You can accuse him of many things, but subtlety isn’t one of them:
Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, attacked Germany’s center-left governing coalition for supporting migrants on Friday and boosted a call for the German people to support a far-right extremist party instead.
Earlier this month, Germany’s foreign ministry announced it was dispersing funds to two nonprofit organizations that assist asylum-seekers, including a group that conducts search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. Already this year, more than 2,500 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the sea, compared to fewer than 1,700 in all of 2022, the head of the UN refugee agency said on Friday.
News of the funding spurred a protest from Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who — in a letter to her German counterpart, Olaf Sholz — wrote that she had “learned with astonishment” that Berlin would be assisting groups “engaged in the reception of irregular migrants on Italian territory and in rescues in the Mediterranean Sea,” the German public broadcaster DW reported.
Musk, on Friday, amplified similar criticism and directly waded into German domestic politics, suggesting that the governing coalition should pay a price at the ballot box.
“Is the German public aware of this?” Musk asked in a Friday post on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, which he purchased for $44 billion last year. Musk embedded a post from an account that frequently shares racist attacks on migrants.
In the post shared by Musk, the account lamented the presence of humanitarian groups in the Mediterranean Sea that rescue migrants from distressed vessels.
“These NGOs are subsidized by the German government,” the account posted. “Let’s hope AfD wins the elections to stop this European suicide.”
AfD is Alternative for Germany, a far-right political party that campaigns against migration to Europe — and has strong ties with right-wing extremists, including those of an “outright neo-Nazi nature,” per an investigation by Der Spiegel. The party attracted 22% support in an opinion poll this month, compared to 16% for Chancellor Sholz’s center-left Social Democrat Party, a rise that has alarmed some historians of Nazi Germany.
That Times article about how Musk’s politics are unfathomably complex is some of the finest comedy writing in recent memory.