Mike Bloomberg: A Critical Mistake

Kaavya Butaney, Staff Writer

Democrats are desperate. We will do almost anything to get Trump out of power. But this desperation might cause us to make some mistakes in our nomination choices.

Or one mistake, really: Mike Bloomberg, whose popularity has risen rapidly through February, going from 4.8 percent on January 1 to 15.4 percent on February 27 according to a FiveThirtyEight poll. An increasing amount of people are starting to support someone who would be an unconscionable president for a couple of critical reasons: his corrupt history as a mayor, his political past and endorsements and most importantly, his attitude towards women.

Mike Bloomberg may like to flaunt his history as a mayor of New York City in his countless YouTube ads, but he has made several bigoted and immoral choices during his three terms.

Bloomberg is known mostly for his stop and frisk program, a policy that enables police officers to randomly stop people in the street, if they have any sort of suspicion, and search them for illegal items, such as drugs or weapons. In 2015, he validated the expansion of this program by saying that 95 percent of murders involve young men of color, and that sending a copy of that description to police officers would definitely eradicate crime. These stop and frisks increased sevenfold in his time as mayor, disproportionately affecting black and Latino young men.

Bloomberg also turned NYC into a discriminatory surveillance state with heavy monitoring of Muslims in a post-9-11 world. This is unsettling for people of color today as anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments grow in America. If he’s elected, we can expect Bloomberg’s racist prejudices to shine through yet again, but he will have the power to hurt many more people this time.

Even more troublingly, Bloomberg twisted the law to give himself a third term. Due to the 2008 housing market crash, Bloomberg broke the term limit in 2009 by running again, saying that his financial experience would be able to help NYC through the recession. While he may not break the term limit for presidency, this does demonstrate a lack of respect for the law that will most definitely translate into his decisions.

If this isn’t problematic enough, his political affiliation is extremely uncertain. As mayor of New York City, he was a Republican. In between his mayoral years and 2016, he was an independent. Since then, he has claimed to be a Democrat.

What this demonstrates is inconsistency. Bloomberg’s policies toe the line between liberal and conservative, giving him the freedom to choose which side he may lean from time to time, similar to an earlier Donald Trump, who was also once a Democrat. He compromises his beliefs for power, an unavoidably important trait to consider.

However, much more troubling is his past endorsements for a laundry list of highly corrupt individuals and movements such as Bush’s Iraqi war, Rudy Giuliani, Rick Synder (the Michigan governor who failed to solve the Flint crisis) and even Xi Jingping, the unabashedly authoritarian leader of China.

We can assume that Bloomberg will support corrupt politicians and choose unscrupulous individuals to be members of his cabinet, which can lead to the deterioration of civil policies.

If the Democrats are attempting to elect someone simply to beat Trump, we cannot elect a Trump substitute. This brings me to the final reason that I cannot accept the idea of Bloomberg as my president: his sexist behavior.

If I wanted a problematic white billionaire with sexual harassment allegations as my president, I would have a MAGA hat.

But that’s what Bloomberg is. While he may argue that Bloomberg LP is an excellent place to work for women, this simply isn’t true. Bloomberg has verbally berated his pregnant employees, and even remarked that they should kill their babies. In fact, The Washington Post reported that several women felt like they had to have an abortion to keep their job.

Further, Bloomberg has often made inappropriate comments at the expense of female employees. He’s said things like, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s,” according to The Washington Post.

If Bloomberg is nominated by the Democratic Party, we are validating his actions and letting him believe that what he has said was okay. But these comments are inexcusable, and he can’t even defend them. When he was attacked at the February 17 Democratic debate for his past comments, he justified himself by remarking that women “maybe didn’t like his jokes.” This is both an offensive statement and a dismissal of the massive implications of his actions. His other response was that Bloomberg LP is a good place for women (it’s not, sorry Mike).

A couple months before the 2016 election, I read an article that claimed Donald Trump allegedly raped minors in the Miss America contest. I was horrified by the idea of this immoral man being my president. It made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t expect to find myself here again, four years later, watching another Trump rise through the ranks of true Democrats.

While it seems unlikely that Bloomberg will win the nomination, let alone the primary, we still have to acknowledge that voting for Bloomberg means wanting him as president. Voting for Bloomberg means legitimizing his decisions and saying, “That’s the man I want as president.” Don’t vote Bloomberg. We cannot allow such an untrustworthy and immoral man to gain more popularity. Call him out on what he has done and inform others about his past so that we do not have him in our post-Trump world. He doesn’t deserve our vote.