As is the case with extremely wealthy individuals, there’s a bit of ego and opulence associated with the sorts of high-profile stunts they love to relish in. This is particularly the case with the presidential race of 2020. Afterall, what could be more momentous than being elected president?
If Bloomberg were to win, his ego would be satiated for all of 15 minutes while he stops chasing the dragon that is absolute power. He would also achieve an air of opulence because the president of the United States of America is arguably the most prestigious position of power in the world.
Putting aside ego and the aesthetics of being rich and powerful, Bloomberg is a dark horse that will run until the bitter end of 2020 whether he gets the DNC nomination or not. All the while, he will be deliberately creating a quagmire for those who want real change to traverse through.
However, we don’t need to beat around the bush anymore with this “hot” take, so let’s just call out the elephant in the room so we can get to the meat of the issue.
Micheal Bloomberg’s presidential campaign serves two functions:
- To put more roadblocks in the way of real progress by arbitrarily pricing out non-establishment candidates and siphoning votes away from them
- To test the water to see whether or not the billionaire class can openly rule the country without needing to pull strings behind a veil
The Prevention of Progress
Bloomberg knew exactly what he was doing when he entered the race. Almost immediately after Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) really pushed for wealth taxes during one of the DNC presidential debates, suddenly a wild Bloomberg appeared! While Warren had always talked about a wealth tax, at the time, she was inching ever closer to Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in national polls.
Bloomberg is worth at least $55 billion, which could have been used in a multitude of ways to help take Trump out of the White House. Supposedly, that’s the number one mission among all Democrats. Even aside from ousting Trump, Bloomberg could single-handedly end the homelessness epidemic with around a quarter of his total wealth.
Yet, Bloomberg refuses to throw his money behind any meaningful policies that would improve the lives of those in poverty or of the working class.
Pricing Out the Competition
Instead, he bought TV campaign ads to drill his message into the heads of avid TV watchers. “Coincidentally,” he artificially inflates their value to price out other candidates in the long run. Prices got to the point where Houston, Texas started charging as much as $1 million per ad as of last November, an increase of 45% at the time.
As of about one month ago, Bloomberg had spent $217 million on his campaign, which was 75% of the total spent among all other presidential candidates combined. Yes, that includes Trump, who alone outspends virtually any other individual Democrat on the field. Bloomberg also had just over 1,000 campaign staffers, with a large amount of them being prisoners.
After the insanity that was the Iowa Caucus, Bloomberg decided to literally double down on his efforts to price out the weaker campaigns. He gave the green light to double campaign spending on TV ads when he had already spent over $300 million at that time. Now, Bloomberg has over 2,200 campaign staffers.
Currently, the estimated amount to be spent on political ads in 2020 is $20 billion. In contrast, $12 billion was spent in 2016. You can bet your last dollar that this estimate will go up during the later stages of everyone’s 2020 campaigns.
Bloomberg is ensuring that those who support candidates like Bernie, who is 100% funded by the working class, will break their backs in the process. His goal isn’t really to beat Trump, but rather to ensure that America stays “business as usual” and, hey, maybe even get elected while he’s at it.
The Power of Air Time
As we’ve seen with New Hampshire, Senator Bernie Sanders won. However, it was only by a close margin. What’s different this time?
Not only are there more viable candidates on the field compared to 2016, those other candidates have received all but infinite amounts of positive MSM air time with endless praise.
Pete gets praise over shallow liberal identity politics and his affiliation with the establishment.
“Buttigieg is the first LGBTQ candidate to run for office and he’s doing so well!”
Klobuchar gets praise because Joe Biden has completely flopped for yet a third time that he’s run for president and, somehow, she is seen as “competitive.”
“Klobuchar really showed a great performance during the last debate and we expect her to end up finishing with a ‘strong third place’ in New Hampshire!”
Compare that to Bernie’s reception on channels like CNN.
“Well, Bernie’s crowd certainly is enthusiastic, and you really gotta give it to him for trying.”
The exclusively positive reception of Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) across TV stations manufactured consent to the extent that each of them received over 20% of the votes in New Hampshire. In spite of that, Bernie still won, but not by much.
What’s going to happen on Super Tuesday and beyond with Bloomberg having already flooded the TV stations with his ads? He’s conditioning audiences to view him favorably and has been for months. He even bought air time during the Super Bowl.
While we humans like to think of ourselves as more rational than emotional, it’s foolish to underestimate the power of repetition and Skinner Box-style conditioning.
Litmus Test for Billionaire Presidential Candidates
While we have much, much more to say about the billionaire class, for the purpose of this discussion we’ll limit it to the 2020 elections.
Here’s a question for you:
If a billionaire like Bloomberg can just waltz straight into the presidential race after multiple officially sanctioned debates have taken place and win the election, then why couldn’t someone else do the same?
Bloomberg is not a charismatic figure. He’s an old, crusty white dude with more money than he knows what to do with. Yet, money is power in America, which means he can buy a ticket to any show that he wants.
Instead of buying a ticket to watch, or even influence, the 2020 presidential nomination show, why not buy a ticket to participate in it? If Bloomberg’s experiment works, then someone else more charismatic than him might be able to run the tables all the way to the White House during the next election season.
America has seen rich people run for president in the past. Never have we seen someone with resources akin to Bloomberg’s extraordinary wealth run, though.
We can only report on what’s been done so far because right now we’re in untested waters. This is unprecedented to have someone from the billionaire class run for the highest office in the land. We can only speculate on what comes next and how Bloomberg chooses to flaunt his wealth.