Elon Musk’s cult is broken

Tram Ho

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Elon Musk is famous for a huge fan base. You can easily recognize them whenever someone buys a Tesla car or watches SpaceX, the posts praising Elon Musk are flooded with Twitter.

For fans, Musk is a visionary, an idol, even a climate superhero. That reputation stems from Elon Musk’s turn from the quirky Internet millionaire into a sophisticated manufacturing billionaire. According to the myth of Musk, he’s even the inspiration for the real superhero on screen, Tony Stark captures the charm of Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man” (2008). Over the past 15 years, Elon Musk’s “track record” has become increasingly high, while his fans have become fandom.

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Elon Musk has a huge fan base. Photo: Axios

Tesla ignored the local laws and reopened the factory

A few months ago, no one would have thought of Elon Musk’s “light god” disappearing in the eyes of fans. But that was before the outbreak of Covid-19. Over the past few months, Elon Musk has consistently lowered the risk of the virus, making unfounded predictions about how many Americans will infect and falsely claim that children “are essentially free. translated “with Covid-19. He has called, over and over, to repel popular anti-epidemic measures – a move that public health officials believe could be lethal. Musk, despite everything, reopened the Tesla factory in California, bringing thousands of employees back to work. “I will contact other people. If anyone is arrested, just arrest me,” Musk tweeted as he reopened the plant. Tesla and SpaceX declined to comment.

Twitter is Elon Musk’s main portal for communication with the public, including fans. His previous tweets led to fraud allegations and led him to lose the position of president of Tesla. He was once sued for calling a rescue diver “pedo guy”, a slang term for pedophile. You can easily imagine how the powerful fan force protected him.

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Elon Musk’s cult is broken. Photo: Axios

But now, for the first time, Elon Musk seems to be alienating even the most “crazy” fans. Fans are expressing annoyance and disagreement with Musk on Twitter. They knew that he could read them. Last month, his “hot” tweet about the need to “liberate America now” and letting workers return to work led to a major study of disagreement: disagreements with gods. statue.

The “goose” that made Elon Musk a cold rebel seems to have turned into something more alarming, while the world has a headache against Covid-19. “Surviving a pandemic very easily” is really just a way for us to encourage each other. In fact, at times like this, people like Musk are left to leave the experts to work. A rift in Elon Musk’s fan community began to appear.

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Fans expect Elon Musk to stop tweeting, or at least “bend their fingers 7 times before typing”. Photo: Irish Times

According to The Atlantic, most Elon Musk fans are men, ranging from 20-70 years old. They are people who drive a Tesla car, or wish to own one. They say Musk is their idol. They think the cars he creates are awesome. They always praised Musk’s brilliance, vision and ability to “say and do”. Besides, they also say, no one is perfect. But this time, what the heck did he do?

“Sometimes, smart people are overly confident in things outside their area of ​​expertise , Ben Hallert, a longtime fan of SpaceX, a Tesla shareholder, told The Atlantic. “They are often like: If I am an expert on X, then I can be an expert on Y.”

Hallert likes to talk about rockets. He defeats his incompetent thoughts on the journey of bringing his wife and teenage children to visit SpaceX launch site, just outside the Gulf of Mexico. Hallert’s grandparents worked on the Apollo program. He has a rocket license. He was eager to see the SpaceX spacecraft launch into space. But he also wished that the man behind SpaceX stopped tweeting.

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Along with the Tesla electric car, SpaceX gives Elon Musk a large fan base. Photo: Quartz

Musk soon dismissed Covid-19. For example, in early March, Musk declared that “the corona virus crisis is just silly”. Fans at the time thought that Musk was only mocking the storage of toilet paper and Clorox disinfecting wipes, not referring to a dangerous disease that is everywhere.

But as Musk’s rhetoric escalated, some fans tried to reasonably argue with him. As shown by studies showing that social isolation measures can slow the spread of viruses. They republished Musk’s own 2017 tweet, which he took from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey: “If there is a day, my words against science, choose science.” A gentle reminder of what he once pursued. That’s what they saw in him, and they want today Elon Musk to return to the old Elon Musk.

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Fans expect Elon Musk to return to the way it was, as Iron Man revived after his own failures. Photo: Tesla 4U

But the story gradually escalated. About two weeks later, Musk tweeted: Based on current trends, the US will have almost no new Covid-19 infections by the end of April. That prediction is incorrect. But Musk does not admit mistakes. That makes some fans uncomfortable. They thought that he would “believe in science”.

“If he said ‘Don’t worry, everyone. By April we will have no more cases’, people will say’ This is Elon Musk. He must know the best doctors. You know the best people. He must have done the best research before he said anything , Luis Mireles, a student in Texas, told The Atlantic. Mireles wrote about Musk and Tesla for the school newspaper, and like Hallert, he visited the SpaceX launch site.

Some fans say they are trying to bring Musk back to humans before the pandemic. “Calling someone by a bad or insulting name without evidence is not good. But I think there’s nothing comparable to a person’s life.” Scientist Sun told The Atlantic so (and anonymously). Sun has followed Musk’s countless interviews over the years, in which Musk “normalized” serious issues, but tweets about Covid-19 were intolerable. “He was like superheroes in films, taking on a big task and then suddenly falling out of control, thinking that he could sacrifice the weak.

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But for now, he is still a “ruthless capitalist”. Photo: Observer

Many fans say that Musk is no longer the hero to save the planet, but rather a ruthless capitalist. This annoyance seems to be related to the tweet of Donald Trump supporting Tesla and Musk thanked. If Musk is considered a climate hero, suddenly befriends a villain who doesn’t believe in man-made climate change and spends a lot of time reversing dozens of environmental policies, Does the “hero” still exist? Just three years ago, Musk withdrew from the special advisory council for the president because Trump withdrew the United States from international agreements to address climate change.

“I thought he was a hero,” said Lisa Jacobson, an insurance salesman in Wisconsin. “We are destroying this planet, and there is a man trying to find a new world. But where has the man gone?” Jacobson remembers the benevolent CEO, who extended Tesla’s battery life to drivers across Florida, completely free of charge, so they could evacuate during the 2017 Irma storm.

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Some fans said they canceled the Tesla order. Photo: Medium

Her answer is probably: In the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. He went there before the official decision to reopen the factory. No one came to arrest. Local officials eventually humbled: Tesla could open the factory as long as some additional safety measures were added.

A lot of fans have stood by Elon Musk at this time. Others are trying to untangle Musk’s personal philosophy from his contributions to the world. Some say they have canceled orders for Tesla cars. A Seattle fan, who owned two Teslas, infected with Covid-19 in March, told The Atlantic that Musk’s relentless statements have undermined the value of the Tesla electric vehicle brand. Hallert, a rocket lover from Oregon, said that Musk’s recent behavior has dampened his enthusiasm for SpaceX, preventing him from buying a Tesla Cybertruck.

Although Hallert was still willing to support Musk’s companies, he began to feel frustrated. “Perhaps I justify him just because I love SpaceX so much , Hallert said. “I was no longer stupid to defend him before my friends.”

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Source : Genk