Elon Musk and the Rise of Elite Dissidents | Opinion

Elon Musk's successful bid to buy Twitter has sent shockwaves throughout the world. The news is hitting especially close to home, since I was recently suspended from Twitter for "dead-naming" HHS Assistant Secretary Admiral Levine. I refused to delete the tweet because I said nothing hateful or wrong—nor was the tweet inaccurate in any way. Before Musk's purchase, I was locked out of my account for weeks, unable to communicate with my 1.7 million followers, making my suspension one of the most high-profile to date on the platform.

While the impending good or ill of Musk's takeover is debated on Twitter and beyond, the entire saga points to an emerging trend across all corners of our chaotic media and institutional landscape—I call it the rise of elite dissidents.

Whether it is Elon Musk, the world's richest man, famed investors like David Sacks, Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen, or some of the world's most popular comedians and entertainers like Joe Rogan, Russell Brand and Bill Maher, there is an uprising stirring that would have been unpredictable only 12 months ago. I don't agree with all of what any one of them says or does, but brave contrarian voices of elite dissent are emerging to challenge the rot that has dominated America's progressive institutions for a generation.

What makes this development so inspiring is that so few saw it coming.

For one, the financial consequences of dissent puts in check even the most risk-tolerant elites. I've heard it said that while one must embrace risk to become a billionaire, once achieved, billionaires are among the most risk-averse individuals in the world. The costs of stepping out of line simply become higher and more expensive the richer and more established you become. For those elites who are only moderately wealthy, the prevailing powers have even more leverage. Advertisers and sponsorships, lucrative podcasting contracts, first-look studio deals, books, speaking tours and investment capital are all put in jeopardy if a member of the club dares challenge establishment narratives.

The shame campaigns are equally as harrowing. Should a previously respected voice sound the wrong note on election integrity, COVID-19, vaccines, race relations or gender ideology, he is inevitably soon excommunicated from the elite cocktail party circuit in D.C., Manhattan, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Dare suggest that five-year-olds should not determine their gender and you risk not only ridicule on Twitter, but the collective scorn of the think tank intelligentsia, progressive politicians and Ivy League Ph.D.s who will use you as a cautionary tale of what not to think or say—even if they by chance privately sympathize with you. ("You don't say that sort of thing in public," goes the mantra.)

In this photo illustration, the Elon Musk’s
In this photo illustration, the Elon Musk’s Twitter account is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of the homepage of the Twitter website on April 26, 2022 in Paris, France. Chesnot/Getty Images

And then, of course, is the Left's favorite method of keeping nearly all elites in check—the -isms: racism, sexism, heterosexism (homophobia) and classism. Far-left race-hustler Shaun King maybe-maybe-didn't quit Twitter momentarily after claiming Musk's purchase of the platform was about "white power." The Los Angeles Times has called it, "The Beginning of the End of #BlackTwitter."

Most Americans scoffed when, for the last decade, I warned that the cultural Marxists of the universities would eventually take over the levers of real power in this country. "Maybe in Europe," they would say, "but not here!" "You're being hyperbolic and alarmist, Charlie!" But the Left's long march through the institutions took place at a pace too slow for most Americans to notice or care. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, it happened gradually, and then suddenly.

Suddenly, a new generation gained critical mass in Manhattan, Menlo Park and Malibu, calling for radical gender ideologies in schools, defunding the police and mask and vaccine mandates for even the healthiest and youngest Americans. Suddenly, defining what a "woman" is could get you banned from social media. Suddenly, rioting was "mostly peaceful" protesting and a form of reparations. Suddenly, concerned parents were the targets of the FBI. Suddenly, biological men were winning "women of the year" awards and national championships in women's swimming.

But something has changed in recent months. Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter is proof.

In all the madness, the radical Left finally took things too far—as they always do—and inadvertently pushed a remnant of principled elites to their breaking point. It finally has become "more expensive" for this subset to remain silent and compliant than to push back against an ideological parasite that threatens the American way of life. For those elites that still love America and all that she symbolizes, it has become too onerous not to fight back.

My friend, Pedro Gonzalez put it this way on Twitter: "You need elites to beat elites, this is the iron law of oligarchy." He's right. The coalition of elite dissidents is growing, and as it does, the power of the corrupt establishment fades. None of this is ideal, but at this point, it is completely necessary.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA, chairman of Students for Trump and host of the nationally syndicated radio show and podcast, "The Charlie Kirk Show."

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.