Tesla CEO and world's richest person Elon Musk has said he can no longer vote for Democrats and will vote for Republicans instead this year.
Musk has twice criticised Democrats this week because of their leftward leaning but he stopped short of considering himself a Republican. He called himself a moderate.
He said in a podcast, "I would classify myself as a moderate, neither Republican or Democrat. In fact, I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats historically. Overwhelmingly. I might never have voted Republican. Now, this election? I will."
Musk repeated this in a tweet on Thursday, saying the Democratic Party has shifted from kindness to hate and divisions.
In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.
Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold … 🍿
Earlier, Musk has also accused the social media platform Twitter of a left-wing bias. He is in the process of buying Twitter for $44 billion but the deal is stalled for now over disagreement over the extent of fake accounts on the platform.
In line with above comments, Musk has termed his takeover of Twitter a "moderate takeover" and not a "right-wing takeover".
Musk has been critical of Democracts' left-wing agenda lately such as the billionaire’s tax. He is also opposed to trade unions.
However, in his public comments, Musk has said he believes in free speech and it means upsetting the extremists on the left as well as the right. Moreover, while he has criticised Democrats, he has not aligned with some key the Republican and conservative views as well — Musk is pro-vaccine and his company Tesla supports abortion rights of employees, abolitioning which is central to a majority of Republicans and conservatives.
A Business Insider article noted that while a section of conservatives cheer for Musk because of his criticism of leftwing politics, he functions mostly on libertarian side rather than conservatism.
The article noted, "But while Musk's self-avowed commitment to free speech and seeming disdain for the progressive left has given hope to some conservatives, the tech billionaires' ideology may prove too libertarian for a party [the Republican Party] increasingly interested in using the power of the state to promote conservative values."
Libertarianism advocates minimal state intervention in the free market and in citizens' private lives. In line with this, Musk earlier said on Twitter, "In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people. That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics."
Musk has also championed free speech and has said it will be key priority for Twitter once he acquires. However, he has also specified that free speech will not be absolute and will be within legal limits.
By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.
If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.
Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.