As the United States gears up for an unusually combative period of midterm elections, billionaire Michael Bloomberg is ready to bring the fight to his former party members. The pint-sized entrepreneur who once won New York City for the Republicans has officially pledged $80 million of his own cash to help turn the tide in favor of the Democrats. Even more alluring, sources close to the business fella indicate that Bloomberg is considering another run for office.
This time, however, he’s thinking about giving incumbent Donald Trump a personal fight for the White House. Before you get lost in a blind rage thinking about the fact that the fate of our country might lie in the outcome of a fight between two old rich white dudes who think they know better, try to quell the anger. Just for a bit.
While we’re waiting for a genuinely great Democrat to get into the race (looking at you, Cory Booker), Michael Bloomberg isn’t a bad placeholder. After all, politics doesn’t have a height requirement.
When it comes right down to it, Michael Bloomberg could be better than a placeholder. He might even be the guy to take down Trump in 2020. But, is that what America needs in 2020?
He’s An Actual Self-Made Billionaire
Let’s dive in with a short chat about money. Both Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg have tons and tons of money. Of course, there are two fundamental differences between both men’s wealth.
First, Donald Trump got his real estate business going with a teeny tiny loan of a million dollars. From his Dad. Who also owned a real estate company. The son of a bookkeeper, Bloomberg put himself through Johns Hopkins and Harvard before doing some Wall Street number magic in the late 1970s and earning himself a bajillion dollars.
Second, the actual value of Trump’s fortune varies from day to day. Trump has claimed its upward of ten billion. Bloomberg’s Billionaire index clocks it at about $2.8 billion. Forbes puts it at around $3.1 billion. The real number is a matter known only to Jesus and some accountants who are probably sleeping right next to SpongeBob Squarepants (but it’s probably around $3 billion).
Bloomberg is worth an undisputed $50 billion, making him the eleventh wealthiest person in the world. Strangely enough, he doesn’t seem to have a page on the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.
He’s Absolutely a Self-Important Rich Dude
Though Bloomberg did engage in political fundraising over the course of his career, he also repeatedly used gobs of his own money to further his own ends, pretty much setting up a textbook example of how someone could claim power using just their vast fortune. It’s like a fairy tale, but starring Prince Charming this time. A short gnomish Prince Charming. Okay, maybe it’s not like a fairy tale at all. It’s just the story of another American making bank and then using it to do what he wants.
Of course, when you compare that to Donald Trump’s penchant for making money from his time in the White House, it’s not such a massive deal that during his time as mayor, Bloomberg collected $1 a year in salary and spent more than half a billion of his own money to help New York.
He’s Insanely Preoccupied With These Things Called Facts
Of his 12 years as mayor, The New York Times wrote, “His belief in the power of information has remained the closest thing to an unshakable ideology for Bloomberg.” The point is that Bloomberg has a pretty well-earned reputation for being an obnoxiously honest person.
On the other hand, Politifact has researched a whopping 573 statements made by Donald Trump. Sixty-eight percent of his remarks ranged from “Mostly False” to “Pants on Fire.”
In an America where Donald Trump is waging war on the truth, it’s easy to see how Bloomberg’s reliance on cold, hard facts could be uplifting, even if it is a useless and antiquated trait. Lies are just way more fun. It’s going to be fun watching the stuff Trump’s team comes up with. In fact, can we all agree to work together to kickstart the rumor that Bloomberg is part Ewok?
He Thinks He Knows Better Than You
Do we even need to make the case that D-Train thinks he’s smarter than you? He’s publicly claimed he knows more than anyone else on every topic from the military to respecting women to loving Scripture to building walls. According to Trump he is the most insightful, knowledgeable, and capable man ever to walk the Earth. That’s probably why he doesn’t feel the need to read his morning intelligence briefings.
Over the course of his time as mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg was arguably very successful. From the time he took control of New York just months after 9/11, the city was in a rough spot. When he left 12 years later, tourism was up, crime was down, and the city was a brighter, cleaner place.
The flip side of that coin is that Bloomberg cracked down on cigarette smoking, imposed taxes on the stuff ordinary Americans need to get by, like big ass sodas and trans fats. The point is, if Bloomberg thinks something is bad for you, he won’t hesitate to take it away, even if it’s something awesome, like cigarettes.
He Also Thinks He’s Above the Rules
Okay, come on, I took the time to make the case that Trump thought he was smarter than you. Do I really need to try and make the case that Trump thinks he’s above the rules?
… Fine! Two quick examples. One: he flat-out ignored a court ruling that said he couldn’t block his critics on Twitter, and he tweeted this bullshit earlier in the year.
Until 2013, New York City had a strict term limit for its incumbent mayors. You get two terms, eight years, and then you get out of the seat. When New York mayor Michael Bloomberg hit the end of his time, he didn’t quit. He changed the rules. That doesn’t exactly speak to a guy who considers himself bound by the same rules and regulations as everyone else.
Of course, FDR did the same thing, so …
A Progressive Rich, White Guy
If Americans are so interested in having a successful businessman run the country, maybe they might find their man in someone who is actually, you know, an actual successful businessman instead of an insecure windbag who’s trying to kill the truth because facts make him look like a dick.
That said, maybe another business person isn’t the best option for America at the moment. Michael Bloomberg may be a beneficial overlord, but he’s still another rich person who thinks that his money makes him equipped to tell everyone else to do. After all, even a progressive old, rich white dude is still an old, rich white dude.