Can U.S. patriotism prevail if 'China rocks'?

Airman 1st Class Bethany Dacus, 911th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, poses for a photo after conducting routine maintenance on a C-17 Globemaster III at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pa., March 1, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

What would you call the CEO of an American company who occasionally chastises America yet lauds a country that President Trump’s director of national intelligence called the greatest national security threat to the United States (China)? Is it unpatriotic or merely exercising free speech?

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk continues to keep Americans guessing by saying such phrases as “China rocks in my opinion” and “I see in the United States increasingly much more complacency and entitlement especially in places like the Bay Area, and L.A. and New York.”

Never mind that New York and California are two states that have granted Tesla many tax breaks in support of Musk’s United States-based business. In a podcast with the Automotive News, Elon Musk likened New York, California, and even the United States, to sports teams that were not far from losing their winning status.

Regardless of how you categorize it, to say such things is questionable at best given our current confrontational climate with China. One would hope that a CEO in a capitalist country like the United States that provides American CEOs with freedom and opportunity would not speak so harshly against it while praising a communist country like China.

In December of 2020, the former director of national security said, “Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily, and technologically. Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”

According to Musk, “When you’ve been winning for too long you sort of take things for granted. The United States, and especially like California and New York, you’ve been winning for too long.”

One must wonder, if either of Elon Musk’s companies ever wins for “too long” (however long that is), will he get tired of winning, become “complacent,” and “take things for granted” as well? Or is that only for non-Musk Americans and their companies?

To be sure, Elon Musk’s companies haven’t exactly had what one would call a superbly winning record. Only after a month of pressure this year from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did Tesla (reluctantly) recall 135,000 Model S and Model X autos. The recall dealt with touchscreen failures, disabled backup cameras, defog, defrost & driver assist systems, and heating and air conditioning functions.

An October 2020 Autoblog article detailed how rear bumper covers are prone to falling off on Tesla Model 3 cars built prior to May 21, 2019, when water accumulates inside them over time.

Earlier this year, the NHTSA closed an investigation into electric car battery fires after Tesla decided to install additional shields beneath its cars, which is yet another reluctant move by Elon Musk. Before installing the extra shields, Musk maintained that such safety shields were not needed, and this was a mere misconception by the public, the media, and automotive regulators.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also had similar issues with common-sense safety regulation. In January of this year, SpaceX exceeded a risk to public safety by launching a rocket that ended up exploding, even though the Federal Aviation Administration did not grant a safety waiver. Musk proceeded to trash the FAA, saying, “the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.”

Musk has also continuously criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying that he has little respect for the agency.

No American likes excessive regulation by the SEC or any other federal agency. However, one only needs to watch a few American Greed episodes on CNBC to realize that common-sense regulation is a must in our society.

And yet, despite this hostility to law and order in the U.S., Musk seems more than happy to obey each and every word that comes from President Xi Jinping’s mouth. For example, after five different Chinese regulatory agencies summoned him over questions about the quality of his Tesla Model 3 cars, including “abnormal acceleration” and instances of battery fires, Tesla released the following statement: “We will strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations and always respect consumer rights.” The company even went so far as to say that it will “better contribute to the healthy development of China’s new energy vehicle market.”

It should make every American wonder why such a successful individual like Elon Musk, who is afforded the protections and freedoms that allow his businesses to prosper under our capitalist system, can continue to be so hostile towards it. And he does it all while praising such vehement anti-capitalist countries like communist China. As we now do with China, we must proceed with caution regarding Elon Musk. And if those cautions are ignored or disregarded, Elon Musk and his actions should not be allowed to proceed.

About Roger Simmermaker

Roger Simmermaker has written multiple books on buying American and trade policy since 1996, and has been a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and MSNBC. Roger has also been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times, among many other publications. His new book ” UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Our Founding Fathers Rejected FREE TRADE And So Should We,” was printed in January 2020.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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