Two weeks ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary sodas was struck down as “arbitrary and capricious” by a state Supreme Court judge. However, Bloomberg remains persistent. The Big Apple’s Nanny-in-Chief has instead decided to boost his governmental babysitting credentials by throwing his multi-billion dollar fortune into the national gun control debate.
Bloomberg has promised to spend $12 million on a nationwide ad campaign designed to push senators in swing states to pass gun control legislation. His confidence has soared since his super PAC, Independence USA, secured Chicago’s congressional seat for Robin Kelly, an anti-gun Democrat.
Being the buttinski of New Yorkers’ bodies and businesses is nothing new for Bloomberg. Over the course of his 10-year tenure as mayor, he has either pushed for or passed restrictions on salt, sugary soda, trans fats and, most recently, the visibility of cigarettes in convenience stores, according to the New York Times. However, this national power play is new.
Bloomberg’s persistent meddling into people’s personal lives, while condescending, is completely concurrent with his view of government. As he bluntly put it last Sunday on Meet the Press, “I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom.”
This comment, coupled with his intention to use his billions to curb our constitutional right to gun ownership, makes him, in my opinion, genuinely terrifying.
One might ask, is Bloomberg free to fund his favorite candidates? Sure; after all, it is a free country. His ad blitz is an exercise of his free speech rights. Just because he’s a billionaire doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be heard.
Lucky for liberty though, Bloomberg does not seem particularly popular with most Americans. The Orwellian ordinances that he has championed in New York have been lamented across the country, from late-night talk shows to the water coolers.
Because of his debatably moderate positions on taxes and social issues, centrist pundits have been trying to market Bloomberg as a harmonizing, post-partisan politician. With his proposed soda ban, he brought Republicans and Democrats together in a show of bipartisan mockery and became the poster-child for nanny statism.
Bloomberg’s campaigns to restrict smoking, soda and so-called “assault weapons” may have won him the dubious distinction of being the “most pro-life politician in America,” according to New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman, but no national movement to elevate the busybodying billionaire has caught fire.
In essence, Bloomberg represents the many ails of the American body politic. He is a meddling billionaire who uses the law and his fortune to force people into adopting his vision for a healthy society. At the heart of all his efforts is the word “control:” gun control, tobacco control, obesity control and more.
No one wants, and no one needs, a national nanny. Mayor Mike could do more good by putting his money elsewhere, or even by just leaving it in a savings account. At least it would do no harm there.