Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Money won’t fix Bloomberg’s problems

Weak with young people
Courtesy of the Mike Bloomberg Facebook Page

No candidate is perfect, but it is hard to see how the Democratic party can risk nominating a candidate as flawed as Michael Bloomberg.

Yes, he has an extraordinary amount of fundraising power—in the last quarter, he raised over $200 million—but this is not some kind of Excalibur. He has few of the qualities needed to defeat Trump in 2020 and virtually any other candidate will give the party enough of a spark to take the White House.

Bloomberg has a number of reprehensible statements that are already widely shared on Facebook, a demoralizing fact that will plague his campaign. Most notably, he said in an Aspen Institute event is recent as 2015 identifying male minorities, 16 to 25, as the primary subject of violent crimes in New York City, adding that “you can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops.”

What he is advocating for here is racial profiling, a racist practice that pressures police officers to target people of color regardless of whether they are guilty of a crime. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the “Stop & Frisk” policy he supervised as Mayor of New York City resulted in a whopping 5,081,689 stops, and yet, the policy failed to show any reduction in guns recovered, shootings and murders. In fact, these indicators plummeted after the bigoted policy ended.

Combine this with his strange accusation that the end of redlining neighborhoods caused the housing crisis of 2008, and allegations that he has a number of non-disclosure agreements about gender discrimination and sexual harassment during his time as CEO, and one can imagine the reluctance advocates for social and economic equality will have to support—and vote—for Bloomberg. And rightly so.

He is also out of touch with the transgender and gender-nonconforming community. “If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she, or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people,” he said at another forum. A candidate shouldn’t tell voters that winning is more important than taking the time to understand a community seeking recognition, especially one that is increasingly becoming a voice among young liberals.

His blitz of advertisements bought him a place at the debate stage, but research suggests that the correlation between money, advertising and winning votes is not very clear. In fact, it is far more obvious that campaign spending is effective in introducing a candidate to the public than actually garnering support. In other words, as much as Bloomberg’s rise in the past few weeks is predictable, we can also expect his money to falter as voters hear more of his flaws.

While I favored previous candidates who featured more of the rich diversity of the Democratic party, I’m willing to support many other candidates. Bloomberg is not one of them. We don’t fight bigotry and oppression by leaning into more bigotry. If we do, the nation will continue to be dangerous for our friends and neighbors. As a young person, that is not the future I want to support.

James Mazarakis is Head Editor of Op/Ed and can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter handle @DailyJmaz.

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    joeydFeb 26, 2020 at 5:06 am

    Money is the solution to everything. You can buy anything with money including elections.