Michael Bloomberg, Don’t Pretend You’re Doing This For Us

Michael Boyle
Nov 8 · 3 min read
Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty

So, Michael Bloomberg is considering running for President in 2020, because apparently the backlash to Howard Stern didn’t make it clear enough that centrist billionaires are not what America needs or wants right now.

In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor is worried that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is “not well positioned” to defeat Trump.

Really, Bloomberg? Is that the actual reason why you’re back on board with the idea of running for president? Because you’re afraid that Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders are too extreme to win in a general election? Because you’re afraid they’re not “well positioned” enough? Because stopping Trump from winning again is your main priority?

It’s hard to take such reasoning seriously when you remember that Bloomberg is definitely not in a good place to defeat Trump, much more so than any of the current democratic frontrunners. For starters, the percentage of American voters who share his ideological range is actually much, much smaller than the percentage of voters who are within Sanders’ or Warren’s range, or even Buttigieg’s or Biden’s. Unlike with the “poorly positioned” democratic frontrunners, nobody actually likes the sort of message Bloomberg is selling. Billionaires who are liberal on every issue except the ones that hold them accountable are not, as it turns out, very popular in this country.

Such an argument also falls apart when you remember that someone like Bloomberg could easily use some of his fifty-two billion dollars in net worth to help fund democrats at the statewide level all across the country, in addition to helping out the eventual nominee in the general. If defeating Trump was really his top priority, this would be the logical course of action for him. He wouldn’t be wasting his money on what is, as a smart man like him should know, a fool’s errand.

But, as we all know, defeating Trump is not actually a priority for Bloomberg. He just doesn’t want to deal with higher taxes. He’s like one of many other billionaires in this country who are smart enough to find Trump appalling, but are also so attached to their obscene amounts of wealth that a candidate like Warren or Sanders is still out of the question.

But it’s not the selfishness of people like Michael Bloomberg or Howard Stern that’s so infuriating; it’s the gaslighting. It’s how they call progressive policies like a 70% marginal tax rate outlandish or unfeasible, even though they know that higher tax rates have already been successfully enforced in this country. It’s how they pretend that wanting to raise taxes on the rich makes a candidate unelectable, when it’s already been shown that these sorts of policy are well-supported among the American people.

I would honestly respect Bloomberg more if he just came out and admitted that no, he’s not considering running for President for the good of the country. He’s not doing this to help the democrats, or to defeat Trump, or to help regular American citizens.

He’s doing this for himself.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade