Although Elon Musk isn’t as reviled in the tech world as Peter Thiel for closely working with Donald Trump, he has been attracting a fair share of criticism from industry leaders and tech activists. Many believe that at the time when the tech industry must stand united against Donald Trump, his close association with him can be seen as a sign of a divided industry.
Since the beginning Elon Musk has been defending his position by saying that it’s better to remain in contact with the current administration rather than being totally hostile to it and alienating it in the process. A bridge must be established so that there is scope for meaningful communication. He is right.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to back away from working with Donald Trump after people started uninstalling the Uber app en masse. Whether he should have taken a stand at the cost of his business or not must be his personal choice, fortunately for Elon Musk, his customer base is not as crowd-driven as that of Travis’s. At least Elon Musk has a breathing space to clear his position without being pushed against the wall.
Defending his decision to closely work with Donald Trump, Elon Musk tweeted
In addition, I again raised climate. I believe this is doing good, so will remain on council & keep at it. Doing otherwise would be wrong.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2017
People in the tech world are particularly pissed off at Donald Trump because they like to think that they are inclusive, diverse, tolerant, and respect women whereas Donald Trump is totally the opposite.
The opposition to Donald Trump is so severe that even those who politically support him are severely criticized. Peter Thiel almost got thrown out of Y Combinator for his vocal support to trump. There were rumors that a particular tech company even contemplated firing employees who supported Donal Trump. Twitter refused to run Donald Trump’s advertising campaign. Many Facebook employees wanted the social networking website to formulate some sort of strategy to make sure Donald Trump didn’t get elected. So, obviously there was outrage when Elon Musk started closely working with the new administration under Donald Trump.
But he has rightly said that simply criticizing and protesting won’t help anyone much. Whether they agree or not, everybody should participate in the dialogue and try to make an impact from within, as he has described in his tweets.