Kevin Williamson of National Review Online gushes over an American-made automobile.

Great success stories attract a great many debunkers, nitpickers, and naysayers, and of course Tesla has more than its share. Free-market men complain that Musk’s various enterprises — Tesla, Space X, his solar-power businesses — have benefited from billions of dollars in direct and indirect government subsidies. This is true. Musk’s personal politics are hard to pin down — he has said a lot of nice things about Margaret Thatcher and carbon taxes — and one gets the impression that government relations are for him a business question rather than a philosophical one. It is worth noting that Charles and David Koch, who have put a great deal of money and energy into opposing business subsidies across the board, benefit from some of those subsidies, which is not, adolescent foot-stamping notwithstanding, hypocrisy. It is simply living in the world that exists rather than the world they would prefer. I oppose Social Security, but in the unlikely event that both I and the program survive long enough, I’ll happily cash those checks. I think we can safely assume that an Elon Musk–designed U.S. government would look radically different from the one that exists.

The politics is not trivial, but neither is the big picture, which is this:

The best car in the world is built in a factory in Fremont, Calif.

Ten years ago, if you were holding a contest for the best car in the world, it would have featured more intense German-on-German action than Albert Speer’s porn collection. Unless you were a sadist with too much money (in which case the Italians have a standing invitation), you were looking at Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Porsche at the high end, while the affordable end of the market was (and is) dominated by the Japanese. The only world-beating American cars were specialty tools such as the Ford F-Series pick-up truck (which is as much of a modern design classic as a Mies van der Rohe chair) and nostalgia items such as the Jeep Wrangler. If you wanted something ludicrous, it said “AMG” on the back. Tesla, whose creators can be giddy about their product, added a feature labeled “Ludicrous Mode.”