Elon Musk spent Wednesday on Twitter announcing his political move from Democrat to Republican, crushing a socially conscious investment trend and answering users of the social media website he wants to buy.
The richest man in the world stated in a tweet on Wednesday that he is switching to the GOP.
“In the past I voted for Democrat because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he wrote. “But they have become the party of division and hatred, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”
The tweet followed comments this week in which he criticized President Biden’s administration and said “not much is being done”. Musk has also expressed his dismay at Biden’s reluctance to recognize Tesla’s fame in the electric car industry; Tesla was not invited to an August 2021 event at the White House promoting electric vehicles.
Musk has donated to candidates and political committees from both parties, but his donations have gone more to Republicans in the past year. He has used his huge Twitter following to attack Democratic lawmakers, including Oregon Senate Treasury Chairman Ron Wyden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, all of whom have argued for higher taxes on billionaires.
Since announcing his offer to buy Twitter and vowing to make it more of a platform for free speech — including restoring access to former President Trump — Musk has become something of a hero for parts of the Republican Party. Conservatives praised his $44 billion bid to keep Twitter private and said it would dispel the prejudices they claim social media companies have against them.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who represents Musk’s new home state of Texas, tweeted last month that Musk’s purchase of Twitter is “the most significant development for free speech in decades.”
Musk said it was “downright stupid” for the platform to ban Trump after his supporters invaded the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Also on Wednesday, Musk tweeted that environmental, social and governance investing, or ESG, was “a scam” after Tesla lost its spot on an S&P Global index that tracks companies by their ESG standards. He also predicted that “political attacks” on him “would escalate dramatically in the coming months”.
Tesla shares, meanwhile, plunged to their lowest level this year, wiping $12.3 billion of his assets, as Twitter continued to extend its decline. All told, Musk has lost $49 billion since he made his bid on Twitter last month, in part as the broader market collapsed and some investors in Tesla worried about how he would fund his bid for the social media giant. Recently, Musk has said the deal is “on hold” while confirming Twitter’s internal data on the prevalence of bots.
He remains the richest person in the world, with a fortune of $209.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has shaved $60.4 billion of his net worth this year, behind only Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao, whose net worth has fallen $81 billion, and Jeff Bezos’ $62 billion drop.