Elon Musk does the unforgivable

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Would Elon Musk be allowed on Twitter today if he didn’t also own the company?

No.

There have been a lot of complaints since Musk announced his bid for the company last spring.

From the outset, there was a deep anxiety that Musk would bypass Twitter’s habit of censoring opinions contrary to the regime’s narrative.

The bee Babylon captured the discomfort with a history titled “Twitter Workers Concern Elon Musk Will Transform Their Free Speech Platform into One That Enables Free Speech.”

The Bee, he recalls, was himself banned from Twitter for naming Admiral “Rachel” (né Richard) Levine as “Man of the Year.”

Once Musk actually took over in October, anxiety escalated to panic as Twitter workers faced Musk’s dire request to actually work.

Musk hadn’t owned the company for a full day before ditching the CEO, chief financial officer and chief legal officer.

He followed it up with a notice that anyone uninterested in the “hardcore” devotion to the company should leave.

As I write this, approximately 50 percent of Twitter employees are about to leave.

But all of that was a no-brainer compared to Musk’s truly outrageous action on Nov. 18.

Catholic theology, while emphasizing God’s infinite mercy, holds that there is an unforgivable sin, the “sin against the Holy Spirit.”

Specifying exactly what it is has kept theologians in sweets and beer since at least the time of St. Augustine of Hippo, and he shrugged off his mortal coil in AD 430

Musk has just committed the media equivalent of the unforgivable sin.

He reinstated Donald Trump on Twitter.

Yes, that’s right, the man the regime loves to hate, the orange bête of apparatchiks from Liz Cheney to Bill Kristol, Nancy Pelosi to Rachel Maddow, not to mention globalists and corporatists everywhere, is once again officially a member in rule of the “Twitter community”.

The anxiety there suddenly turned into apoplexy.

It was one thing to reinstate Jordan Peterson or The Babylon Bee.

No doubt they too deserved to be banned.

Unlike the Supreme Leader of Iran, Imam Sayyid Ali Khameneifor example, that he has never had his account suspended.

But Donald Trump?

Anger, outrage and hysteria followed Musk’s decision.

It was as if Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” had been transposed into the collective psyche of the people in the well-pressed pants who actually run the country.

What made Musk change his mind?

People.

He ran to Twitter poll. “Restoring Former President Trump: Yes or No.”

About 15 million people voted.

About 52% voted yes and about 48% voted no.

There were no mail-in ballots, no votes were “collected.”

“The people have spoken” Musk wrote in a tweet. “Trump will be reinstated.”

He concluded with this boot on the back of the regime’s consensus: “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which is Latin for “Take this, you flatterers.”

Some failing media concerns picked up their marbles and walked off the field. CBS News, for example, suspended all of its Twitter activity due to “uncertainty” about Musk’s handling of the company.

I thought it was weird. Of all the uncertainties in the world, Musk’s handling of Twitter is one you can be pretty sure of.

It intends to make it a platform that encourages the dissemination of views from a wide range of political, moral, social and religious perspectives.

This does not mean he will tolerate ad hominem abuse or incitement to violence or other illegal activity.

It means he’ll take a page from John Stuart Mill.

In “On Liberty,” Mill famously expounded on “the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of opinion” which runs counter to popular sentiment.

If the opinion turns out to be correct, we would be “deprived of the opportunity to exchange error for truth”.

If the opinion turns out to be wrong, we would benefit from “the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error.”

The early consequences of Trump’s reinstatement have been noteworthy.

After the vaunted “red wave” crash in the midterm on Nov. 8, everyone started shorting Trump, Ltd.’s stock.

Many of his former supporters also joined the stampede.

The outing was not appeased by his announcement days later that he would run again for president in 2024.

I found that somewhat odd because that announcement, in style as well as substance, was one of the most dignified and statesmanlike speeches Trump has ever delivered.

But you didn’t have to be a meteorologist to know which way the wind was blowing.

He was blowing against Donald Trump.

Until November 18, that is, and Musk reinstates the former president.

I got the news in prime time.

Yes, there was “@realDonaldTrump” live and in person virtual in the bluebird’s nest.

When I first looked, his account had around 21,000 followers.

When I checked again, it was up to 165,000.

When I threw myself into the arms of Morpheus, he had over a million followers.

The morning after cockcrow there were 62 million.

When I sat down to write this column they were over 80 million.

Subsequently, his account grew to 86.4 million followers.

This is in less than 24 hours.

Joe Biden, by contrast, is believed by many to be the legitimately elected president of the United States.

He he currently has 27.6 million followers.

Yet we are assured that it received 81 million votes in the 2020 election.

Maybe. As Samuel Goldwyn once observed, we’ve been through a lot of water under the bridge ever since. There is no point in trying to repeat that contest.

It has been an unattractive feature of Trump’s rhetoric since the election to try to do just that.

His demeanor and message announcing his run for the 2024 Republican nomination suggest he may have learned that lesson.

The amazing speed with which it has accumulated almost 90 million followers on Twitter hints that his time in the desert may be coming to an end.

I have a feeling the folks who gathered at the Washington Mall in their pink hats in January 2017 might need to dust off their headwear for a repeat performance.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

To follow

Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “The Critical Temper: Interventions from The New Criterion at 40”.

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