By: Kevin McDonnell
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – On the week before Nevada’s presidential primary, the remaining Democratic candidates for president took the debate stage to face off against one another. Each candidate was eager to make their case as to why they are the most qualified person to go head-to-head against President Trump in what will surely be an interesting general election campaign. The stage was populated with mostly familiar faces, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as some less familiar ones, such as the former mayor from South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, and the Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klochubar. However, there was one candidate who took the stage in Nevada that would later shake up the Democratic contest and that is former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Make no mistake, Mike Bloomberg is no stranger to the average American voter. This is most likely due to the fact that his campaign has spent an enormous amount of money running ads introducing Bloomberg as a candidate to the masses. Bloomberg’s campaign has something that most presidential campaigns lack early on: disposable income in which to mount a massive media and grassroots campaign. Typically, in the presidential primaries candidates will utilize the early states to garner a lead and momentum. As citizens are attracted to a campaign, so too are big-ticket donors who help to fuel a campaign into the next stage of the contest as candidates move from state to state. As of the writing of this article, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has ended his campaign for exactly that reason. Poor performance in early contests means that his money has quickly run dry and unfortunately with it, his ability to seize the Democratic nomination. Senator Amy Klobuchar also dropped out due to not being able to keep up with her better-funded opponents. However, this is not an issue Bloomberg faces, as large levels of personal wealth can allow him to run early ground operations in states virtually unopposed as other candidates are forced to continue to raise money, leaving Bloomberg the opportunity to make big moves in key states such as Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and so on. These states are key to securing a general election win.
However, as much as Bloomberg is able to mount a campaign juggernaut that does not mean that he is the person best suited to become the Democratic presidential nominee and possibly the president. People seem to think that a vote for Bloomberg is something different, but a vote for Bloomberg does not get the American people anything different then what we already have under President Trump. We would get someone of incredible means and wealth running the American government to deregulate businesses, institute primarily economic policy and put profits above people, all for the sake of a robust economy that works for the few, not the many. Bloomberg’s most notable difference to President Trump is his success in the business sector that only seeks to illustrate that Bloomberg would be more effective in wielding regulatory bodies as a tool for businesses rather than as an agent of accountability. Not to mention the fact that both men have been accused of numerous claims of sexual harassment, or sexual assault in the case of President Trump.
If Democrats truly want to be a party of transformative change in American democracy, they need to embrace democratic principles. People need to choose a candidate who cares about them and their issues. If ultimately Americans decide that someone like Bloomberg can buy their vote than they should at least know the cost: freedom.