Elon Musk flip-flops again on Muslim ban

In the face of mounting public pressure, Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has changed his mind (again) on Trump’s Muslim ban. This time for the better.

Musk now opposes the ban, and has added his name to a Washington state court brief opposing Trump’s ban.

Musk had initially expressed concerns about the ban. Here he is on January 28.

Then, on January 30, suddenly Musk is defending the Muslim ban — and feeling deceived by “the left.”

Then, on February 2, Musk once again has “objections” to the Muslim ban, though it’s unclear what exactly he objects to, since only 3 days before he thought concerns about the ban were overblown:

And on February 4, a day after the White House meeting, Trump reports that he “raised climate”and “the travel ban.” Though again, it’s unclear what Musk said.

A day later, Musk is blasting “activists,” a word that tends to be used by critics, not simpaticos.

And finally yesterday, February 7, we learn that Musk has joined the Washington state lawsuit against the Muslim ban.

Woosh. That’s a heck of an evolution. And you, all of you, deserve credit for helping make it happen. It was public pressure on all of corporate America, starting with Uber and Disney, and then Tesla/SpaceX, that pushed Musk to finally come around (again) on the Muslim ban.

elon musk

Elon Musk at the Summit 2013 – Picture by Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media – www.heisenbergmedia.com

It’s still not clear why Musk is joining the law suit. Has he reversed his earlier opinion that “the left” was exaggerating concerns about the ban? If so, why? What specific concerns does Elon Musk have with the ban?

And just as importantly, will Musk remain on the two Trump business councils he eagerly joined? The one council met last Friday, and after Uber and Disney refused to attend, Musk claimed it was better to be present than not. But Musk attended and what came of it? Trump is still forging ahead with the Muslim ban, and is crazier than ever. If anything, Musk and the other CEOs in attendance simply validated Trump’s legitimacy and agenda. They were trophy CEOs that Trump was collecting like nubile brides to prove his legitimacy and virility. So why remain on the two business councils when clearly Trump isn’t listening?

And what of Trump’s other policies? Tesla hangs its hook on being good for the climate, but Trump thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax. Did his opinion change after meeting with Musk and other CEOs last Friday? Nope. And Musk still hasn’t recanted his support for Trump’s secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

It’s one thing for Elon Musk to claim that engaging Trump will somehow yield progress. But when Musk engages either he agrees with Trump (e.g, Tillerson and the Muslim ban), or his engagement yields not benefit (Musk flip-flopped again on the ban, and Trump still didn’t change his mind).

I get that it’s tempting for a corporate CEO to want to suck up to the president. But then stop pretending that your company is the vanguard of the environmentally-conscious hipster, when you’re simply another company interested in a quick buck.

Maybe it’s time we started asking Tesla board members what they think. Let’s start with Ira Ehrenpreis @IraEhrenpreis.

And sign the petition, calling on Elon Musk to cut his warm and fuzzy ties to Donald Trump.
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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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