Mike Bloomberg attacked Bernie Sanders’ supporters for being toxic, yet he’s failed to address his own toxic cult of paid supporters.
Something that has become clear to me, an undecided voter, is that it’s not just Sanders’ supporters that are toxic on social media. Mike Bloomberg has created an environment that condones the same toxic behavior he accuses others of. If he’s truly interested in winning the primary he would be better off not insulting voters in the same way Hillary Clinton does.
When Clinton referred to Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables”, it not only backfired so badly that she had to apologize, but it created so much enthusiasm behind Trump that it cost her the election. We can argue that this wasn’t what ultimately propelled Trump into the White House, but from a political standpoint, it most certainly was. Additionally, alienating Sanders’ supporters also greatly hurt her campaign as well.
Hillary was no doubt qualified enough to win the presidency, and she is certainly more qualified than Trump ever could be. But she is arguably the most divisive Democrat of our lifetime. I know, many of you will likely come at me for that statement, but the fact is, she closed the doors on the Democrats “big tent” in the faces of many voters in the last presidential election with her comments. A large enough turnout would have undoubtedly offset Russian interference but she made that all but impossible.
Mike Bloomberg on the other hand, seems to have forgotten how bad that divisiveness hurt Clinton. Then again, Bloomberg is a Republican pretending to be a Democrat, so divisive language is what he knows. That’s how the GOP operates. They thrive by sowing division and discord among Americans. It’s a strategy that they have employed for many decades with great success.
Am I surprised that Bloomberg is employing a similar strategy? Absolutely not. In fact, I expected him to come out swinging, not just against the other candidates, but their supporters as well. His attacking Sanders supporters is the perfect example of that approach. With Sanders leading every other candidate in nearly every upcoming primary state, you would think Bloomberg would be opening his doors to those supporters instead of shutting them out.
His strategy so far has all but ensured he won’t win any Sanders supporters over. With Sanders’ success within the Latinx community, and with Bloomberg struggling with those same voters, you can bet that Bloomberg won’t have enough support among Latinx voters to win the primary. Similarly, his early but minimal support among Black voters will inevitably falter as well.
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As an undecided voter, my focus has been on policy and each candidate’s history and how it reflects on them today. I don’t really care what Biden said 40-years ago, but what he’s said in recent debates and town halls is hugely problematic. I would venture to say that this is the main reason why Biden’s numbers continue to slip. Minority voters are paying close attention to each candidate’s rhetoric along with their policy proposals. We are much smarter than we are given credit for.
I also believe that being an undecided voter has opened me up to attacks. While I vet each candidate, I discuss the issues I see as problematic. No candidate has been free of scrutiny from my point of view. I’ve discussed them all. But here’s where things get interesting. With all the talk of Bernie “Bros” harassing others, that has not been my experience. Maybe I’ve been lucky but I just haven’t seen it despite my pointing out his many flaws.
When I discuss the faults of every candidate, I’ve had supporters from Elizabeth Warren’s, Pete Buttigieg’s, and Bernie Sanders' camps reach out willing to discuss these issues in a fairly civil manner. I can not say the same for Joe Biden or Amy Klobuchar supporters and certainly not Mike Bloomberg supporters. Biden and Klobuchar supporters have been quite rude, but not enough to warrant complaining about it because they’re just not that bad.
Bloomberg supporters, however, have been the worst of the bunch, by far. At least to me.
When I recently published an article at Latino Rebels pointing out Bloomberg’s history of racism and his grossly problematic policy decisions, his supporters came at me pretty hard. It was nearly the exact same script that Trumpistas use when attacking liberals and progressives. And to say I was disappointed is being kind. As many of you know, I’m not one to take online threats, harassment, or being doxxed lightly. I fight back.
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Not long after sharing the article to Facebook, a Bloomberg supporter instantly went on the attack asking if I’m voting for Trump over Bloomberg as if we still don’t have dozens of states awaiting their primaries. The idea that only Bloomberg can get Trump out of the White House is one of the main talking points for Bloomberg supporters. Not only is that the farthest thing from the truth, but it’s an asinine assumption to declare no other candidate can beat him.
From there I was treated to “pack a bag for the camps” for my refusal to support Bloomberg in the primaries. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, saying something like that to a Latino — while so many other Latinx migrants are currently sitting in Trump’s concentration camps — is insulting, insensitive, and frankly, it’s abhorrent. Do people like this have any sympathy or compassion for those held up in Trump’s camps? Clearly not. And these folks are so-called liberals.
It didn’t end there. I was doxxed for the second time in my life. Remember, this is all centered around the idea that I won’t support a racist in the primaries. Thanks to lessons learned from being doxxed by gun-nuts on Twitter a couple of years ago, all they were able to determine was my real name — which is not that hard to do.
From there I took to Twitter with screenshots and sought the backing of Latino Twitter in an effort to get Mike Bloomberg’s attention. Not surprisingly, we were ignored by his camp. I say not surprisingly because Bloomberg doesn’t give a shit about Latinx and Black voters no matter what he says or how many times he apologizes. In other words, he’s not fooling most of us.
His supporters, however, seem to be just as vitriolic as the supporters of any other candidate. Including Sanders supporters. Now, I know many of you will come at me talking about how bad Sanders supporters are using the same talking points you see and hear from cable news and corporate media. But as I said earlier, that is not my experience and I’m not here to debate it.
I’m here to point out the hypocrisy of Bloomberg and his paid supporters who are motivated by whatever he’s paying them to be assholes. There are many activists, writers, and regular folks who suddenly switched their support of other candidates over to Bloomberg for no apparent reason other than the “only Bloomberg can win” against Trump rhetoric.
In American politics, money talks. A lot.
If you’re one of these supporters, we see you. You may not think that the motivation for your sudden support of him is obvious, but it is. In fact, a member of my team tracked down one of the Bloomberg campaign folks in charge of recruiting online influencers and we have since had several people removed from Bloomberg’s social media payroll because of hateful trolling. Not only that but the so-called influencers I suspected of being on their payroll, were on his list. I was hugely disappointed by this.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg has yet to respond to any requests for comments by several journalists and myself who have reached out to him about these issues. Instead, he continues his attacks on other candidates’ supporters. If this sounds like Republican-styled hypocrisy, that’s because it is.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who has been subjected to attacks.
And the “only Bloomberg can beat Trump” nonsense is pretty common as well.
Look, the bottom line is any candidate can beat Trump if we show up and vote. Stick with whichever candidate speaks to you, your issues, and is in it for the greater good. Then, no matter what, when the election comes around, vote Trump out of office. We don’t need a candidate that can just beat Trump. We need a candidate that’s going to serve the nation, the marginalized, and minorities. In other words, everyone.
Stop setting the bar so low. Leave the vitriol behind. We can beat Trump and the fascism he’s bringing to America. It won’t be any particular candidate either. Trump will lose because of us. Republicans will lose the Senate because of us. Democrats will maintain control of the house because of us.
We just have to vote.