Could Elon Musk's Bernie memes reveal his true political leanings?
Elon Musk has been posting Bernie memes. We investigate if he might be a Bernie Sanders fan, beyond the memes.
Is it possible that Elon Musk is feeling the Bern? We've been noticing the eccentric tech leader posting Bernie Sanders memes, and we're wondering if he's signaling that he's a fan.
Musk had previously expressed support for Andrew Yang and his basic income plan, but Yang recently dropped out of the race. Since then, Musk has posted some rather hilarious Bernie memes on Twitter. First, there was one of Bernie as Doctor Eggman, the villain from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
Musk added to this tweet "And some vitamin k too." Vitamin K is often used as slang for ketamine, but I suppose it's possible Musk could be referring to the actual vitamin. Probably not. A Twitter user replied to the meme with one of Bernie as a Juggalo and asked: "is it real meme hours already"? Musk replied, "Whoop whoop!!"
Our investigation continues. The day after Musk posted the Eggman meme, he posted another Bernie meme. This time it's a meme of showing Sanders, most likely from when filibustered the senate for over eight hours in 2010, has been photoshopped to look like he's pointing at an image from the anime show Neon Genesis Evangelion and explaining the show's ending.
We reached out to Elon to see if he's feeling the Bern and did not receive a response before this article is published. Thus, we are forced to speculate wildly. We're going to have to dig deep here. The truth is out there. We will find it. Maybe Pepe Silvia knows...
There are several reasons why it would be surprising if Elon Musk was an earnest fan of Bernie Sanders.
First of all, Sanders' Income Inequality Tax Plan that was introduced in September, which would increase tax rates on companies where the CEO makes at least 50 times more than the median worker, would certainly raise taxes on Tesla where Musk makes a whole lot more than the median worker. As for Musk himself, Sanders' wealth tax would cut his wealth in half within 15 years. He might not like the idea of that.
Another reason Musk might not be a fan of Sanders' has to do with unions. Bernie Sanders has expressed support for Tesla workers unionizing, and Musk has had a complicated relationship with this issue. Back in 2018, there were reports Musk was sabotaging worker efforts to unionize. In September of last year, a judge ruled Musk and other executives at Tesla had been illegally engaging in this very practice.
It would appear there are some Bernie Sanders fans who at least at one point wanted an endorsement from Elon Musk. Back when Sanders was running in the 2016 election, there was a discussion on the subreddit for his campaign about Musk giving him an endorsement. Some, as you might expect, didn't like the idea of a billionaire endorsing Sanders.
As a Vox article from this week notes, many in Silicon Valley are started to get worried about the prospect of a Sanders presidency. The tech world freaked out when Elizabeth Warren was leading in the polls because breaking up the largest tech companies is one of her more well-known proposals. Since Bernie's performance in the Iowa and New Hampshire contests, they're starting to worry about how he could impact their lives. It's not clear if Musk, who is often happy to be an outlier in the tech world he inhabits, is one of the worried ones.
There's a decent chance Elon Musk simply finds Bernie to be an amusing figure who is easy to meme and that he's not planning on supporting him. Musk mixes his Twitter use with serious announcements and his businesses and things he finds amusing, like The Witcher on Netflix. However, if he does announce he's on Bernie's side, it wouldn't be the strangest or most surprising thing he's ever done.