Michael Bloomberg spoke last night at the Democratic National Convention about patriotism, leadership, and hope and found Donald Trump failing in all categories.
Bloomberg’s message was one of several eloquent, compelling, and significant speeches, each deserving attention and admiration.
I single out Bloomberg because he offered what few could, a peer review of Trump.
Bloomberg, who by all accounts is far wealthier than Trump, did not speak about his own fortune; instead he reminded Trump of the riches of the American legacy. Bloomberg called on the American Framers to spell out the nation priorities, “When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation, they didn’t come as Democrats or Republicans, or to nominate a presidential candidate. They came as patriots who feared party politics.”
When the former mayor of New York reintroduced himself to an audience at home and abroad he vividly shifted the focus from party affiliation to the transcendence of leadership. Evoking the Founders he said, “I know how they felt. I’ve been a Democrat, I’ve been a Republican, and I eventually became an independent because I don’t believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership.”
Bloomberg looked at Trump’s actual plan to improve the economy and declared that it would have dire financial consequences at home and in the world. It would put individual savings and national security at risk. Bloomberg detailed that, “Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe.”
Trump has boasted repeatedly of his financial success, but Bloomberg made it clear that in the economic sphere Trump could not be trusted. He has breached laws and rules of ethics in business transactions. “Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.”
Bloomberg however, did not just offer a shudder and a warning; he proposed a plan for action. He turned to us, we the people who must help God to help us. We must take a lesson from our history that “we can only solve our biggest problems if we come together and embrace the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established right here in Philadelphia, which permitted our ancestors to create the great American exceptionalism that all of us now enjoy.”
Donald Trump, Bloomberg said, “doesn’t understand that. Hillary Clinton does. And we can only create good jobs if we make smarter investments in infrastructure and do more to support small businesses. Not stiff them. Donald Trump doesn’t understand that. Hillary Clinton does.”
And as he spoke of an enduring American legacy he questioned Trump’s loyalty to the nation. He called him, “a dangerous demagogue,” a person who by the dictionary definition “makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.”
Bloomberg separated Trump from the great American exceptionalism, which is built on pluralism and equality, and left Trump swinging in the wild wind of “only I can solve your problems.”
What Bloomberg said to Trump is that “America is the greatest country on Earth” because it is a beacon of hope and it has never retreated in fear. It faced its most profound challenges with courage and determination.
In 2016 the question still is “who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future.” So from one billionaire to another Bloomberg told Trump that, “There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November.”