In a post from November 2022 I argued that allowing Elon Musk to succeed in buying Twitter was an unforced error, but now I believe it will go down as liberal elites’ biggest blunder to date, and even its possible undoing (at least as far as online is concerned). This is a mistake that will go down as one of colossal proportions.
After acquiring 5% of Twitter, Elon makes an offer to buy Twitter in April 2022 for $43 billion at $54/share, using Tesla stock as collateral for the purchase.
Due to inflation and recession concerns in early 2022, the stock market falls soon after, reducing the value of Twitter. Yet Elon is still on the hook to follow through with the deal at the originally agreed-upon price, which meant selling more shares of Tesla to buy a then less valuable Twitter.
Elon tries to get out of the deal, but concedes, likely realizing backing out of the deal was legally untenable. This is viewed as a major win for the left, but also a sort of cognitive dissonance, in which the left sought to inflict financial harm on him by forcing to him buy Twitter at a loss and against his wishes, but at the same time strongly opposed him owning the site.
Fast-forward a year and now Twitter has gone from being pro-woke, to now a solidly anti-woke platform. But unlike alt-tech, it’s mainstream. This has major implications for shifting the cultural zeitgeist rightward, for elections, etc. Even before 2022, during ‘peak Covid’, tweets by anti-woke accounts tended to get much more engagement, with Trump and Elon having the most popular accounts on the site by far, but this has been ramped up even more so.
For example, viewing Twitter on a USA-IP VPS while logged out shows many recommended tweets, all anti-woke, such as by “Benny Johnson”, “End Wokeness”, J.K. Rowling, and Ron DeSantis. Moreover, all the these tweets are extremely viral, getting tens of thousands of ‘likes’, a huge increase from as recently as 2022:
Recent tweets by Tucker have gotten hundreds of thousands of likes, including a million ‘likes’ for his post-firing video, which is close to a record for the history of Twitter. And then nine-hundred thousand likes for a follow-up video in which he attacks the media for misleading people, and announcing a return of his show to Twitter:
We’re back. pic.twitter.com/sG5t9gr60O
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) May 9, 2023
Same for tweets that criticize the media and the left, such as a recent hugely viral tweet about the media’s selective reporting of white-on-black crime:
Perspective is everything pic.twitter.com/Xpvmr1CfHo
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) May 5, 2023
No one else has come to this same realization I have, but this represents a colossal blunder on the part of liberal elites to voluntarily relinquish a major organ of propaganda, bigger and more important than CNN or the NYTs, for only $40 billion to someone who had already made his intent and motives clear as being anti-left, even if he wraps himself in a veneer of bipartisanism and anti-identity politics. Going back to 2018, such as the Thailand cave diving controversy, his barbs against journalists, and then in 2020 by opposing lockdowns, Elon has made it abundantly clear he was (and is) no friend of the left. It’s not like ignorance is an excuse here.
Rumble, Parler, Gab, Truth Social, etc. all fizzled out or failed to attract any sort of mainstream critical mass. Elon comes along and rather than launch yet another doomed-to-fail alt-tech platform, does the seemingly impossible and buys Twitter outright. And the left could have stopped him but chose not to.
$40 billion is pocket change, representing just 1/7 of the valuation of Nike or Disney, or 1/40 of Apple. Soros and others elites, like in private equity, could have easily pooled their resources to buy Twitter, without even breaking much of a sweat. And again, it’s not like Elon wanted the site, so there would have been no bidding war. Also, it’s not like putting $40 billion in a furnace, like Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign. Twitter under a left-wing suitor would have retained more of its value, due to having more advertisers, compared to under Musk’s control. Even under pessimistic market assumptions, it’s likely Twitter would still at least be worth $20 billion. Twitter’s functionality could have been merged with maybe Disney, Facebook, or Apple rather seamlessly, such as integrating Twitter apps with the Apple App store or integrating short-form Twitter video with YouTube or Netflix.
Contrary to having intricate plans of world domination, liberal elites are shortsighted and do not coordinate, such as by pooling resources, as well as commonly assumed. I have argued that many liberals are unenthusiastic water carriers for the activist/woke-left and have short memories, which can explain why they can vacillate from one ‘current thing’ or outrage to the next. This is good news for the anti-woke by exploiting this weakness.
In the end, this decision to allow Twitter to fall into the wrong hands represents a major preventable blunder on the part of the liberal elite, and one that they will likely come to regret down the road.