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Billionaire Bloomberg Blues

The most recent Democratic debate had a range of candidates doing their thing. From centrist, DNC poster-boy Joe Biden, through to the way more progressive voices of Sanders and Warren, the audience and millions of viewers across the country had the further opportunity to mull over who would make the best candidate to topple the terrible Trump.

However, one candidate, Michael Bloomberg, was missing from the debate. Or was he? Bloomberg joined the race late to become the Democratic nominee.

That tardy arrival meant that he wasn’t eligible to be on the stage at the latest New Hampshire Democratic debate. Now, for more regular, non-billionaire candidates, such a lack of presence at such a high-profile debate would mean limited coverage. However, Bloomberg is no regular candidate…

So as to coincide with the debate, Bloomberg ran a 24-hour banner advertising campaign on YouTube. If you think that’s not a big deal, think again as you reflect on the following: It has been estimated that one out of every two internet users, worldwide, access YouTube. YouTube presently attracts approximately two billion viewers per month.

Nielsen Global Media have identified that YouTube attracts more American 18 to 24-year olds than any US cable tv network. And it’s not just YouTube. Since November 2019, the Bloomberg campaign has spent over $24 million on Facebook and Google advertising. The only other campaign that spends at that sort of level? Trump 2020.

Therefore, even though Bloomberg wasn’t on stage rubbing shoulders with the other Democratic candidates, his presence was undoubtedly being felt across the nation. To put it bluntly, such is the power of not just money, but vast, incomprehensible amounts of money, like that enjoyed by Michael Bloomberg. Is Michael Bloomberg preferable to a second term of man-baby Trump? Of course. Are the policies that Michael Bloomberg is putting forward of good cause, such as gun control and making healthcare more available and affordable for regular Americans? Absolutely. That said, there is a huge issue at stake here. And that is the perpetual blight of obscene amounts of money sloshing around the American democratic system.

The harsh reality is that Bloomberg, like Trump, is just another example of how money distorts pretty much everything in the US. And that is inevitably always at the expense of regular, hard-working Americans. Washington is afloat with money, lobbyists and PACs and super-PACs. Far from draining the swamp, Trump has gleefully filled it with ever more murky marsh monsters.

Likewise, the US justice system simply is not a level playing field for all. Money can get you a slick lawyer, bail and a raft of other judicial favors. Those without inevitably end up paying the price, both literally and with their liberty.

YouTube, prime-time airtime and Presidential candidacies are plucked up by the super-rich like pickings from a finger buffet. No matter how you put it, how you spin it, if you are a billionaire, then you simply have no real appreciation of what it is like to lead a non- billionaire life. We have had three years of the most nauseating, racist, misogynistic billionaire imaginable. That is not to say that Bloomberg is any of those – he clearly is not. Bar one. He is still a billionaire.

It is mind boggling to try and reconcile the original spirit of the Founding Fathers, overthrowing gross power and influence, with that of a twenty-first century billionaire who just happens to have gross power and influence… Democracy is, at its heart, derived from the people, from the masses, however you wish to put it. Quite why it is then that the American democratic system so often seems to offer up the biggest levers of power to the rich, is a sad indictment of that. Money simply does not equate with the ability to govern.

That the American system allows the likes of Trump, Bloomberg, Perot and so on to keep on running for the highest office in the land is something that should concern every American that genuinely believes in democracy.

Whether it’s a bought Presidency, bought justice or a bought ear in Congress, it is all anathema to hundreds of millions of average Americans. Trump needs to go, absolutely. The answer is though not Bloomberg or any other billionaire come to that.

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