Warning: Donald Trump is winning. And Democrats are threatening to “break glass in case of emergency” and elect their own authoritarian if that's what it takes.
What else are we to infer from the fact that billionaire Michael Bloomberg is one Joe Biden flop away from having positioned himself as the moderate alternative to a democratic socialist frontrunner who honeymooned in the Soviet Union?
If you have not yet grappled with the fact that Democrats are in trouble, please allow me to remind you of some facts that are commonly known: (a) In the modern era, we tend to re-elect incumbent presidents; (b) the economy is good and the unemployment rate is low; and (c) despite tempting fate, Trump has avoided starting any new wars, and has also killed several high-value terrorists.
But these are well-known. What is less known is that (d) Trump’s digital campaign, which uses a technology called geofencing to track whether you and I have recently been to a church or a Chick-fil-A or what have you, is scary-sophisticated.
Additionally, while Trump’s campaign has to worry about long-term demographic trends, it is not widely understood that Trump has room to grow, too. Indeed, there are millions of non-college educated white men--459,000 in Wisconsin alone--who were eligible to vote in 2016 but did not show up on Election Day. Scared yet?
If so, you’re not alone. Perhaps this is why some Democrats seem ready to embrace an authoritarian of their own.
The current frontrunner is Bernie Sanders, the aforementioned democratic socialist, who, in 1985, praised Fidel Castro. This week, his campaign aides suggested that, in order to push through his progressive agenda, Sanders would rely on tactics like executive orders and budget reconciliation. But when it comes to authoritarian tendencies, Bernie comes in a distant second to former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
This may sound harsh, but, mean tweets aside, Bloomberg is offering voters a kinder, gentler (and less corrupt) authoritarianism. His comments (“racially charged” is the politically correct nomenclature) about “stop-and-frisk” speak for themselves--as do the #MeToo comments he allegedly made to his female employees.
We conservatives sometimes joke about the “nanny state” aspects of Bloomberg’s record like his failed attempt to ban soda, but this actually serves to downplay Bloomberg’s record.
Trump jokes about never leaving the presidency, but as mayor, Bloomberg got New York’s City Council to extend the two-term limit for him. Then, when a reporter questioned him about the third term, Bloomberg called him “a disgrace.” Sound familiar?
While Trump is rightly dinged for coddling dictators, Bloomberg praises Communist China, and insists that “Xi Jinping is not a dictator.”
If you’re worried about what Trump does with power, consider that Bloomberg was OK with the police “monitoring” Muslim students—or that New York City had to cough up an $18 million settlement for violating people’s civil rights during protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Actually, though, authoritarian might be putting it too lightly. Only a true totalitarian would also want to be involved in even the most intimate parts of our lives. While Trump is worried about toilets not having the flushing power he necessitates, Bloomberg advises employees to simply hold it.
As Republicans who were obsessed with Barack Obama and the liberal media said when Trump came on the scene in 2016: “Yeah, he’s a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch—and maybe that’s what it takes to win?!?” In a way, it worked. By embracing an authoritarian of their own, Republicans invited all sorts of turmoil and chaos. But they also won the presidency.
It’s still possible that one of the more traditional Democrats—Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, or Joe Biden—could catch fire. But unless that happens very soon, this is going to turn into a very ugly fight for the Democrats.
This is a really intense question. Do Democrats—Democrats!—want to let a guy like Bloomberg buy their nomination? Some do. And maybe they'll be proven right. But heaven help them!