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Elon Musk and the Quiet Voice in My Head

Anytime the world’s attention diverts towards something shiny or outrageous or noisy or over-the-top entertaining, I try to step back and see who’s working the crowd. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but a lot of times circuses take attention off of something else.

Right now, Elon Musk is the greatest show on Earth. But I wonder. People like Trump are a huge threat – to democracy, to peace, to basic human decency – but longer-term the bigger threat is the oligarch class.

Peter Thiel worries me more than Trump. Billionaires are the enemy. Billionaires are dangerous. Billionaires should not exist, especially in a society with so much poverty. And the last thing billionaires need is for the rest of us to start looking at them too closely.

Along comes Elon, burning billion-dollar bills, dancing on tables like a drunk monkey, and making a general fool of hisself. All of eyes turn toward the jester, capering around under the big top at the edge of town. Look, we say. He ain’t nothing to fret about.

Thiel & VanceWe laugh and clap and point and chomp our ten-cent cigars, but what are we not looking at as, for instance, Peter Thiel’s pet hillbilly wins a Senate seat in Ohio?

No, I don’t think the dark cabal sent Elon out there to take one for the team. But what does it mean when things just naturally happen the same way they would if there were a conspiracy?

This is what the voice in my head is quietly thinking about this Veterans Day morning…