Millions of people know that billionaire Michael Bloomberg is trying to stop Bernie Sanders and buy the White House for himself. The former stop-and-frisk New York mayor has already spent over $400 million seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. He may spend billions more.
Bloomberg’s fellow billionaire, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reportedly urged him a year ago to run for president. Bezos’ $104 billion fortune is even bigger than Bloomberg’s. Both of these tycoons run nonunion outfits.
When told of Bezos’ phone call to Bloomberg, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remarked: “They’ve got class solidarity. The billionaires are looking out for each other.”
Bernie Sanders sarcastically said that the two moguls, whose fortunes amount to a total of $164 billion, could make for “a strong grassroots movement.” Actually, the overworked employees in Amazon’s warehouses are among the largest contributors to the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Bloomberg isn’t just spending oodles of cash on Facebook and TV ads, like his $10-million Super Bowl commercial. Moneybags Mike is also buying endorsements, including those from elected officials. His tax-deductible charities are being used to purchase influence.
Buying elections is nothing new for Bloomberg. In 2009, he spent $102 million, or about $183 per vote, to get re-elected mayor of New York City. Bloomberg had already spent $159 million in his previous successful runs for mayor in 2001 and 2005.
As repulsive as Bloomberg’s vote-buying is, there’s nothing illegal about it. Capitalist democracy is democracy for capitalists. Homeless people have the same “right” to contribute to political campaigns as Michael Bloomberg does with his $60 billion fortune.
This is the sort of “democracy” that Wall Street wants to bring to Cuba and Venezuela. Working people there don’t want it and neither should we.
Even with the U.S. dollar buying less than 15 cents of what it could buy 50 years ago, Bloomberg’s $60 billion stash is still a lot of money. It amounts to what 4 million low-paid workers earn in a year at the miserable federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
But that’s only if these 4 million workers were able to work 40-hour weeks for the entire year and not suffer seasonal layoffs. That $60 billion also represents the annual wages of over 1.9 million workers earning $15 per hour. There was less inequality in the time of the Pharaohs.
The United States has never been “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Forty-one of the 57 signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners.
That means that 72 percent of these “founding fathers” directly profited from the African Holocaust. Among them was John Hancock, the guy with the big signature.
Money has always greased U.S. elections. The communist leader Vince Copeland wrote about this red, white and blue corruption in his book “Market Elections.” Almost $6 billion was spent on the 2018 congressional elections.
It’s been exceptional, however, for the biggest billionaires to try to seize the White House for themselves. When Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon — whose family owned Alcoa, Gulf Oil and what is now the Bank of New York Mellon — made noises about running for president in 1928, his campaign went nowhere.
Nelson Rockefeller wasn’t able to become president either, although he came close by becoming the unelected President Gerald Ford’s vice president.
Big Capital prefers to hire their presidents. That was the case with professional politicians like Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton; the media-made “war hero” Dwight Eisenhower; or the washed-up movie star Ronald Reagan.
The wealthy and powerful knew that if a member of the Mellon or Rockefeller financial dynasty became president, they would steal everything they could. Another reason is that some capitalist intellectuals realize that there needs to be a curtain separating the billionaire masters from their bought-and-paid-for presidential puppets.
Anybody but Bernie
Bloomberg’s candidacy destroys this shell game. It proclaims in flashing lights that the United States is a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.
Many capitalists believe that Bloomberg’s fortune is the only thing that will stop Bernie Sanders from getting the Democratic nomination. If Bloomberg is able to steal the Democratic Party’s nomination at the Milwaukee convention, millions of people will be outraged.
It may be the catalyst for forming a mass working-class movement that will break decisively with the dead end of capitalist parties.
Both Trump and Bloomberg are wannabe dictators. “I have my own army in the NYPD [New York City Police Department], which is the seventh biggest army in the world,” proclaimed Bloomberg in 2011.
President Trump puts migrant children in cages. While Bloomberg was New York City mayor, thousands of youth — convicted of nothing — were sent to the Rikers Island prison simply because they couldn’t afford bail.
Among them was Black youth Kalief Browder, who spent three years in jail — two years of which were spent in solitary confinement — before his charges were dropped. Browder later committed suicide on June 6, 2015.
Bloomberg succeeding Trump in the White House will be like Bloomberg having replaced Rudy Giuliani in New York’s City Hall. Black and Latinx people suffered 20 years of hell from this racist tag team.
Michael Bloomberg may implode in the Feb. 19 Democratic debate. He still needs to be flushed out of politics. His $60 billion fortune should be seized for reparations.