Elon Musk Dares To Have A Political Opinion On Twitter

Twitter is an extraordinary tool in so many ways. But, it’s a troll-lined black hole for civic dialogue. Last night, serial inventor Elon Musk dared to express a political opinion on Twitter and paid the price. “Always admired Margaret Thatcher — she was tough, but sensible & fair, much like my English Nana,” he tweeted.

While the reaction to Musk was relatively tame, compared to the usual firestorm of epithets and Hitler-themed accusations, the utter lack of informed dialogue does not spell good things for the future of democracy and social media.

For instance, when former Ms. teen heartthrob Melissa Joan Hart expressed an ounce of positivity towards Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, she was inundated with vicious insults:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MelissaJoanHart/status/266089975051874304]

Which, was in response to this thoughtful response to a thoughtful reply:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MelissaJoanHart/status/266088731184865280]

And, it isn’t that Twitter is incapable of being a forum for informative debate. Just last week, former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett and Brietbart columnist Ben Shapiro held a sarcasm fest over gay marriage.

The debate wasn’t a candidate for Plato’s Symposium; it was fierce and snarky, yet insightful in an entertaining way that invited a broad audience to participate. But, for those who can’t dish out one-liners like professional pundits, Twitter is a political minefield. As one of the great 21st-century innovators, Musk probably has some valuable ideas politics to get off his chest.

Certainly, when former Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin, went after Tesla, he could handle himself:

But after dipping his toes in the general political water and getting bitten, I suspect Musk, and many like him, won’t bother speaking up again.