UNITED STATES─If Democrats would feel hypocritical by welcoming an avalanche of cash from Bloomberg – either for himself if he becomes the nominee or for whomever is Trump’s challenger – I would strongly suggest you get over it. We don’t have the luxury of living by our principles in this last gasp effort to wrest control from a president who is working daily to compromise and weaken our democracy.
Just like we fight fire with fire, Trump opponents must fight money with money. That’s the way things are today and we aren’t going to clean up the consequences of runaway political donations before November, so just deal with it. Trump has nearly half a billion dollars at his disposal, plus the nearly certain interference from Russia and China to influence the election in his favor. Add all this to voter suppression that is taking place in many states and it’s clear that even with Bloomberg’s billions; it would still be an uphill challenge in overcoming this unprecedented opposition.
There is no denying that Mike Bloomberg has some nasty baggage in his past. And if it weren’t for the existential crisis we are now facing, they would be a deal breaker in his quest for the presidency. Racial profiling and derogatory sexual comments to and about women would still sink anyone except Trump.
But we have to hold our noses and realize that no one will check all the good boxes that we admire; everyone has skeletons in their closets. However, none of the democratic challengers have lurking dangers that could subvert our constitution and our laws, and this is what we must focus on like a laser.
Mike Bloomberg though, does have many, many good boxes that he can check. His Bloomberg Philanthropies is the 12th largest foundation in the United States. It focuses on five areas: environment, public health, arts, government innovation and education. Now he is about to put his staggering wealth to use by spending whatever it takes to salvage what is left of our rapidly disappearing democracy.
If you’re still queasy about his Stop and Frisk policy and the sometimes disrespectful way he has interacted with women, I would encourage you to check out Bloomberg Philanthropies. Between 2004 and 2011, he was one of the top ten American philanthropists each year. It is important to note that notwithstanding the problematic things he used to do, his good works actually benefit the very people he has mistreated.
This is one of those moments that doesn’t lend itself to an easy right or wrong answer to this complicated dilemma. It’s usually the grey area where we find ourselves having to come to grips with unpleasant truths, knowing that whichever way we go, the path we take will never feel entirely right. But if you’re still unsure whether or not you can abide Bloomberg’s enormous infusion of money that he has pledged in support of the eventual democratic nominee, then ask yourself this question:
Would you rather hear yourself being labeled a hypocrite or would you rather hear yourself referring to a President Trump in 2021?