Former magazine editor John Blumenthal shared his concerns through the Los Angeles Times over owning a Tesla as a liberal after Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
Wednesday’s piece titled “I bought a Tesla to help the environment. Now, I’m embarrassed to drive it,” Blumenthal, who had previously purchased a Tesla to lower his carbon emissions, wrote that he now felt remorse over inadvertently supporting the Tesla owner.
“Because of the recent revelation of Elon Musk’s political views — all of which I abhor — I’m starting to worry about what sort of political statement the car is making. Will people see me as a symbol of right-wing environmentalism, a living oxymoron?” Blumenthal asked.
He insisted that this apprehension was motivated by Musk’s aim to turn Twitter into an “unsupervised playground for neo-Nazis and other random hatemongers and wackadoodle QAnon followers.”
“When I bought the car, I had no real opinion on Musk’s somewhat clouded political beliefs. Now that Musk has apparently swung to the far right — banning journalists from Twitter while reinstating neo-Nazis — I’m horrified to be associated with his brand whenever I drive anywhere,” Blumenthal wrote. “I don’t know whether to sell, but I do know that I’m just not as comfortable driving it anymore.”
The article also revealed that Blumenthal’s motivation for purchasing a Tesla in the was primarily motivated by politics.”
“The car was impractical, but it had sentimental value. My environmental activist friends were not impressed by my assiduous urban composting, LED bulb installations and energy-saving appliances. I needed to do more to diminish my carbon footprint. The icebergs were melting, my friends said, and at least one polar bear was wandering around homeless and hungry because of me,” he wrote.
While Blumenthal acknowledged that the “sale of a used Tesla would hardly cause a blip for the company,” he continued to wonder whether he should act as “a form of protest.”
“It’s a beautifully designed car with no carbon emission, and initially, I was proud of owning it and being seen driving a vehicle that displayed my concern for the environment. But I’m a liberal, and if Musk’s politics don’t change radically for the better, driving a Tesla will become, at least for me, as hypocritical and untenable as driving a gas guzzler was,” Blumenthal concluded.
The piece was ridiculed on Twitter for Blumenthal basing his purchases on purely political motivations.
“’Everything I do is for social virtue signaling. Can someone who is good at the economy please help,’” Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry joked.
Executive vice president of the American Conservation Coalition Danielle Butcher wrote, “It’s embarrassing that people still think this.”
“I sideeye the idea of a ‘Hey, looka me’ electric car being acquired solely out of concern for the environment,” Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Williams tweeted.
“You should just get a car with no toxic historical baggage, like a Ford or a Volkswagen,” podcast host Coleman Hughes joked.
“Sorry your plan to buy away your climate guilt with a vehicle that displays your concern for the environment didn’t work out! But if you really want to stick it to Elon try riding the bus,” New York Magazine writer Alissa Walker wrote.