Absurdity du jour: Michael Bloomberg’s Threat to Run for President

Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg may use his money to launch an independent bid for president. He says he’s alarmed by Donald Trump’s prospect of getting the Republican nomination, and Bernie Sanders’ possibility of getting the Democratic nomination. He all but says if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination, he’ll stand down. Clearly, he wants Hillary Clinton to be president.

Bloomberg is likely to abandon his 2016 bid if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination despite Sanders’ surge, said former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a past Democratic National Committee chairman. “Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders,” said Rendell, who’s friends with Clinton and Bloomberg. “If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”

For those with a memory beyond five minutes, Bloomberg is the New York mayor who attempted to outlaw sodas he considered too high in sugar content. His rationalization was that instead of talking about obesity, people in power should do something about it—by coercing others to do the mayor’s bidding. It’s the same rationalization of all busybodies and dictators throughout history. “I’m doing this for your own good; plus I pay the bills.” It sounds like a lot of people we know from our own personal lives. Bloomberg is hardly innovative.

Bloomberg wants to offer “a non-ideological, bipartisan, results-oriented vision,” in place of Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, should those end up as the two candidates.

Now wait a minute. How do you get to results without ideas? Doesn’t a desired result imply a certain idea? America’s founders wanted a restrained government that protected private property and the rights of individuals including the right to free speech, own guns and be left the hell alone. If you’re Bernie Sanders, you want socialism. You get to socialism by imposing trillions of dollars in new taxes and nationalizing more industries. Whatever you think of those ideas, they are still ideas. Bernie Sanders would judge his results by whether the ideas are implemented, or not.

Hillary Clinton, by the way, holds essentially the same ideas as Bernie Sanders. Debates between Sanders and Clinton consist of a competition over who’s the most socialist. Why launch an independent bid to stop Bernie Sanders when you’ll get most of the same socialist ideas and policies, if only a bit more slowly, under Hillary Clinton?

As for Donald Trump, he does have some definite ideas, although no ideology. If you don’t like ideology, then you already have Donald Trump. Sanders and Clinton believe in socialism. Trump believes in lowering the corporate tax, building a wall between Mexico and the United States, and keeping out Muslim immigrants. These ideas do not constitute any discernable ideology; but Trump does convey an attitude. This attitude, among other things, expresses a sense of being fed-up with political correctness and with letting America’s military and economy go to pot, as well as enduring one humiliating loss after another to Islamic-inspired terrorism.

If Bloomberg does not believe in ideas or ideology, then what is his purpose for running? If he does not like Trump’s attitudes, then what kind of attitude will he convey in its place? A blank stare? When Bloomberg did things like try to outlaw diet coke in New York City, he revealed an ideology, because ideas are inescapable. Government control over what we put into our bodies, including calorie content, rests on an idea. The idea is socialism, and ultimately totalitarianism.

I do not understand Bloomberg’s threat to run for president. And it clearly is a threat. He all but says to voters, “Don’t you dare vote for Trump or Sanders. If you do, then I will run.” We can only conclude one thing. Bloomberg does not like Trump’s or Sanders’ brand of authoritarianism. Instead, he wants to impose his own. How inspiring; and what a choice!

When will someone come forward to run on the principle of individual rights, individual liberty and private property? You know, those things earlier candidates like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and James Madison used to campaign on? Why do we only get a choice between the force of personality or the force of government controls over our private and business lives? There’s a lot of anger in America today; but is it for the right reasons?

Run or not, Bloomberg is irrelevant. We already have plenty of what he pretends to offer. What we really need is something we have not had for a long time:  a consistently free country.

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