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Trump and Elon's Social Media Smackdown
Last week, the Dogefather and Trump threw down.
The battle between the two patriarch kings of social media did not disappoint.
Let’s go play-by-play to break down what all the drama really means.
What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?
The rumble started last Saturday during a Trump rally.
In response to a tweet with a clip of Trump's comments, Elon wrote "Not true."
A few minutes later, he added, "it's time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset" while urging Democrats to call off their attack.
When talk show host Joe Pags pointed out that Trump and Elon appeared to have similar goals for the country, Elon took issue with Trump's decorum.
As expected, Trump's attacks were scattershot and hyperbolic, like claims that Tesla makes "driverless cars that crash" and SpaceX launches "rocketships to nowhere."
When Elon's biographer Ashlee Vance posted one of Trump's Truths on Twitter, Elon responded by tweeting "Lmaooo" (laughing my ass off) and posting a GIF of Grandpa Simpson shaking his fist at a cloud.
Since Elon made his Twitter bid, Trump has ramped up his criticisms of the social media giant, repeatedly calling it boring and predicting that the deal would fall through.
Still, his personal barbs toward Elon are a bit surprising.
Under Trump's presidency, SpaceX became one of the DoD's largest private contractors ever.
In the past few months, Elon's politics have drifted more and more toward something resembling 'America First.'
What's really going on here?
There are a couple things to keep in mind when dissecting the dustup.
First, Trump and Elon are business competitors.
Both have alpha mentalities. Whatever you think of their politics or personalities, neither is accustomed to settling for second place.
Each is vying for the top spot in the ultra-competitive sphere of social media, making their collision inevitable. Like the line from 'The Godfather,' It's not personal, Sonny, strictly business.
As a businessman, Trump is a shark, and Elon is locked in a battle with Twitter's board.
Trump smells blood, and is seeking any advantage he can find. If that means piling onto Elon while he's tied up with Twitter, so be it.
Over the past weeks, Trump has taken every opportunity to cast shade on the Twitter deal.
In typical Trumpian fashion, he hasn't taken sides, instead spraying criticism at everyone involved—Elon, Twitter, its board, its woke censors, and Jack Dorsey.
Though he hasn't said so, it appears his goal is to accelerate the demise of Twitter and lure away users to Truth.
With Twitter's business in self-destruct mode over its questionable handling of bots and content moderation, it's not a bad strategy.
Trump's experience as a WWE performer makes him a master of kayfabe, the pro-wrestling term for staged rivalry.
In this case, he's all too happy to play the role of heel to Elon's hero if it keeps him and Truth Social in the headlines.
Despite being out of office for more than a year, Trump somehow remains the country's most influential politician, with both major parties caught in his thrall.
Part of the reason is his ability to effortlessly generate attention-grabbing feuds.
Like a train wreck, no one (least of all the media) can look away.
It's dangerous to be an honest shibe
In an odd way, the rivalry could make Elon more likable—or at least more difficult to dislike.
A segment of the left has made him a villain since he assumed Trump's old perch as the patriarch king of Twitter.
His conflict with Trump complicates this dynamic.
In the aftermath of the skirmish, Elon claimed this "critic of the left from the center" territory by posting a meme about Hunter Biden's recent alleged iCloud hack.
The hack resulted in a flood of videos hitting the Internet showing the President's son engaged in illicit activity.
It would be a small miracle if the videos weren't already circulating among the global intelligence community by the time 4chan users supposedly broke into Hunter's iCloud account, especially with growing antipathy toward America from powers like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. The incident should be cause for alarm that America's political leadership is compromised.
However, because institutional media refuses to report anything too damaging to Trump's political opponents, citizens are left to themselves to gather information and draw conclusions on their own.
Elon is shepherding his audience through this process of discernment by using memes, which permit a wider range of expression than traditional journalism.
For the foreseeable future, Truth Social will likely remain a niche platform because of its Trump association.
Activity on Twitter is dropping, but under Elon's guidance it's still the best candidate to become a widely used digital town square.
Another interesting wrinkle emerged in the acquisition saga this week, when Twitter's board requested a four-day legal hearing in September to force Elon to buy the company.
In a negotiation this complicated, it's difficult to separate posturing and misdirection from sincere intent.
Elon's request for delay could be a tactic to get Twitter to lower its price, or at least to let Twitter's stock keep dropping.
Whether Elon ultimately buys Twitter or starts his own platform, this probably won't be the last time he and Trump lock horns.
When they meet again, the stakes of the social media turf war could be even higher.
Trump has the Trump Card, but Dogefather has a secret weapon: Plan Ð.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Jim Cramer rang the New York Stock Exchange bell on Monday July 18th, an ominous sign for some investors: the last time Cramer rang the bell was March 6, 2020. The "Inverse Cramer ETF" has been a standout trading strategy so far this year. In 2019, Elon said "Cramer is a simulation."
MyDoge added meme functionality to the Dogeverse, allowing meme creators to be tipped for their work. Daily Dogecoin transactions have gone parabolic as a result, demonstrating the robustness of the Doge blockchain, though some transactions appear to be from automated accounts.
Consumer Price Index inflation reached 9.1%, surpassing expectations. Binance CEO CZ called the number "magically low" and asked why inflation is not 500% when the money supply quintupled in the past two years. A CNBC interview with an investor claiming that millennials were responsible for inflation was widely mocked. Elon said that Tesla could lower prices for cars "if inflation calms down."
Nancy Pelosi's husband purchased up to $5 million in stock options on computer chip company Nvidia shortly before Pelosi decided to advance legislation that would provide government subsidies to the industry.
Panasonic plans to invest billions in a Kansas factory for building Tesla batteries. Elon tweeted that lithium batteries are the new oil. Biden visited Saudi Arabia to try to convince it to increase oil production, but was not successful.
Bloomberg reported that a growing number of Chinese homebuyers are refusing to pay mortgages for unfinished construction projects, putting the country's already tenuous real estate market in further danger. In the US, house prices are being cut and home sales are getting canceled at the highest rate since the start of the pandemic. Are we headed for The Great Default?
The SEC approved leveraged short ETFs for single stocks, including Tesla, whose short ETF started trading under the ticker TSLQ. The SEC continues to deny a Bitcoin spot ETF.
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