Sunday, February 5, 2023

Elon Musk urges Twitter followers to vote Republican for ‘shared power’

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Twitter owner and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has urged his more than 100 million Twitter followers to vote for Republicans in House and Senate races, citing the supposed benefits of divided government under Democratic President Joe Biden.

In a series of posts on the website he bought last month, Mr Musk said “independent-minded voters” should consider how “shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties”.

“Therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” he said.

He added that, in his estimation, “independent voters are the ones who actually decide who’s in charge” because “hardcore Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side”.

The South African-born entrepreneur, who has in the past described himself as a liberal on social issues but fiscally conservative, has taken to openly supporting the GOP in recent years, and since purchasing Twitter has made a point of engaging with prominent right-wing media figures.

Earlier this year, he attended a donor retreat with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Wyoming, where according to Axios he said the US would prosper if the GOP “stayed out of people’s bedrooms” and Democrats kept “out of people’s wallets”.

At the time, the then-future owner of Twitter tweeted: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!”

Mr Musk’s call for users to vote Republican came on the heels of massive layoffs late last week, in which nearly half of the Twitter workforce lost their jobs.

It has since been reported that Twitter had begun asking some laid-off workers to return.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk announced over the weekend that anyone impersonating others would have their accounts banned.

That’s exactly what happened with comedians Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman, who had changed their names to “Elon Musk”.

Mr Musk earlier stated that there would not be any major decisions taken about content policies on the platform until a content moderation council was formed at the company.

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