Dear Brooklyn Readers,
I really wish we could fast-forward past these primaries. Because I already know that whoever wins the primary is, without hesitation, who I’ll support.
This year’s primaries feel like Chinese water torture. The slow drip is driving me a little batty. Still, on April 28, I’ll be voting. And although there’s a candidate I feel would be the best one to lead the country, I’m not confident that candidate could beat Trump. If Stacey Abrams had been in the race? Sure! But right now, the only foreseeable candidate I feel will beat Trump is Michael Bloomberg.
He’s the most controversial figure of all the candidates, I know. But that doesn’t mean he can’t win. And right now, all I care about is flipping the White House.
In announcing his bid for president, Bloomberg said, “I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver—not a talker.”
(At least we know Bloomberg won’t be “playing the dozens” on Twitter.)
So, let’s talk cold, hard facts. Yes, we all know Bloomberg’s a billionaire buying his way into the election. But so did Trump. If this is concerting, then it’s up to the American People to elect representatives committed to changing the campaign finance laws.
And yes, we know Bloomberg once supported stop-and-frisk. And we also know Bernie Sanders voted for the Crime Bill. And Joe Biden admits to being chummy with and voting alongside of segregationist senators. Who doesn’t have things in their past they wish they could scrub? I have at least a dozen.
It’s also true that, like Trump, Bloomberg runs government like it’s a business. The difference is Trump’s businesses (more like mob rings) fail. Bloomberg’s legitimate businesses do not.
And unlike Trump, who steals from his own fake charities, Bloomberg is a real philanthropist, well known for throwing his money at causes he believes will solve a problem.
While mayor of New York City, Bloomberg gave a large amount of his personal money to causes that helped the under-resourced and underserved. I know this because, as a city journalist, I had to report it.
He was constantly giving (of his personal money) and I mean constantly… to clean energy causes, recycling initiatives, Planned Parenthood, the homeless– you name it– but most notably, a large number of causes that involved black and brown youth.
The one I remember most markedly was the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), a program he started with much of his own money, in an effort to improve educational outcomes and increase college and career readiness among Black and Latino young men. Bloomberg was also a big financial backer of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYE), which gives New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 summer employment and educational opportunities in the public and private sector.
I remember this. And it struck me as a little odd, because at his press conferences, what I saw was never a warm-and-fuzzy man bursting with compassion. Just a business man who spoke really bad Spanish interested in fixing a problem.
And in 2018, let’s not forget Bloomberg spent $100 million of his personal money to help flip the U.S. House of Representatives. (You’re welcome).
Don’t get it twisted: I’m not in love with Bloomberg. Personally, I believe Elizabeth Warren would be the best leader for our country. Her policies are thoughtful, smart and doable! I also like Andrew Yang, who is relatable and whose policies are innovative. But the person who will defeat Trump most likely will not be the one with the most innovative policies, the most comprehensive plans, the kindest words or the best of intentions.
The one who will likely trump Trump will be the one who can speak Trump’s language but with greater fluency. (In other words, if Bloomberg were a dollar, Trump would be a nickel. I’m just sayin’)
We can talk all day about what this candidate did 15 years ago and why we don’t like him or what that candidate said 20 years ago, and why we don’t like her, just like we did in 2016…
We can squabble and tear each candidate apart during the primaries until we’re so battered, bloody and bitter that by November, we elect to stay home, lick our wounds and not vote, just like we did in 2016…
Or we can take emotions out of it and, like Bloomberg, focus squarely on solving the problem.
Whether you choose to vote with your heart or your head in the primaries is up to you. But open yourself up to the possibility that, ultimately, the Democratic nominee might not be your first, second or even third choice. And here’s where “hurt feelings” take a backseat and the head should take the lead. Be cold and calculated and vote for the Democratic nominee like it’s your first born.
Because the 2020 race for U.S. president no longer has to do with how we feel. This time around, it’s all about what we now know.
Sincerely, C. Zawadi Morris, Publisher