Is the American left about to prioritize virtue signaling over keeping an unqualified monomaniac from a second term as president? This is what would happen if Michael Bloomberg’s failed stop-and-frisk policy is treated as automatically disqualifying him from serious consideration as the Democratic presidential nominee.
When Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, the police department dramatically expanded a policy under which officers stopped people on the streets to question them and pat them down for weapons. This draconian practice unforgivably stifled black and Latino life in New York City for years.
Yet black America needs Bloomberg neither to have had a perfect past on race nor to “get it” 100 percent today—and neither does the rest of America. What black Americans want by overwhelming margins is for a moral and intelligent candidate to replace Donald Trump, and fetishizing wokeness above all other concerns may be antithetical to that paramount goal.
Bloomberg, a billionaire who was first elected mayor in 2001 and served for a dozen years, arguably has a better chance of ousting Trump than does Bernie Sanders, a growly 78-year-old man of socialist label who recently had a heart attack. If only because of his bankroll, Bloomberg could easily outshine Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar as well. What rationality could there be in allowing grievances over stop-and-frisk to ease Trump’s quest for a second term? Who is afraid, for example, that Bloomberg would try to reimpose unduly punitive policies like that on black people now?