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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/25/19

Bloomberg and the Invisible Yang

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Andrew Yang
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Let's pause for a moment over discussions of impeachment and consider the latest developments in the Democratic presidential primary race. Former New York City Mayor and fourteenth wealthiest man on the planet Michael Bloomberg has been rebaptized as a Democrat and now he wants the nomination. Having the means and willpower to contest in the primary races is not an issue. Nor is his ability at issue, although adding another wealthy septuagenarian of European descent to the field might seem as though the Democrats are retrogressing from their desire to exhibit more diversity.

Bloomberg is a skilled executive. He has supported gun safety regulations as well as climate change initiatives to reduce carbon output. In other words, he has put his money where his expected policies are. And he plans on using a sizeable chunk of money to promote voter registration and criticize President Donald Trump. His most notable drawback is the "stop and frisk" method of the NYPD during his reign as mayor. Apologies go so far, but he needs to make amends if he wants redemption.

Bloomberg appears to engage in the kind of capitalism that Andrew Yang says is needed in order to resuscitate the middle class and bring more benefits of a growing economy to the working classes. Yang's private ventures generating jobs are similar to Bloomberg's philanthropy. In some respects, Andrew Yang is a much less wealthy and younger version of Bloomberg. That raises the question of why Bloomberg needs to be in the race.

Speaking of apologies, Yang issued several tweets the other day about MSNBC asking him to appear on one of the network's shows. He called MSNBC out on a variety of ways they have ignored Yang and his growing campaign. Yang said he would appear if MSNBC issued an apology. Given the importance Democrats are placing on facts right now to the discredit of the president and GOP, it behooves MSNBC to look at the facts and issue that apology.

Yang's absence from charts showing where the candidates are in fundraising and gaining supporters, limited time during debates, and even being called "John Yang" are serious breaches of journalistic standards aimed at objectively providing information to the public. The numerous instances of Yang being left out are baffling because they make no sense except if the mainstream media are intentionally ignoring or diminishing the candidate's relevance.

This leads us back to the reason Bloomberg has thrown his money in the ring. None of the leading candidates is showing any kind of momentum other than Buttigieg. Yang is trending up, but his invisibility leads him to be a weaker stand-in for what Bloomberg hopes to achieve. The Democrats are fixated on electability despite their pronounced lack of knowledge of Trump's supporters. The party stalwarts think anyone with a good resume, some gravitas, and not labelled a socialist is all that is needed to beat Trump. A good chunk of the primary voting Democrats think the opposite on that last characteristic.

Bloomberg is the latest to demonstrate that Democrats don't get that this is not about defeating Trump. Focusing on Trump places everyone's eyes on Trump. All eyes need to be on the Democratic candidate. A winning Democratic candidate needs to ignore Trump and establish an identity tied to solid policies that will correct the malfunctions facing the nation. A winning candidate needs to have a vision of what this country can be if we Make Americans Think Harder. A candidate needs the opportunities to be seen and heard so that those voters who are going to think harder have the information they need to think about. As concluded in Remaking Democracy in America, the point is to get more Americans active in the public sphere. Trump did it with his MAGA crowd. Yang is trying to do the same with the Yang Gang MATH slogans.

Bloomberg is a personality just like Trump. His candidacy only makes matters worse for the Democrats by demonstrating how weak the politicians running for the nomination are. That personality would be better used to serve as a surrogate for Andrew Yang at rallies and events. However, Yang ought to avoid taking any money from this billionaire other than what an individual can donate. Bloomberg can save his millions to spend on projects that reflect Yang's policies. Above all else, one factor will be determinative: A non-politician trumps Trump in this game.

(Article changed on November 28, 2019 at 00:31)

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Bear Kosik is a political scientist by training. His Remaking Democracy in America was published in the fall of 2018 by Stairway Press. Well-received science fiction novels (two under Hugh Dudley) are available on Amazon. Several screenplays (more...)

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