Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bloomberg's Politics of Fear



The clocks are changing tonight. it's the last Saturday before Election Day. I speak with my friends to find out what goes on behind the scenes and what doesn't make the papers. A man who works in government, who asked to remain unidentified told me he spoke to one of the people who endorsed Mike Bloomberg publicly, who told him a very different story off the record.

"Yeah I'm endorsing Bloomberg. I want my program funded. If I go for Thompson, my funding gets cut. Am I endorsing Bloomberg? Sure! Do I have a choice? No! Am I voting for him? No way! I'm voting for Bill Thompson.

I have spoken to people who report a crime and get treated like criminals. They call the precinct for a complaint number and get blown off, told to call back later. The report gets lost. The crime never happened. Bloomberg's crime numbers are lies. He is like the old joke, where a guy asks his doctor what the easiest thing to do is for his condition.

"Touch up the X rays". The doctor replies.

Mike Bloomberg has done a great job of touching up the X rays. He is the master of illusion. But the city he speaks of in his glowing spinfomercials is a castle in the sky that does not conform to the reality on the ground.

When his education results are held up to scrutiny, it seems that New York trails on a national level. Tests are dumbed down to create the illusion of progress.

So I have a mayor with an election strategy straight from George Orwell's Ministry of Truth. He takes money from the tax payers and uses it to intimidate people who are helping people in New York and bullying them into giving endorsements they don't really believe in. When unemployment goes up, he shines the spotlight elsewhere. He creates the aura of inevitability to the prospect of his reelection by saturating the airwaves, broadcast media and the internet with his propaganda. his election campaign is a textbook example of how campaign finance reform can be subverted and eviscerated by anyone wealthy enough to do so.

Bloomberg likes to say that he is above the special interest groups, neglecting to say that he IS a special interest group. The fact that he financed his campaign on his own has insulated him from any need to answer to the people , except at the polls. Perhaps this is why he looks so ill at ease in a debate format. His arrogance, aloofness and indifference to public concerns is written on his face and imprinted on his manner of governance.

There is an air of Nixonian desperation, an extreme overkill to Bloomberg's reelection campaign. Behind the smug exterior is a vindictiveness and a willingness to retaliate against those who do not endorse his coronation efforts. I will be voting Tuesday to save the city. I will be voting to make government more respectful to and responsive to the people. I will be voting for Bill Thompson. Sphere: Related Content

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