“Honestly, Musk is becoming a liability and the Tesla board needs to seriously consider ousting him,” wrote Markos Moulitsas, author of “The Resistance Handbook: 45 Ways to Fight Trump.” “And I say that as a proud owner of a Tesla and a SpaceX fanatic who truly appreciates what he’s built.” ...
The idea of taking the red pill ... grew to mean waking up to society’s grand lies. It was embraced by the right, especially by members of its youngest cohort who organized and spent their time in online forums like Reddit and 4chan.
The truth to be woken up to varied, but it ended up usually being about gender. To be red-pilled meant you discovered that feminism was a scam that ruined the lives of boys and girls. In this view, for a male to refuse the red pill was to be weak.
Red Pill forums were often filled with deeply misogynistic and often racist diatribes. The more extreme elements splintered into groups like involuntary celibates (“incels”) or male separatists (Men Going Their Own Way, or MGTOWs). Conferences like the 21 Convention and its sister convention, Make Women Great Again, sprang up to gather red-pilled men. Being red-pilled became a sort of umbrella term for all of it.
As these conversations seeped into the mainstream, pulled along by a host of other internet language from message boards to establishment Republican conversations on sites like Breitbart, the meaning broadened and got watered down. To be red-pilled can now mean being broadly skeptical of experts, to be distrustful of the mainstream press or to see hypocrisy in social liberalism. ...
Most recently, Mr. Musk has been a prominent skeptic online of the coronavirus, calling the response to it a “panic” and “dumb” and wrongly predicting close to zero new cases by the end of April. As of Tuesday, there were more than 90,000 deaths from the virus and more than 1.5 million cases in the United States alone.
The night before Tesla’s earnings were released last month, Mr. Musk tweeted an anti-lockdown rallying cry: “FREE AMERICA NOW.” He had a showdown with local lawmakers, threatening to move Tesla headquarters out of California and deciding to reopen a Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., despite the local county’s restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading.