Elon Musk, eccentric billionaire and founder of the electric car company Tesla, made a controversial statement regarding the ongoing discussion about the stimulus package debate currently being held in congress. "Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo," the founder of Space X declared in a tweet that he likely didn't realize would incur the wrath of Bernie Sanders and many other prominent progressives on twitter and elsewhere.
U.S. Senator and 2020 Democratic Primary candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) immediately took a shot at Musk, tweeting, "What a hypocrite. Elon Musk has received billions in corporate welfare from U.S. taxpayers. Now he wants to stop 30 million Americans who lost jobs from receiving $600 a week in unemployment benefits, while his wealth has gone up by $46.7 billion over the past 4 months. Pathetic." Even Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14) retweeted Sanders' scathing critique of Musk's tweet. At the time this was published, the tweet currently sits at 94.3k retweets and 386.9k likes.
Following the lead of Vermont's senator, some of Sanders' most popular and vocal supporters piled on to Musk as well.
Although I personally have never been a fan of Elon Musk (or most billionaires for that matter), it looks like Bernie Sanders and his Twitter army didn't scroll past the first tweet tweet in Musk's thread advocating for Universal Basic Income, instead of a temporary stimulus package of which many Americans will not qualify for and will not benefit from for various reasons.
In the same thread, Musk even took the time to explain why he felt the potential stimulus package was not good for the average citizen.
Several people realized that Sanders and company did not read the whole thread, and rushed to correct him regarding the goal of Musk's original tweet, including some of his own supporters.
Despite being confronted with proof that Musk was indeed advocating for UBI and not simply denying Americans financial assistance amid their economic hardships brought about by the pandemic, Bernie Sanders has not retracted or corrected his tweet. Even still, it does appear that Sanders and many of his supporters jumped the gun here.
What's more bizarre is Musk's original tweet has seemed to cause his more nefarious message to get lost in the shuffle. In response to a tweet aimed at Musk regarding the coup of Evo Morales in Bolivia and the profits Musk made through Tesla stocks as a result, Musk proclaimed, "We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it."
This tweet was indeed the most troubling in the thread. Especially considering the stock surge Tesla, Musk's own company, experienced as a result of the coup taking place in the heart of what's known as the "Lithium Triangle". Lithium is a key ingredient in the manufacturing of car batteries. The same power supply Tesla's electric vehicles solely rely on. Despite this tweet clearly being the most egregious of Musk's comments in the thread, Sanders has yet to respond to Elon Musk's abhorrently arrogant display of U.S. imperialism and exceptionalism.
What makes this entire back and forth between, possibly, the most popular politician and the most popular billionaire in the country, is that as far as UBI is concerned, Tesla is actually on the right side of the debate and Bernie Sanders has fallen short on this issue. Sanders believes a Federal Jobs Guarantee is more beneficial to the middle class than a Universal Basic Income. I address the history of Sanders' problematic stance on this issue in a live-streamed video below:
All in all, I found it enjoyable to sit back and watch Elon Musk and "Yang Gang" Twitter go toe to toe with Bernie Sanders and "🌹 Twitter", arguing over who wants to give people more money. This debate is much more preferable to the debate in Congress over who wants to give us the least amount of money so that they can continue to fund efforts to put federal mercenaries on the streets, overthrow the Syrian government, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Nancy Pelosi's Ice Cream fund.
It doesn't appear Musk enjoyed the discussion as much as I did, though: