Chest thumpers and embarrassing belligerents are how the followers of Bernie Sanders are being described. The Michael Bloomberg crowd who I suppose are Bloomers, who find themselves in the unenviable position of defending a billionaire and racist policies, instead of his politics, face off in a debate tonight. Predictably, the candidates playing catch-up: Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Warren will attack Mike Bloomberg’s money. The danger for all the Democrats who see Mr. Bloomberg as a looming threat will be in demonizing his personal wealth without demonizing prosperity. That is a tricky feat in a world of people who crave riches and think that every poor person, especially those of color and immigrants, stands in their way.
You have heard the epithets, “those people,” and “freeloaders” or “lazy” and “go back to where you came from” aimed mainly at people who through back-breaking labor, literally built America. If we have learned nothing else from the Trump election, being stupid does not matter, as long as you herald riches, convince others they are not contributors to their own problems, point fingers and do it unapologetically. Mr. Trump’s version of a prosperity tv preacher is, fooling many, fooling them consistently, and making people of color and immigrants the devil.
So, here I go wading into the murky waters of the Bernie Sanders stream.
Bernie, stop telling me that being rich is a sin, instead tell me that misusing my riches is the real transgression. I know throwing barbs and tossing around a verbal bumper sticker that ends every sentence with “millionaires and billionaires” sounds populace but it only works if your alternative is defined as more than a “ political revolution,” I do not know what that is. I find it hard to write anything about Democratic candidates that sounds even vaguely critical because I am so determined to see Mr. Trump removed from office. I would vote for a mindless cartoon at this point, well maybe not, the Republicans did that and we see what that has brought us. If Senator Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee I will knock on doors until my knuckles are raw, make calls until my ears bleed, and lick my tongue dry with mailers to see him replace Mr. Trump. That pledge is not an endorsement, it is survival.
All I have heard from Mr. Bloomberg so far are misleading tv ads showing him attached to the hip of former President Obama and lofty music. Tonight is the chance to hear Mr. Bloomberg say more than I was mistaken, or I misjudged the temperature of the black and brown community when he helped rain down terror on people of color in New York. This may sound like Democratic blasphemy, but I really do not care if Mr. Bloomberg purchases a spot in the primary, rather that than steal one with the help of Russia. Disqualifying Mr. Bloomberg, under those circumstances, would say more about the Party’s inability to discern integrity than it does about Michael Bloomberg.
It is disturbing to hear the media make vague comparisons with Sanders’ campaign hooligans, who may very well be a 400lb guy named Sergey in the basement of his Russian mother’s home, with the Trump campaign, which made cheating, voter suppression, and foreign interference and art form. Hopefully, tonight’s first presidential debate appearance from Mr. Bloomberg will force a real conversation on race, poverty, inequity, and justice. Tune in, I will…
Vote in 2020 for Change.