Bloomberg vs. Trump would be a clash of oligarchs

The number one priority of Democrats in 2020 is to beat President Trump. But their second most pressing goal must be to keep Michael Bloomberg from becoming the person who gets to try and eject him from office in November.

I’m no Marxist and don’t usually don’t find class-based analysis especially compelling. But this is an exceptional case. The president of the United States is a billionaire businessman from Manhattan, and a rival billionaire businessman from Manhattan is using vast sums of his personal wealth to buy the opposition party’s nomination for president so he can take the other billionaire down. That’s bad. Really bad. If we saw it happening in another country, we’d say it shows that the country is a place where politics at the highest levels amounts to a popularity contest between feuding oligarchs. And we would be right.

Now I don’t mean to imply that Trump and Bloomberg are interchangeable in every respect. If you held a gun to my head and told me I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Bloomberg in a heartbeat. Unlike Trump’s silver-spoon start and decades-long run of bankruptcies, Bloomberg’s bio — from humble beginnings to one of the richest men on the planet — is genuinely impressive. Bloomberg also has many more years of experience in public office than Trump did in 2016, and his record as mayor of New York City for 12 years vastly outshines Trump’s shambolic three years in the White House.

Yet thankfully, no one is going to force me or anyone else this election season to pick between these two bad options. We have a much broader choice, and there are very good reasons for Democrats to choose someone — really, anyone — other than Bloomberg.

One superficial way in which the two men resemble each other is in preferred political style. Trump personalizes everything. He likes nothing better than singling out enemies for abuse and hurling insults at them on Twitter. Bloomberg has responded to this tendency by running a campaign that’s … singularly focused on Trump, with hundreds of millions of dollars in ads blasting the president day and night in major media markets across the country. There’s no positive agenda to speak of. It’s just anti-Trump propaganda 24/7.

True to type, Trump has responded by taking personal aim at Bloomberg, dubbing him “mini Mike” to mock his diminutive stature, calling him a “LOSER,” and comparing him unfavorably to “Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush,” Trump’s favorite antagonist from the early days of the 2016 GOP primary contest. In reply, Bloomberg gleefully stoops to Trump’s insult-spewing level, but with an important difference: He notes that he and Trump “know many of the same people in N.Y.,” and they like to mock him behind his back, calling him a “carnival barking clown.” The message is plain: We’re both fabulously wealthy New York socialites, but my clique is cooler than yours.

To cheer on such juvenile taunting between billionaire playground bullies is to …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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