Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, tweeted on Wednesday about his intention to vote Republican instead of Democrat.

He said, “In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party”, adding, “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.” 

Musk concluded his message by saying there’d now be a “dirty tricks campaign” against him. 

Earlier, Musk said, “Political attacks on me will escalate dramatically in coming months”. 

Also Read | What’s going on Elon? Twitter acquisition apparently “on hold”

The entrepreneur also took offence to the environment, social & governance (ESG) rating, saying “Exxon is rated top ten best in world…by S&P 500, while Tesla didn’t make the list!” 

He added, “ESG is a scam. It has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors.” 

The deepening chasm

The self-proclaimed free speech absolutist had earlier spoken about the deepening chasm between the left and the right, while seemingly conflating leftism with liberalism. Therein, the billionaire had shared an image showing how his position changed from the left of centre to the right of centre over the years, even labelling left-leaning individuals as “woke progressives”. 

Before Musk’s Twitter post about voting Republican, he’d spoken about it on the ‘All-In Podcast’ at a Miami tech conference, saying “I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, historically – overwhelmingly. Like I’m not sure, I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear. Now this election, I will.” 

Elon Musk’s issue with Democrats and Republicans

He went on to explain, “The issue here is that the Democrat party is overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers – particularly the class action lawyers”, continuing, “And generally if you see something that is not in the interest of the people on the Democrat side, it’s going to come because of unions – which is just another form of monopoly – and the trial lawyers.” 

Also Read | Elon Musk’s SpaceX poised to become the most valuable US startup, here’s why

However, Musk went on to say he considers himself “moderate” and not “right wing”. He also pointed out the flaw in the Republican side, saying it was due to “corporate evil and religious zealotry”. 

Elon Musk’s ties to Republicans and the right-wing 

Data from non-profit lobbying watchdog Open Secrets shows that Musk has donated to both sides, with one party getting more than the other in certain years. In 2006, 2013 and 2017, Republicans received more money, while in 2015, he donated almost exclusively to Democrats. The entrepreneur has always stated this as the cost of doing business. 

Also Read | Inside Elon Musk and Parag Agrawal’s public feud over Twitter bots

However, with Musk’s recent bid to acquire Twitter and his ‘free speech’ push, the billionaire has earned the support of the American right, with many conservatives like Fox News host Tucker Carlson returning to the social media platform. The 50-year-old also said he’d unsuspend former US President Donald Trump’s account, though Trump said he’d stick to his own platform TRUTH Social

Musk is also friends with Peter Thiel, his PayPal co-founder, who was also one of the biggest contributors to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again‘ (MAGA) campaign.