Since I'm in an unhappy mood tonight, I thought I'd post on this thread.
We need to talk about something I find disturbing: the rise of Michael Bloomberg. Most of the recent polls show him at at least 7% support now, and one by The Hill shows him in double-digits, with the support of 11% of Democratic voters, tied with Elizabeth Warren for third place. That's not bad for somebody who didn't even make last month's Democratic debate and won't make this one either for lack of donors! This is becoming a serious thing that merits our attention.
Bloomberg is literally just buying his way to relevance in this campaign. And it's working! He's spent many tens of millions of dollars on TV and other advertising already. I myself have seen lots of his TV commercials. Why hasn't this same strategy worked for Tom Steyer? *shrugs* Prolly because he had less name recognition than the former mayor of New York City, I think. Steyer's politics are mainly known in activist circles. Bloomberg's are familiar to probably most Americans.
Bloomberg isn't a neoliberal candidate, he's a cliche. He's a billionaire. He's white. He's male. He virtue signals. He speaks in a corporate-sounding, non-specific language. He wears khakis on a regular basis. He's from New York. He's even Jewish just for good measure. And he's deeply concerned about his tax rate above all, which is why he's running for president. You could not ask for a more archetypal neoliberal politician than Michael Bloomberg. Which is perhaps why he has found an audience. The question I have for you today, America, is...whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???!
I am hereby declaring myself the first NeverBloomberger. This is one Democratic candidate I will never vote for under any circumstances. If he becomes the nominee, I will sit out this election. Defeating Trump is important and everything, but...there are limits. There has to be a limit somewhere! I simply cannot stand the guy or the urban gentrification for which he stands. Just say no to Bloomberg, America, please. Can you please at least do me that favor?
Also, I've noticed what others are saying around here: Bernie Sanders is rising in the polls lately too! That I find a lot more exciting. The specific reason for the Sanders rise appears to be that he's starting to win the debate on health care policy not only within the Democratic Party, but also just generally. There was a point earlier this year where the idea of single-payer health care enjoyed the support of less than 30% of Americans. Recent polling, however, puts it in the 44 to 46% range, which suggests that Sanders has been effective at highlighting the benefits of specifically a single-payer system (e.g. no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays) and that rivals (including Elizabeth Warren) have made a mistake in attempting more complicated positions on how Medicare should be expanded.
I think one of the main takeaways from all this, this whole primary battle, I've had so far has been that candidates fare better these days when they pick a camp, progressive or neoliberal, and stick to it. Trying to find an agreeable space between those two poles appears to get you less support. It's why Warren was more popular earlier on, among other things. She once was quite clearly running as the leftmost candidate in the race. When she came out with her two-stage health care plan, by contrast, that was clearly something else, and that's the point when she lost a lot of support that has since been made up by Sanders. Just as an example.
Last edited by Jaicee - on 12 January 2020