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You are here: Home Section Table Around Town Letter to the Editor: Why I Support Mike Bloomberg for President
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Letter to the Editor: Why I Support Mike Bloomberg for President

BloombergThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Scarsdale resident David Stafford.
I am a political moderate who leans right on most economic and geopolitical issues, and left on the majority of social ones. I am distraught about the Trump Presidency due to the current inhabitant’s defilement of his office through his constant prevarications, narcissism and intemperance. I have, until recently, been hoping that Joe Biden would emerge as the Democratic Presidential nominee. “Uncle Joe” is a moderate and a fundamentally decent guy who would return dignity and reason to the White House. The other two moderate candidates in the Democratic Presidential field, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, are impressive and perhaps someday their time will come, but I do not consider either one electable in 2020.

Unfortunately, I have come to believe that we moderates who fall into the category of ABT (Anyone But Trump) have a problem. Biden has faltered during the debates and his apparent inability to finish a sentence coherently can be painful to watch. His financial support is weakening and Elizabeth Warren has emerged as the current favorite to win the Democratic nomination. This leads to a question. Does ABT mean that any sentient human being who opposes Trump in 2020 is worthy of support? The politically moderate New York Times columnist David Brooks answered this question in the affirmative in a column last month, in which he stated that given a choice between Warren and Trump for President, he would vote for Warren. I cannot go that far. Warren is by all accounts brilliant and a good and well-meaning politician. But her policy proposals are too extreme for me. Free Medicare for all would eliminate private health insurance and cost countless trillions of dollars. Free college and forgiveness of student debt would also be prohibitively expensive, as would the wild-eyed Green New Deal which she supports. Her proposed wealth tax is probably unconstitutional and is unlikely to generate anywhere near the kind of revenue that she imagines. Her policies would, in my view, fundamentally alter the US economy by vastly increasing the government’s role in peoples’ lives and undermining many of the incentives that help drive US economic growth.

A recent poll asked a sample of people intending to vote in the Democratic primary how they would react if Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Michael Bloomberg entered the race. 50% said they would vote for Obama, 27% said they would vote for Clinton, and 6% said they would vote for Bloomberg. This tells us that a meaningful number of Democrat primary voters aren’t content with the party’s current field of candidates and long for a dignified, moderate candidate – even one (Obama) who has made clear that she has no interest in being President. Hillary Clinton? I don’t think so. Bloomberg, who announced that he plans to enter the race last week, has clear flaws as a candidate. He’ll be 78 by Election Day 2020, which would make him the oldest first term President in US history; he supported “stop and frisk” as Mayor of NYC even though it was shown to be racially discriminatory in its application; he unsuccessfully proposed a city tax on soda as a means to combat obesity; he is less than a dynamic speaker or electric personality; and he’s rumored to have not promoted women on his staff sufficiently during his Mayoral administration.

Notwithstanding these issues, Bloomberg is a classic conservative when it comes to economics, with a strong belief in policies that incentivize capital formation and investment, which in turn leads to business expansion, job creation and wage growth. He believes in a strong US military and doesn’t ascribe to the populist, insular, autocrat-loving approach we’ve seen Trump pursue. Perhaps most important, he is smart, measured, dignified and ethical. And for us Scarsdale residents, it probably wouldn’t be too long after inauguration day when President Bloomberg takes steps to unwind Trump’s punitive and unfair SALT deduction limitation, which adversely affects many of us.

In sum, my fear is that a far left Democratic candidate such as Warren or Bernie Sanders will ensure Trump’s re-election. The US needs two viable parties competing for many of the same voters to make our system of checks and balances a governing reality. These days, an electable Presidential candidate must not be perceived as hostile to free speech, religion and the everyday concerns of working- and middle-class citizens as most voters in “fly over country” perceive the left wing of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg checks the boxes in this regard as well.

Would it be easy for a Jewish, billionaire plutocrat to win over undecided, moderate voters across the United States? No. But Bloomberg may be the best option for us moderates. Plus we can count on our current President to help with his sophomoric Twitter tantrums, self-aggrandizement, self-dealing and unpresidential behavior.

If there’s a better moderate Presidential candidate than Mike Bloomberg who can win the Democratic Presidential nomination, then bring him or her on. In the meantime, I’ll be throwing my support to Mayor Mike for President.

David Stafford

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