There is an old saying that a leopard cannot change his spots. Sometimes in the real world, a person is cast one way, based on what they have said and done in the past. If that person has acted the same way for many years, it is difficult for them to change what they believe and how they work.
Elon Musk is a very innovative person, and for eight years he has been a big supporter of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg reported a story headlined, “Elon Musk Helps California Rank No. 1 for Hillary Clinton Fundraising.” The fact that US Government tax incentives of about $5,600 per car have helped people buy his electric automobiles hasn’t hurt his position. The subsidy to Tesla was worth $139 million last year, based on a research report by Anton Wahlman on February 7, 2017.
Let’s say that a full-size leopard has 1,000 spots. Based on some of his most recent statements, one has to wonder if Elon’s spots are changing. He thinks Rex Tillerson was an excellent choice for Secretary of State, so let’s take away 100 spots. Next, he thinks that attacking Trump will not advance Democratic Party ideas, so he wants the critics to back off. How about we take off another 100 spots?
Musk believes that it will be in his and his companies’ best interest to stay engaged with Trump. He stands a better chance of continuing tax incentives from inside the administration, rather than standing outside and looking through the White House’s iron fence. One thing Musk will promote is a global warming solution by pushing for a carbon tax. Oh, his cars don’t produce a carbon footprint. Therefore, if the government encourages the purchase of zero carbon cars, he stands to gain. Because he may well be involved in this for his own personal gain, let’s put 50 spots back on the leopard.
President Trump is trying to rebuild the automotive industry inside the United States. The government is offering incentives to build new car plants and Elon wants to make sure he gets his incentives. Musk wants the money not only to expand his Tesla auto plant, but also to create new ones. Let’s put another 50 spots back on the leopard. By the way, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently resigned from the President’s Economic Advisory Council under pressure after 200,000 customers deleted their Uber accounts. Elon has seen some cancellations for his new Model 3, but nothing on the scale of Uber. So I think Musk is somewhat in damage control politically in order to keep his losses to a minimum.
The Left wants electric cars and clean energy, and Musk is trying to have, as they say, “his cake and eat it too.” He knows that he has angered some on the far Left, but Musk thinks he can weather the storm. Take 50 spots off the leopard.
There is a last issue about Elon Musk that concerns me. I wonder if he has left the dark side as a progressive Democrat and become a 1960’s Democrat? Perhaps he is merely an opportunist who is trying to game the system to build his personal wealth? It concerns me when someone first takes the position of financially supporting candidates who ran against Trump during the Republican primaries, and then second, supports Hillary for President, and finally third, shifts back to Trump. This person, Elon Musk, either doesn’t have a strong foundation, or is a consummate political opportunist. Now that all the Democrats have lost, I believe Elon has stuck his finger in the air and tested the direction of the country to decide what he wants to do next. I think that for him, moderation is the best opportunity, at least for now. Let’s take off ten spots.
If Trump gets bogged down and starts to come up short on the border wall, immigration, Obama Care, or tax reform, will Elon bolt and move hard left? I think so. I will add 50 spots on the leopard.
So here we are. We have looked at what Elon has said and what he has done. I have to conclude that no, a leopard cannot change his spots, especially when it comes to money.
Dan Perkins is an author, radio and TV talk show host, current events commentator, and philanthropist. His books are available on Amazon.com. More information about him, his writings, and other works are on his website: danperkins.guru.