Don't worry, America: Elon Musk says he'll have a word with Trump

Could this get any weirder or more silly?

Photo by Windover Way Photography / Shutterstock

Apparently confirming that the United States of America has become its own strange reality TV show where brash billionaires and pantomime villains make decisions and everyone else has to clean up after them, Elon Musk has announced he will resolve the immigration crisis that has enveloped the Trump Administration over the past few days.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX was critical of Donald Trump during the presidential elections but recently accepted a position on an "advisory team" to the president (the Strategic & Policy Forum) alongside Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Yesterday, Musk proposed – on Twitter, of course – using his special access to King Donald to help bring an end to the outpouring of criticism and concern that followed Trump's executive order on immigration.

"Please read immigration order. Lmk [let me know] specific amendments. Will seek advisory council consensus & present to President," Musk tweeted, seemingly as unaware as his commander-in-chief that the vast country that is the United States relies on a body of law and the skills of ten of thousands of experienced civil servants to function, and not just the whims of whatever ego-maniac happens to sit in the Oval Office.

Unfortunately, Musk's magnanimous offer did not receive the deferential respect it deserved, forcing the entrepreneur to mansplain to people how things really work in the corridors of power.

Musk does not have much of a background in public policy matters. Neither does the president. But both seem to have convinced one another that government is just a big company with too much red tape in need of some big personalities who know how to get things done.

No doubt a world in which the president punches up executive orders without talking to the other branches of government, and his fellow billionaire advisors then crowdsource changes on Twitter after it has come into effect, makes perfect sense to Musk.

Unfortunately, as with his apparently serious plan to simply dig a tunnel underneath Los Angeles to speed up his commute to work, the world simply does not work like that.

And, despite a few tech publications breathlessly noting that Musk had given his backing to Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, literally no one who is in a position to make that decision cares a jot what he thinks.

Real world

As remarkable as Musk's intelligent risk-taking and leadership skills are, his ability to develop innovative and far-reaching companies is almost entirely reliant on a massive economic foundation built by generations and carefully maintained by a vast apparatus of people and policies.

That simple reality – of standing on the shoulders of the many who have gone before you, virtually none of whom were rich or famous – is not an insight that celebrity billionaires are renowned for possessing.

Impressed with his own new-found skills in diplomacy, Musk has taken a careful, pragmatic line when it comes to the disastrous immigration executive order signed by Trump on Friday: "The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country's challenges," he noted on Twitter before figuring out how to resolve the problem by himself.

It was a message retweeted over 20,000 times, which we are sure worked wonders for Musk's sense of importance. The reality, however, is that it is as useful as an inflatable dartboard.

It's hard to think of a time in which rampant ego, reflected back at itself, has been more prominent in public life, thanks in no small part to the filter-busting abilities of Twitter. But while we all gawp at the reality TV nightmare that accidentally became real this past week, you can be sure that lots of production staff, technicians and stage hands are hard at work making sure the "talent" remains happy but loses the ability to make serious decisions. And you won't find any of them telling you about how they're going to do it on Twitter. ®

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