If you live in Iowa right now you are used to seeing some things. First and foremost as we approach January 2020 is that the airwaves—both radio and television—are flooded with ads for a rogue’s gallery of presidential hopefuls. Heck, you cannot fire up a video on You Tube without being assaulted by at least one ad calling the sitting President a “fraud and a failure.” Granted, the sitting President is a fraud and a failure but I digress.
For some reason the current political situation and relative wide open field of candidates vying to take on Donald J. Trump in 2020 has forced upon us billionaires as saviors. Armed with virtually unlimited war chests to spend on campaigns these billionaires are, in their own estimation, here to save us from the perils of another four years of a self-professed billionaire. Is it ironic that the only prescription these men have to save us from the tyranny of a rich man is to elect another rich man.
Depending upon the source, Michael Bloomberg kicked off his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States with an ad buy in excess of $30 million.
Again, depending upon the source, Tom Steyer had spent almost $50 million on his long shot bid to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
Furthermore, Andrew Yang has spent approximately $8 million on a campaign polling in the noise at the bottom of the candidate list.
Let’s not even get into Howard Schulz, the former CEO of Starbucks, who threatened us all with his idea of running for President of the United States.
The vanity of these men is outstanding. What ideas do Bloomberg, Steyer, Yang, or Schulz bring to the table that are not already being discussed and debated by candidates with years of political experience under their belts?
Their entire logic for running for President of the United States is that as very rich men they are uniquely suited to solve the problems of the United States of America. You know who else thought along those very same lines? Donald J. Trump. See how that is turning out for the country.
Being a billionaire or even a multi-millionaire—I am still waiting on the receipts to see just how rich Donald Trump actually is—makes you one thing…rich. That is it. There is no intrinsic quality to money that conveys wisdom or ability or drive or compassion or whatever. If Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Barron Trump, or the forgotten child Tiffany Trump inherit any money from their father it just makes them “lucky spermers” in the parlance of old money winemakers.
What positive benefit could these men create by focusing their efforts and resources away from this vanity project and toward something else? Look at Beto O’Rourke, who realized fairly quickly that despite his zeal for the office there was a general lack of enthusiasm for him as a national candidate, focusing on a state wide voter registration effort in Texas to flip that state blue. If you want to get rid of Republicans and their politics of destruction the first step is to get more people voting. Look at what happened when turnout rates are high as during the 2018 midterm elections. It turns into a bloodbath for Republicans because the majority of the population does not like their policies.
Imagine the tens of millions and probably soon to be hundreds of millions being spent on vanity campaigns being redirected.