I understand that Michael Bloomberg is an incredible businessman. Better than Donald Trump. Ahead of Warren Buffet. Superior to George Soros. Heads above Bill Gates. More savvy than Elon Musk. He’s worth billions and billions. Apparently made “on his own.” (It is claimed by some that Trump is a larger-scale welfare bum.)
But he is bad for government. For the Fifty States, for the world. And especially for liberty. Bad even in comparison to Bush and Trump, to Buffet and Gates.
He dropped $11 million of his own money on that pitiful Super Bowl ad making a bogus argument for gun prohibition, as part of his campaign for Massa. (About like me spending two dollars for a bad hamburger, I think.) He’s spent a few millions more, especially in 2018 and 2019, buying state legislators to push his hoploclastic agenda. (Mere pocket change for him, it seems.)
I also can see and understand that Michael Bloomberg is an arrogant thug. He was a tyrant in New York City (as Mayor) and he wants to be a tyrant over the entire Fifty States. His arrogance isn’t just to lovers of liberty, libertarians, conservatives, classical liberals, or similar people. He looks down on the dozen Democrats (or near-Democrats) he is running against. He obviously wants to be the Massa of these formerly United States. I’ve heard him referred to as an oligarch, and I think its valid. That is what he was in NYC (where he acted like the initials had been changed to “MYC” as in “My City”). And what he would be in DC.
Why? Does he even know? Is it for the power? Is it for the thrill? Is it because he thinks he can? Does it have anything to do with a love of his country? It seems unlikely that it is a love for what this Union of Fifty States was supposed to be. Or for the Constitution. Or for any kind of true liberty. Maybe it is because he hates all that and wants to tear it all down.
A love for people? It also doesn’t seem to be the case. Over the years, his actions seem to have harmed a lot more people – damaged them and their families and their livelihoods – than they have helped. His millions of dollars of interference seems to be doing that right now in Virginia. There, we have a minority of budding totalitarians elected by a minority of Virginians. But have control of the Commonwealth’s Capital and are using that to the lives, culture, and often living, of millions of their fellow Virginians. It is not just hoplophobes or hoploclasts that Bloomberg got elected: it is nannies in every element and aspect of government control.
He seems, indeed, to both hate and ignore the Constitution. No right of self-defense. No right to be free from search and seizure. No right of free speech that bothers people (or him). We would presume he would deny powers to the individual States just as he wants to, to individual people.
All I can fathom is that what motivates Bloomberg is a lust for power – and ultimately for more wealth for himself, his family, and his friends. I may fathom it, but I cannot understand it. Or stomach it. Whatever his motives are.
Yet he is not alone in his lust for power. I’ve seen, and known, and heard of people like him all my life. And read and studied about many more. They lust for control over others – and knowing their own lusts, they fear others as well. They created government as a rebellion against the natural order, and they have constantly used government for their own advantage. Either caring very little for the negative impacts or using them as an excuse for more power, more control.
Bloomberg is one of those people that we do NOT want to be in government – or in a position to influence government anymore than any businessman. Unfortunately, his wealth and success means we have to put up with him and his interference.
While he is very similar to Trump, he seems to have a different mindset. Trump is much more a populist; Bloomberg an elitist. They have chosen (for now) to take different positions on various issues – which is fortunate.
But the real solution for preventing these wealthy from taking control of government and making the world a “better place” as THEY define it? Limiting and reducing government: government’s power, wealth, and reach.
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As for libertarians describing themselves as populists, Rothbard did, and the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus does.
I had not run across that in Rothbard’s writings (not that I’ve read everything he wrote, by any means). Appreciate that knowledge. Your reply led me to this article, which is very enlightening. It seems as though he was encouraging use of populism as a strategy for libertarians to use.
I’m not familiar with the Radical Caucus except that it’s current incarnation is a response to the LP gutting the platform a few years ago (an action I too deplored). Are they using “populism” is a general sense of “mass participation” versus the common socialist theme of a cadre of political leaders? (elites?) That seems to match what Rothbard was saying.
“Trump is much more a populist; Bloomberg an elitist.”
Trump is about a “populist” as Marie Antoinette.
You may have a higher opinion of populists than I do, Tom. Populists claim to be supporters of the rights and power of the people – as Trump does. But their actions prove they are just another flavor of statist – just like Trump. They appeal to “farmers” and “laborers” and ordinary people, regardless of what they are promoting and doing. Bloomberg’s campaign has some elements of populism in it, as well. That is no surprise, considering he is running against the likes of Biden and Sanders, who also are populists. But he clearly comes across as elitist in a way that Trump does not (at least to me).
There’s only one real populism. It’s called “libertarianism.”
I understand your point, though I can’t recall a libertarian describing themselves in that way. Is a libertarian interested in supporting the “power of the people” in the way that populism and populists define it in the sense of “We, the People” and seem to understand that as democracy – majority rule? I know I don’t want people to have power over me, or for me to have power over other people. All the people that I’ve ever met or read about being populists have been statists, so that power does not seem to mean “power over ourselves to make our own decisions and accept responsibility for them.”
Is a libertarian interested in supporting the “power of the people” in the way that populism and populists define it in the sense of “We, the People” and seem to understand that as democracy – majority rule?
I’ve never heard populism defined that way.
Populism has always been defined as “the righteous masses” versus “the power elites.” The original populist theory was Comte and Dunoye’s “productive class versus political class,” also known as “libertarian class theory.” Marx cribbed and re-purposed that to “capital versus labor,” and the racially oriented populists have re-purposed it to e.g. “whites versus blacks and liberals,” “whites versus Jews,” etc., but it’s not a majoritarian democracy thing, it’s a class war thing.
I appreciate that information. I have not seen that in my reading of populists and their party in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Your explanation is helpful. I know that “righteous masses” versus “the power elites” is one common understanding, but I have gathered it is not the only one. Definitely, by that definition, Trump is no populist in practice – if somewhat so in rhetoric. And of course, that does still seem like a collectivist understanding, and contrary to individual liberty. It very well could be that the Midwest populists masked their ideas with constant appeals to democracy and majority-rules. Which are still strong themes on both Dem and GOP sides of politics in the Midwest today.
MY OPINION: Bloomberg is just like Trump, big ego, selfish, wants his way ALL the time. Bloomberg will run against Trump, the campaign will get nasty, Trump will win. Then the country will be divided more.