Michael Bloomberg, The Ego That Ate New York, spent the past weeks burning an amount of cash most members of the top 1% could only fantasize about possessing as he set out to buy the U.S. presidency – and ended up purchasing for himself nothing beyond American Samoa. The American Indians who got $24 for the island the former mayor spent 12 years running as if it were his personal fiefdom must be having a good laugh in their Happy Hunting Ground.
As the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway aptly pointed out Wednesday on Fox News, for years “people were saying a couple hundred thousand dollars in barely literate Facebook ads from Russians caused Donald Trump to win. Here you had a guy spend nearly $1 billion and he went nowhere. It’s a humiliating defeat for Michael Bloomberg.”
Moreover, the advertising wasn’t even directly focused on the Trump vs. Hillary Clinton contest four years ago. “The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or a particular candidate. Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum,” according to Facebook’s investigation.
“The reach of the content shared by false amplifiers was marginal compared to the overall volume of civic content shared during the U.S. election,” the social media giant concluded, and “the reach of known operations during the U.S. election of 2016 was statistically very small compared to overall engagement on political issues.”
So if Mike can’t “get it done,” to quote his now-hysterical campaign slogan, with his tens of billions in liquid lucre ready and waiting, and Moscow can’t get it done with its massive state power under ruthless ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin, is there anyone who does have an oversized influence on the choosing process for the highest office in the land?
There certainly seems to be: black Americans.
In 1963, the militant novelist James Baldwin recounted meeting a 16-year-old black boy who told him, “I’ve got no country. I’ve got no flag.” According to Baldwin, “I couldn’t say, ‘you do.’ I don’t have any evidence to prove that he does.”
Would black Americans, nearly 12 years after the election of the first black president, choosing who the presidential nominee of one of the two major parties in Baldwin’s estimation qualify as evidence? Unconvinced, perhaps he would cite his friend Malcolm X’s quip: “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches and say you’re making progress.”
So a Sumpter-born son of a minister who wasn’t able to attend college until in his 40s because “at the time, South Carolina did not provide education for ‘Negroes’ beyond the seventh grade,” is today kingmaker for the position of leader of the free world. Clyburn has been getting elected in his majority black Charleston congressional district for nearly three decades.
What’s more, black voters’ choice of Biden may have prevented the Democratic Party from the disaster of a declared socialist as its nominee. Despite Biden’s serious defects as presidential candidate, he is probably the member of the Democrats’ 2020 field with the best chance of defeating President Trump this November.
With black prosperity in the U.S. at a record level, it may even turn out that this group, oppressed for most of our history, who make up under 14% of the country’s population – not a white multi-billionaire media mogul, not the white ruler of the former Soviet Union – end up this month having chosen who will be our next president.
— Written by Thomas McArdle