodeo” grand opening party in Austin, Texas, on April 7, 2022.  (SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

If this is not a cynical move on his part to boost Twitter’s stock price and then sell his nine percent at a sweet profit, if he really does end up owning Twitter and taking it private, what would that mean for Twitter? Is Musk the free speech hero Twitter so desperately needs? Does Musk understand that these tech freaks suckered us onto their platforms with the promise of “free speech” only to pull the rug out from under the political right after they’d succeeded in monopolizing the public square?

Does he truly understand how immoral and un-American that is?

More importantly, does Musk have the moral courage to stand up to the demonic hell-storm that will attempt to destroy his name, reputation, business, and life should he do something as bold as reinstating the Twitter accounts of former President Trump or James O’Keefe, or if he allows people to debate things like gender and lab leaks and computers-from-hell without the fascist interference the establishment demands?

Does Musk get that those are the stakes?

Because those are the stakes.

If Musk is serious, if he’s a man of his word, if he is who he claims to be and reinstates free and unfettered speech on Twitter, does he understand that the entire establishment — including the corporate media, IRS, and FBI — will focus billions of dollars and millions of man-hours into seeking his personal and professional destruction?

As far as what Musk should do with Twitter if he does end up owning it and going private, that’s pretty simple…. Twitter (and all social media) should be guided under the same speech rules as the telephone. You can say and do whatever you want on the telephone without losing your telephone.  What you can’t do is break the law. You can’t threaten, harass, or engage in a criminal conspiracy or criminality. But if you do, Ma Bell doesn’t punish you by taking away your phone. Instead, before you lose any liberty, you are first given due process through the legal system.

That is the only appropriate moral standard for free speech. It is also a clear and concise standard that removes political and social biases and confusion.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the official opening of the new Tesla electric car manufacturing plant on March 22, 2022 near Gruenheide, Germany. (Christian Marquardt – Pool/Getty Images)

What’s more, that is the only appropriate standard for someone like Musk, who has declared himself a “free speech absolutist.”

I applauded Musk’s decision not to block Russian media outlets. I was impressed that the decision was made in the heat of the left’s moral panic just after Russia invaded Ukraine. That was the exact right move. So…

If Musk does obtain control of Twitter, will he display the same amount of moral clarity and courage towards his own countrymen as he did for the Russians?

We’ll see.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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