Opinion: Will the real Mike Bloomberg please stand up?

Mario L. Morrow Sr.

Let’s say you’re in hell and a guy walks up to you and says he can get you a better room with a fan. Just vote to put him in charge and the room is all yours. Of course, you would still be in hell. But it would be a kinder, gentler sort of hell. 

Up until now you had been collaborating with other like-minded unfortunates to find a way out of hell and maybe even find your way to the Promised Land. But at the very least, you and your cohorts all agreed you wanted to exit hell.

Until this guy shows up offering a better room and a fan. Now your cohorts are wondering if maybe having a room with a fan is the Promised Land. And maybe hell wouldn’t be so bad after all, especially if this fan salesman is put in charge.

I would trust that fan salesman more than I trust Mike Bloomberg. 

Those of you who have been paying attention have no doubt already seen a number of stories pro and con dissecting why Bloomberg is or is not a good choice for Democrats. Those opposed to Bloomberg bring up how he ramped up New York’s stop and frisk policy until it became a beast on steroids, randomly targeting innocent black and brown citizens in a brutally misguided attempt to fight crime.

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, 5,081,689 New Yorkers were stopped and frisked during Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor. Most of them were black and brown, and more than 90 percent of them were innocent. Bloomberg was forced to abandon the policy, but he kept defending it as recently as January 2019. He didn’t apologize until he decided he should be president.

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg gestures as he speaks during campaign event, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

There is also the fact that Bloomberg was the other rich New York City billionaire besides Donald Trump who enthusiastically employed his fortune to oppose justice for the Central Park Five, claiming they were not entitled to monetary compensation. Now that he is running for president, he has gone from “I do not remember”, “I really can’t respond” and telling a reporter to “Go read up on it” to, “These men were in jail for a crime they did not commit." Sounds like a politically convenient way of tap dancing  away from his own honest opinion. 

And then, of course, there is the head-exploding betrayal perpetrated by the Democratic Party leadership who decided to change the rules just for Bloomberg and let him parachute into the primary after he gave them a check for $800,000. This, despite Bloomberg’s record as someone willing to use all the considerable resources at his disposal as New York City’s top elected official to put his racism into active and effective practice.

Those who say Bloomberg is the truth and the light counter all this by saying, “He’s sorry.” Sorry for what? For standing strong all those years for stop and frisk? 

And then there are the promises of all the good Bloomberg will do if he becomes the nominee — or even if he isn’t. 

But here is the question; why does Bloomberg have to become the next president of the United States to atone for his sins? For all of us have sinned, etc., but most of us weren’t required to aspire to the nation’s highest office to wipe the slate clean.

If Mike Bloomberg is the only option to win for the Democrats, then they are really not winning at all. Talking themselves into believing that their best shot is a wealthy white male who may or may not be as racist as Trump is simply delusional. 

Instead, Democrats should be fighting for any of the other legitimate candidates who actually earned their spot. Now is the time to rise above one’s own prejudices and fears and rally behind the best Democrat, rather than setting fire to the party’s principles and calling it a win.

Mario Morrow is a Michigan based political and communications consultant who has worked for members of both the Democratic and Republican parties.