Elon Musk on Thursday posted a graphic indicating liberals have moved so far to the left as ‘woke’ progressives that it’s left people in the middle inadvertently on the right side of the political spectrum through no fault of their own.
The image shows a set of stick figures and lines representing the years 2008, 2012, and 2021. Each timeframe has three stick figures – one to the left representing a liberal, one to the right representing a conservative, and one in the middle labeled ‘me.’
In each, the liberal stick figure shifts – nay, runs – further to the left while the conservative and ‘me’ remain the same, true to their values.
The movement causes the people represented to fall into different categories because the liberal stretches the ideology line. As a result, the lefty is way down the line and newly labeled as a ‘woke progressive’ calling everybody else a “bigot.”
And the Musk stick figure? He’s now planted on the center-right, even though he himself hasn’t moved an inch.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022
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Elon Musk Shifting to the Right?
While little more than a clever graphic, the image suggesting Elon Musk has shifted to the right had to leave some of our friends on the left with a severe migraine.
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Chatter online has indicated Musk is simply making his move to reform the social media platform Twitter because he is a ‘free speech absolutist.’ That’s something conservatives can get behind, but there were some who cautioned it doesn’t make him a conservative by any means.
Any suggestion that Elon Musk may have been pulled to the right due to extremism on the other side will surely make said extremists’ heads explode.
The image is a creation of Colin Wright, whose bio describes himself as an evolutionary biologist. And Wright nailed it with his depiction of the ‘evolution’ of liberalism.
Hi @elonmusk! Thank you for sharing my cartoon! If anyone wants to buy the mug, it’s available in my store! https://t.co/Ei0ojZCW8F
— Colin Wright (@SwipeWright) April 28, 2022
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Media Tries to Correct Musk, Fail Miserably
Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump, not content with the argument, actually penned a column attempting to refute Musk’s personal experience.
Incidentally, you could just as easily label the liberal stick figure as ‘mainstream media’ and come to the same conclusion.
Bump draws from other studies which have analyzed members of Congress – and at an approval rating in the teens, we all know how representative of America our members of Congress are.
Analysis: What Elon Musk’s polarization graph gets wrong https://t.co/2W2SETgNla
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 28, 2022
Twitter followers weren’t necessarily buying what Bump was selling.
One reader noted that the data used for the Washington Post’s analysis actually doesn’t place Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the far left spectrum, making her a more “conservative” Democrat.
Which, of course, is ludicrous beyond words.
The data for WPs “evidence” shows AOC as a more “conservative” democrat…kind of makes the whole thing suspect in my opinion pic.twitter.com/72gW8jPP6L
— Big Rob (@logiccounselor) April 29, 2022
In fact, if you click on the data Bump uses to counter the Elon Musk left-right meme, there is a section in which the publishers feel the need to explain why Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Squadmates Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley are rated as “moderates.”
Digging deeper, you find that the conclusions drawn on those four congresswomen are a result of taking votes in which they did not side with Democrats and labeling them “conservative” votes.
That means that the Squad is so far left of the moderate Democrat that the analysts in Bump’s meme takedown ranked some of their votes as “conservative.”
There’s reality, and then there’s what the Washington Post is peddling. And here’s the reality …
A statistical analysis published by The Week last summer shows “Democrats have moved further to the left politically than Republicans have to the right since the 1990s.”
The column, citing data from a self-described liberal journalist, concludes that Democrats “have moved fairly dramatically toward a more liberal point of view” with their stances on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, gun control, taxes, and religion.
As for Republicans, on what issues have they moved right? They’ve actually moved left in some areas – acceptance of gay marriage and increasingly hostility towards private megacorporations, for example.
If you hate the culture wars, blame liberals https://t.co/EV3nC0ATqp pic.twitter.com/SehGqYrY0u
— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) July 3, 2021
Another data analysis by FiveThirtyEight claims “Democrats have shifted left over the last 30 years.”
Their column also suggests that if Democrats continue to focus on extreme views regarding discrimination and immigration, “Democratic voters may move even more to the left.”
Earlier this week, President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security set up a new “Disinformation Governance Board.” They may want to take a look at the Washington Post’s effort to argue the Elon Musk left-right, liberal-conservative meme.
Musk has a thought on the administration’s effort to combat disinformation, by the way.
When Steven Crowder tweeted that the Disinformation Governance Board was comparable to other historic efforts to control information, Musk replied with one word: “Discomforting.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022
In other words, Biden went so far to the left that it caused Musk to take a position more in tune with the right.