Texas Legislature

Tesla-Worship: Texas Republicans Sure Do Have a Thing for Twitter's New 'Overlord,' Elon Musk

Elon Musk recently moved Tesla to Texas.
Elon Musk recently moved Tesla to Texas. "Elon Musk at Tesla Factory" by Wired Photostream is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0.
Texas Republicans often like to rag on tech bros, but they sure do have a strong affinity toward Tesla CEO Elon Musk lately. That love grew deeper when Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion earlier this week.

Twitter has made a few controversial decisions in recent months. Following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, for instance, it permanently suspended then-President Donald Trump from using the platform. Right-wing satirical website The Babylon Bee was also "locked out of [its] account for engaging in ‘hateful conduct’” this March.

Musk has taken issue with the way Twitter handles certain posts, including those dubbed as hate speech or disinformation. It’s unclear how he would rule the popular platform, but many of the state’s Republicans are already egging him on.

In a tweet on Monday afternoon, the Texas GOP adopted a celebratory tone: “We, for one, welcome our new Twitter overlord. #ElonMusk #ELON."
Other Texas Republicans have jumped in on the praise-Musk-buying-Twitter train, either as cheerleaders or trolls. Gov. Greg Abbott is a big Musk fan. On multiple occasions, he’s posted a photo with the businessman and taken credit for Tesla’s relocation to the Lone Star State.

In a Monday tweet, Abbott encouraged Musk to move his other businesses here, too. He wrote: “@elonmusk. Bring Twitter to Texas to join Tesla, SpaceX & the Boring company."
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, meanwhile, alluded to many liberals’ disdain that Musk could again reinstate Trump’s account.

“Cue the meltdowns,” the congressman wrote.

On Monday, Musk claimed that he hoped his harshest critics would stay on Twitter because, you know, “free speech.” (Still, some have pointed out that Musk has been known to block certain users and seems to lack understanding of what free speech actually means.) At that, East Texas’ own GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert tweeted out his congratulations to Twitter’s new daddy.

“Hopefully the days of Orwellian-style censorship of our founding principles & Judeo-Christian ideals are in Twitter's past,” Gohmert said. “This is a major victory for #freespeech!”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has also weighed in, creating a poll with the question “Is Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter a good thing?” with only two options: “Yes” and “No, I hate free speech.”

Listen, the Observer loves free speech as much as the next person, which is why we feel safe just coming out and saying it: We’re not entirely sure that Musk can pull the whole black cowboy hat thing off. He’s no Willie.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter