Michael Bloomberg, I implore you: Don’t run for president. Stop this vanity project before it gets off the ground. The last thing the Democratic Party needs right now is a former Republican billionaire as its nominee, and the last thing the United States needs right now is another out-of-touch billionaire president. Your inability to see these self-evident facts in itself shows how unqualified you are to lead the nation.
First off, you are not really a Democrat. For two out of your three terms as mayor of New York City, you were a member of the Republican Party, and for your third term, you ran as an Independent on the Republican ballot line. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, you were a fervent supporter, and for years after you maintained your initial support. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, which your city hosted, you proudly endorsed President George W. Bush.
It wasn’t until last year that you became a member of the Democratic Party. Congratulations on deciding that you want to be on the right side of history, after all those years. However, the party deserves a standard-bearer who is committed to it and its ideals, not someone hopping on the bandwagon. Plenty of decent people have abandoned the Republican Party as it cedes its soul to President Donald Trump, so you changing your party registration is admirable. But attempting to seek the nomination of a party you have only belonged to for a year shows that you care less about promoting the ideals of the Democratic Party and are more concerned about using the Democratic Party to fulfill your presidential aspirations.
Secondly, speaking of your time as mayor, your track record is one with many blights. As mayor, you supported stop-and-frisk searches, which many Democrats find a direct violation of Americans’ civil rights and a policy that disproportionately impacts communities of color. The majority of the Democratic Party must be on to something, because in 2013 a federal judge agreed and ruled that your stop-and-frisk policy had been carried out in an unconstitutional way. In spite of this, you have yet to admit the error of your ways and have even doubled-down on your support for such policies. How can you be the leader of the Democratic Party, a party that proudly supports communities of color and the diversity that strengthens our country, when you so adamantly stand in favor of a policy that hurts those communities?
In addition to your poor record with minority communities, you seem to express a certain disdain toward women who have exposed predatory male behavior as a part of the #MeToo movement. Talking about the allegations made by women that constitute the #MeToo movement, you have said, “The stuff I read about is disgraceful — I don’t know how true all of it is.” You have also defended a friend of yours, former CBS anchor Charlie Rose, a person who has been credibly accused of sexual harassment by 27 women, saying that you “never had a complaint, whatsoever, and when I read some of the stuff, I was surprised, I will say. But I never saw anything and we have no record, we’ve checked very carefully.” Not a great look, Michael.
Regarding you as an individual person, I can think of no worse figurehead for the Democratic Party and its fight to win over the middle class and working poor than a man who has spent his life on Wall Street and is worth $52 billion. You have stated that part of why you might run is because you fear the Democratic Party might nominate a “far-left” candidate such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren, but Sanders and Warren have already used you as fodder to fire up their bases. All you would do is peel voters away from candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), candidates more in line with you ideologically, so you would end up ensuring the nominee is someone you adamantly do not want it to be.
As someone who worked hard to help flip Virginia blue, I appreciate all of your help in the past election cycle. You have also been, through Everytown for Gun Safety, a staunch advocate for gun violence prevention legislation, and I admire your tenacity to fight such an important fight. You have done a lot of good recently, so why would you throw it all away by running for president?
Do not run for president. Do not pursue this vanity project that will not work out for you, and that will only further divide the party. If you really want to help defeat Trump, use your money in the general election to help elect Democrats. If you support candidates in critical swing states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida the way you recently supported candidates in Virginia, you can play a crucial role in turning the tide against Trump and flipping the nation blue.
Let that be your legacy, so that you will be remembered as a man who supported the Democratic Party when help was most needed. If you run for president, you will be remembered as an egotistical billionaire who vainly ran for president because $52 billion is not able to spend itself.
Derek Tassone is a sophomore in the College.