A case against presidential candidate, Mike Bloomberg
by Montgomery Tan
“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbor is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.” — Lee Kwan Yew, Founder of Singapore, 1987
My dear American friends, I must beg that you do not nominate Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic Party candidate for 2020. I know that the prospect of having a self-made businessman that deals with problems efficiently and without care for naive populism is attractive for many of you, but I can assure you that a Bloomberg presidency will bring you nothing but pain. I dare not repeat the common talking points regarding stop-and-frisk, Bloomberg’s senseless ad campaign, and charges of extreme sexism within his company. These are surface-level manifestations of Bloomberg’s sociopath at best. What terrifies me about Bloomberg is not what he thinks, but instead how he thinks. I cannot support any proposal by Bloomberg, even if I agree with it in theory and execution, because I despise the strain of logic that he uses to arrive at his conclusions.
To oversimplify everything, Mike Bloomberg is an authoritarian capitalist in every possible sense of the terms. Much like Lee Kwan Yew, Bloomberg has demonstrated an incredible contempt for civil rights, human rights, constitutional liberties, and equality under the law, all for the sake of law and order (of course, only insofar as it pertains to property rights). His despicable treatment of Occupy Wall Street, relentless support for the Patriot Act, support for Putin’s Ukraine invasion, and extreme disregard for Palestinian victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict are perhaps the best examples of what his foreign policy would look like: violent, unaccountable, and unprincipled.
A Bloomberg presidency would likely resemble those of Putin’s Russia, Duterte’s Philippines, and Erdogan’s Turkey: a charismatic, tough-on-crime mayor comes to power in a troubled urban metropolis and turns that metropolis into a gentrified paradise for business. In exchange? Every liberty under the sun, especially for ethnic and religious minorities, is restricted. Of course, that is being unfair: Neither St. Petersburg, nor Davao, nor Istanbul have New York’s awful subway system and rampant homelessness.
Know that when you elect a new President, you are not just electing the candidate and his/her eventual cabinet, but you are effectively giving the reigns of power over to their main constituency. I am more terrified of Bloomberg’s voters than I am of Bloomberg himself. To give Bloomberg the presidency would mean completely leaving the fate of the 21st century to the Baby Boomer generation and their asinine values. If Donald Trump’s model society is ostensibly Nazi Germany, Bloomberg’s model society is Imperial Japan: an everlasting capitalist market economy supported by terrible human rights abuses and extreme racism. That any Democrat voters would even consider voting for such a personality is a national tragedy.
I leave this final message to the crowd that insists on voting for violent businessmen: I don’t care how much you value personal success, and I don’t care how high your 401k is. You do not get to throw away other people’s human rights or civil liberties just because you hate paying taxes. Find prosperity on your own damn time, Mike.