My Own Hypocrisy

On June 14th 2017 I wrote a post about Michael Bloomberg.   It was actually a ‘good people’ post.  Here are a few of the things I said about Bloomberg, some two-and-a-half years ago …Wed-Bloomberg

  • Many outside the New York area may not be aware of how much good Bloomberg does, but over his lifetime he has given away more than $4.3 billion!
  • I have always had rather a soft spot for Mr. Bloomberg, knew he was a good man, but even I had no idea just how much he has given back to the world.
  • The majority of his contributions are in the fields of Environment, Public Health, the Arts, Government Innovation, Education, Women’s Economic Development in Africa. Mr. Bloomberg has also signed the Giving Pledge started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, vowing to give away at least half of his wealth over the course of his lifetime.

Then I went on to list some of his causes in the fields of the environment, education, public health, women’s economic development, the arts and more.  I wrote …

  • One thing that makes Bloomberg stand out in the crowd of wealthy philanthropists is that he is willing to try new things rather than, like some, wait for what they think will be the perfect organization and miss a lot of opportunities along the way.
  • Bloomberg is human, so I am certain that he wasn’t always right, either, but overall I believe he was a good mayor and is a good human being.
  • Bloomberg, in addition to being a philanthropist, is two things: a politician and a very successful businessman.  In recent months, we have had every reason to trust neither politicians nor businessmen, but Mr. Bloomberg is the exception.

And I concluded, back in 2017, with …

  • He is living proof that politicians and businessmen CAN also be good people. I thought it important for us to remember that, especially now.

And then, in a response to a comment by Roger, I wrote …

“I would love to see him run on a democratic ticket, however … I would surely support him!”

Fast forward to November 12th 2019, nearly a year-and-a-half later, when I wrote a post titled Please Mayor Bloomberg, Don’t Do It where I re-blogged one of Jeff’s posts and in my intro blurb, I said …

“We do NOT need wealthy businessmen running our government … men who have never in their entire lives known what it’s like to have to beg for someone to help you pay the rent, or make a choice between paying the electric bill or taking your sick kid to the doctor!”

Left to my own devices, I would not have remembered what I said about Mr. Bloomberg in June 2017, nor likely what I said just over a month ago.  I am old with a calcified brain, remember?  But, our friend rawgod asked me, a few days ago …

“Today is Jan. 1, 2020. Bloomberg is running for the Dems, as you hoped. But I have not heard his name much on Filosofa’s Word. Has something changed? Or do you still believe he is a good person for the Oval Office?”

And I had to find out what he was talking about, for I had all but forgotten that Michael Bloomberg was once my ‘good people’ and that I had said I would support his candidacy on the democratic ticket.

So, now I ask myself the tough question:  Am I a hypocrite, or has my view changed, and if so … why has it?  What has changed?  Is my reversal valid?

Well, the answer isn’t going to be found in any of my usual sources, such as The Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, or Politico … the answer will have to come from some soul searching, some pondering.  And here are the results of such pondering and musing …

  • I think that when I responded to Roger that I would “love” to see him run on the democratic ticket, I was caught up in the mood of the moment, having just researched all the philanthropic works Mr. Bloomberg has done.
  • I am certain that he would make a better president than Donald Trump could ever think about being.
  • That said, I do not think he is the man I want to see win the nomination to be the democratic candidate. Why?
    • Because for the past three years, we have watched the wealthy take over this nation, make decisions that in no way, shape or form helped the average person.
    • Because the more I see, the more I am convinced that we need in the Oval Office somebody who can honestly understand the plight of the average person, and I find it hard to believe that someone born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth can truly relate to We the People.
    • Because as Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg was responsible for the long-standing “Stop-and-Frisk” policy that was used to discriminate against African-Americans and other minorities, though he has recently apologized for that.

There are still things I like about Mr. Bloomberg’s platform …

  • Gun control – he supports universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a crackdown on gun trafficking.
  • Climate change – he upholds the Paris Accord and is a proponent of action to combat climate change, though not to the extent I might like.
  • Civil and LGBT rights – he is supportive of both.
  • Women’s rights – he claims to believe that reproductive choice is a fundamental human right.

But, he does not support raising taxes on the wealthy, which I believe is critical to reducing our national debt and deficit.  He is not strong enough on environmental and other issues.  I would not vote for him at this point, though I might have in 2017, as I told Roger.  That said, I would vote for him if he were to become the democratic nominee, but I see the chances of that being slim-to-none, for he is polling at only around 5% and is not even on the ballot in a number of states.

The Democratic Party really needs to pull itself together, to stand behind the strongest candidate and soon, in order to unseat the incumbent, for if they keep backstabbing and eating their own, they are doomed, and will doom the citizens of this nation to an almost-certain autocratic regime.  Michael Bloomberg is not the solution, though through his philanthropy he can continue to make a positive difference in this world.  Not all of us can be president.

So, am I a hypocrite, or have circumstances merely led to an evolution of my thoughts?  I leave it to you to decide.  Jerry?  Roger?  Keith?  David?  Ellen?  Jeff?  Scottie?  Nan?  Padre?  John?  Let me know what you think, for I’m truly not sure.

59 thoughts on “My Own Hypocrisy

  1. Information coming to light can make anyone change their mind and should.

    Think about it. Look at all the crap trump has done in 3 years, yet those fools don’t look at new and obvious information and dig in deeper. No intelligence, no thought…just mind numbing zombie like following their master.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary … I know, but I just needed to make sure I had valid reasons for having changed my mind. A bit of self-reflection is a good thing sometimes. And yeah, the fools who are still clinging to their love of Trump ought to engage in a bit of soul-searching rather than following him blindly.

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  2. I don’t see any hypocrisy at all; people are allowed to change their mind – to me that’s a sign of growth.
    I’ve commented before that I have been, and still am, a fan of Bloomberg. I am on the same side as him with probably the two biggest issues to me – gun control and the environment/climate change. I don’t think he was born into a wealthy family, he is a self-made billionaire. He was also an Eagle Scout in high school. My other top candidate is Cory Booker; I don’t think he has a chance, but perhaps a Bloomberg/Booker ticket would be a powerful combo…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jim! Sorry I’m a bit late responding … the holidays have thrown my schedule far off, and all the news over the past several days keeps me hopping. I agree that Bloomberg’s care for the environment and view on gun regulation please me. I am disturbed, however, by the stop-and-frisk policy he implemented … it worries me that he has racist tendencies. I do like Booker, too, and I believe his time will come, but just not this year. That is … if we survive the current situation!

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  3. No you are not a hypocrite…
    And as far as getting a candidate who truly understands the average man and women and their lives, it won’t happen because to even get into the political game, one has to have money and to become powerful and influential, one has to have plenty of big money…
    This wont change until our whole system changes ….no gerrymandering, no Russian influence, no electoral college, no big corporate financial influence, no making it hard for minorities to vote…..in other words, no rigged system.
    and I don’t see this happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Mary! And yes, you are right … that old adage that in America anybody can become president is naught but the Great American Myth. I’m with you … no gerrymandering or electoral college … in fact, if the electoral college is gone, there won’t be any gerrymandering, for districts won’t matter … one person, one vote … he with the most votes wins. Period. And overturn Citizens United, thereby taking the big money out of politics. In fact, I have proposed a few times that all political donations go into one pot and every viable candidate gets the same portion of the pot … and that is ALL they can spend on their campaign. Even ground for everyone … money won’t matter, so they will win based on merit. But, as you say, it ain’t gonna happen in our lifetimes for sure. Sigh.

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  4. No way are you a hypocrite Jill. Bloomberg has done good things with his wealth. He’s on the right side of many issues. Back then, like you said, in the moment you thought he’s be a good potus. Hell, of course he’d be a zillion times better than what we have now! But the mark of a good person, and a smart one, is to be able to reassess previous thoughts and opinions. That’s what you did. It’s called nuanced thinking.
    Hey, if he were the nominee, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. No question. But, he will not be. And as you referenced, I’m glad he will not be. The government cannot, and should not be run like a business. We see that happening right now, do we not? I feel the same way about Tom Steyer by the way. He’s a good guy, has lots of $$$$, and is on the right side of most issues. President though? I think not.
    Good on you Jill, for being able to look at the landscape and change previous thinking. Not everyone is capable of such a thing. I’d like to think that those of us on the left are able to do this much better than those on the right. To them, it’s all black and white. No grey areas. Sorry, that’s just not how it is. Things change. People change. We cannot be so hardened in our opinions that when we see facts, we ignore them. If we start to do that, we become like them. That is NOT an option!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for your faith and support, dear Jeff! Yes, it was a good exercise to figure out what it is about him that disturbs me now that I didn’t think of before. And you are so right that many … probably on both sides of the political divide … cannot let go of an idea once it has formed. I truly think that is why Trump still has a 40%+ approval rating, because people are unwilling to re-assess and admit they made a mistake. Like you, I will support Bloomberg if he were to be the nominee, though I don’t expect that to happen. More and more, I am convinced it’s going to be Joe Biden, for better or for worse. Whatever it takes to get Trump out, especially after his recent brain fart that is going to cost who-knows-how-many lives. Sigh.

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      • Me too Jill. I think it’s going to be Biden as well. And, with what has just happened with the ill-advised assassination of the Iranian General, I think it makes that case even stronger. Biden’s been there..he’s experienced..and level-headed. He’s not my first choice, but I’m coming around more and more. Beating HIM is THE most important thing.

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  5. Blind loyalty does no one any favours Jill. You only need look no further than the ranks of the Trump legions, and in our UK, the devoted denying Jeremy Corbyn was not the one who could save them.
    Maybe Bloomberg might have suited a softer time when the parties would work together and those now with a public voice would be where they belong; in the whacko corner.
    For this age the Democrats need a no-holds barred brawler rouser and operator. Politeness and civility will no longer suit this age….an LBJ without Vietnam and the shadow of the Kennedy Brothers would suit just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right, of course, and blind loyalty is hardly my style anyway … I just had to figure out what had changed, and I did. I only know that after last night’s events, it is absolutely imperative that Trump leaves the White House … he is, as Keith has often said, a clear and present danger and he has proven that in spades. I’m not even sure we can afford to wait until the election in November … not sure the world can afford for us to wait.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The guy is a shmuck we can see that. This latest bit of stupidity on a world stage scale is actually small stuff, while big regionally, and of course puts lots of American lives in danger.
        Question is, who amongst all of the astute players in that region will profit from this? There will probably be a few buckets of crocodile tears in Iran itself amongst its own power plays. And a few minor folk amongst the pantheon can leap up the ladder in their neck of the woods by being ‘outraged’. And of course those aligned against Iran and its clients can take a free shot themselves ‘cas USA did it, didn’t they?
        Meanwhile Iran and its client militias can play merry hell for a few months or so and no one on the big power political stage can really condemn them.
        Boris Johnson meanwhile is out of his depth, because the USA did not tell the UK what was going to happen.
        And Jeremy Corbyn is sweetly naïve about the whole thing.
        It’s only 4th January and Trump is already in line for The Klutz of 2020 Award.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You know Jill, we are in some very changing times. The goal posts keep moving, and the people we think we know, suddenly appear like strangers that we cannot figure out. We all have to change our minds because the truth keeps shifting and disappears like quicksilver before our eyes. Of course you are allowed to change your mind. You are not an automaton. I change my mind all the time. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Colette! It wasn’t so much that I consciously changed my mind as that suddenly I realized I didn’t feel the same about it as I once did. I needed to make sure my own values weren’t changing, but that I had good reason for changing my opinion.

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    • ‘Tis true what you say, and that is why leaders of nations will never make perfect decisions, for they do not have access to complete information. And I stand by my current opinion of Bloomberg, that he is basically a philanthropist, but would not make a good president. However, if he wins the nomination, I will vote for him. But, to your point … so right … it’s the perspective which has changed … my values remain the same.

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  7. Jill, I have shared many times, there are no perfect candidates, which means there no perfect Democrat candidates. Each one has flaws, so the Dems need to be careful to avoid a circular firing squad.

    I think you spelled out Bloomberg’s positives and negatives quite nicely. He is putting a spotlight on climate change having led over 700 global mayors to do something, which I applaud.

    Can he win the Dem nomination? Maybe not. Can he beat Trump – yes, because he will appeal to Independents and Republicans who see Trump for what he is – corrupt, indecent and untruthful.

    My strong caution to my Democrat friends – support whomever the Dem candidate is and vote. Trump will try to get folks to stay home like he did last time,; that is how he won. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good summation, Keith. I will support whoever the democrats nominate, for I think it is absolutely necessary that we remove Trump from office … yesterday, he showed just how much of a danger to the globe he is, and he simply must go. Do I think Bloomberg would make the best president? No, I absolutely do not. But, sigh, I am certain he would be better than Trump, and right now, I think we must choose between the lesser of evils.

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      • Jill, true. The underreported attacks on the environment is just one example of why it is important to vote this incumbent out. Yet, there is so much more that can be identified as reasons why he needs to go. Bloomberg gave the best speech at the Democrat convention that very few heard. He said he personally knew both HRC and Trump. He said the choice was between a sane, competent one in HRC and the opposite in Trump. Trump’s genius was to get people to look under her hood more than his. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t recall hearing Bloomberg’s speech, either, but what he said was spot on. And, I like the way you phrase it … that “Trump’s genius was to get people to look under her hood more than his.” Even when they did look under his hood and saw decades-old rot & filth, they claimed they saw shiny gold.

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  8. Thoughts change and people change, it is called evolution in some circles… 🙂 one has to be ready for change and adapt accordingly… unfortunately, some never do “Life is a process of becoming… a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” Anais Nin

    I just keep learning… 🙂 “Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I will recall that piece of knowledge and use it better. “ Mark van Doren

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If you thought I was suggesting you were a hypocrite, you are wrong. I just happened to come across your old post, and wondered if you had come across anything since that time that had caused you to change your position. I was actually quite taken by your post, but I also know nothing about American mayors, except what Rudy Giuliani has become in recent times.
    But I also knew what is happening with your memory, and I wondered had you forgotten what you said. I expected you had. Now I know.

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    • I’m not sure if it’s so much that I have learned more about him as it is that I have come to dislike wealthy people in government, for they are out for their own interests, it seems. Just curious, since I haven’t lived in NYC since the mid-1960s, how would you rate Bloomberg as Mayor? And how would you compare him to Giuliani as Mayor?

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      • That’s fair. People evolve over time.

        Giuliani became mayor a year before I was born and ended his two terms when I was 7, so I don’t have that many memories of Giuliani. I have more memories of Bloomberg. Based on what I’ve heard, I had mixed feelings about Giuliani–NYC became MUCH safer under Giuliani, the economic boom in NYC really started under him, and his leadership after 9/11 was important, but he was also a divisive mayor and a mayor who struggled himself with race relations. People who aren’t as far left as I am tend to rate his mayorship highly, and he has really tarnished his legacy through involvement with Trump.

        That being said, as a mayor I was not wild about Bloomberg. Many of the problems NYC faces today, such as school segregation, problems with the public housing, police-community relations, etc. are because of a combination of Bloomberg not addressing those issues sufficiently and de Blasio (our current mayor, who had a failed bid for President) being clumsy at best at trying to address those issues.

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        • Ahhhh … so you are just a spring chicken compared to my 68 years! I still have family in New York, but not living there myself, I had paid little attention to Giuliani until 9/11, but in the days following 9/11, I was so very impressed by handling of everything, his compassion and caring that were obviously genuine. I wonder what happened to THAT Rudy Giuliani??? As for Bloomberg, the stop-and-frisk policy sticks in my mind. Yes, he has apologized, but the fact that he even thought it was a good idea to start with tells me something. We’ve got a racist in the White House now … we sure don’t need another. Thanks for your perspective! As I said, I don’t pay so much attention to NYC politics since I haven’t lived there in decades, but I like hearing your perspective. Have a great week!

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          • Same to you! And I’m glad my point of view helped. A lot of things bothered me about Bloomberg’s leadership and some things bothered me with what I heard about Giuliani’s leadership, though he has definitely ruined his reputation with all this Trump stuff.

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  10. Jill, if you’re a hypocrite, at least you’re an honest one. But seriously, I agree with the previous commenters — it’s not hypocritical to change your mind for good reason (it would be bad if you didn’t). Just be glad you’re not a politician — you’d be attacked by hypocrites for being a hypocrite no matter how good your reason for changing your mind.

    Speaking of which: “He is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.” –Adlai Stevenson

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess what bothers me is that I didn’t realize I had changed my mind … it just sort of happened. But, a bit of soul searching, checking to make sure that you’ve changed your mind for valid reasons, never hurt anybody! And yes, I still think about the only thing Bloomberg has going for him is that he may well be the best chance to beat Trump! Good enough, it may have to be, for we must get this warmongering madman out of the Oval Office! Ha ha … I love the Stevenson quote! Perfect!

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  11. No harm in thinking and then changing your mind. Apart from one teenager and maybe one potential candidate to be the leader of our opposition – I’m seeing no person I could fully support and sign up to. That means you then have to look at ‘improvement on the morons we have now’ options. He might be that best available option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gary. I just needed to think about it, make sure that I had changed my mind for valid reasons, y’know? I assume the aforementioned teenager is Greta Thunberg, but I’m curious about who the “one potential candidate to be the leader of the oppositon” might be? Not Corbyn, I know. Yes, he might be that best available option. At this point, almost anybody who can beat Trump would have my vote.

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  12. No hypocrisy here Jill. Changing ones mind is allowed when one sees changes in the object of first thoughts. If Michael Bloomberg has vowed to give away half his fortune, he shouldn’t mind doing it through a bit of extra tax,
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Thing is, though, I didn’t even recall that I had once said I would support his bid for the presidency! Perhaps my brain truly is calcifying, else I was just so impressed by his philanthropy.

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