Elon Musk officially announced on Wednesday what has been publicly apparent for months, announcing on Twitter that he will align himself with Republican politicians going forward.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them,” he wrote. “Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold,” he added with a popcorn emoji.
The news made formal what Musk had implied during a conference on Monday, when he declared himself a moderate who had historically “voted overwhelmingly for Democrats” but said he would vote for at least some Republicans in the upcoming election.
Musk’s Wednesday announcement followed a series of outraged tweets he had made earlier in the day, lashing out against “phony social justice warriors” and the “leftist agenda.”
The cause of his ire: Tesla was removed from a stock market index that includes companies dedicated to “ESG,” an acronym for the environment, social issues like diversity and inclusion, and corporate governance.
The index—called the S&P 500 ESG Index—dropped Tesla due to a variety of factors, including relatively low scores related to “codes of business conduct,” the way it responded to a federal investigation after multiple deaths and injuries were allegedly “linked to its autopilot vehicles,” and concerns about workplace conditions at one of its factories, including claims of rampant racial discrimination.
The oft-piqued Musk responded by calling ESG ratings “an outrageous scam!”
“Political attacks on me will escalate dramatically in coming months,” he added.
Just last fall, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claimed that Musk supported the state’s social policies—seemingly including its highly restrictive abortion laws—the billionaire had responded cryptically on Twitter.
“In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness,” he wrote. “That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.”
Apparently his preferences have changed.