There seems to be something quintessentially American about Elon Musk, an immigrant from South Africa and Canada that has become the Thomas Edison of our time. It might be the Yankee-style work ethic, or the Silicon Valley ingenuity, or the old line Dutch / New Yorker never-give-up intensity. Maybe our embracing of Musk as an American is just because we all like a winner. Or maybe it is just as simple as respecting a person who has done more to advance the prospects of America and its economy than perhaps any other person in the last fifty years. Whatever it is, Musk has unequivocally shown the plethora of naysayers that seem to infest our society what someone with a can-do attitude can accomplish if they are willing to try.
Legions of stammerers, obstructionists, and holier-than-thou self-important and self-appointed sanctimonious blow-hards have stood in his way. Ford, GM, and Chrysler have tried to thwart Tesla. The Chinese government has done everything possible to thwart Solar City. Boeing and significant swaths of the U.S. military and NASA has tried to stop the advances of SpaceX. Environmentalists and NIMBY-activists have tried to bring an end to the Boring Company. The U.S. Securites and Exchange Commission has tried to blackball Musk from involvement with public companies. The ranks of anti-commerce soldiers committed to standing in the way of progress seems to be endless.
But like a person leaning into a stiff breeze, Musk just weathers the onslaught, committed to his vision. Like a Jedi master, Musk tries, or tries not. Twenty years from now, none of his companies may exist. But his example of what all Americans should and can accomplish will live on.
Popular Mechanic’s editors have written an excellent treatise on this issue. Click here to read what they say about Musk.