Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have presided over the Big Apple as a Republican, but he has shown a heavy propensity for using the nanny state to guide and control Americans and curb liberty wherever he deems it a danger. From soda bans in New York to (his far more dangerous) crusade to chip away at the Second Amendment, Bloomberg has hardly been a friend to libertarians and conservatives who believe that a limited government is the best government.
As thirsty for gun-grabbing as Bloomberg may be, however, he’s not a complete loon. And that fact alone makes him a poor ally of the modern left-wing of the Democratic Party, which is all about safe spaces, impeaching Republicans, and cancelling any politician, scientist, comedian, or teacher who fails to meet their ever-changing behavioral standards. In an op-ed for his website this week, the billionaire decried this war against free speech, insisting that “without engagement, liberal democracy can’t survive.”
“Take recent demands to boycott businesses whose investors have voiced support for the president,” Bloomberg wrote. “Consumers are absolutely within their rights to withhold their patronage from any business as they see fit. It’s their money, after all. The question is not whether business boycotts are legitimate. Used judiciously, they can be an important tool for progress, as the civil-rights movement demonstrated. The question is whether Americans can live and work together without being so absolutist about politics and intolerant of viewpoint diversity.
“The essence of American democracy is that people who disagree, however profoundly, can set forth their views, let the democratic system under the Constitution settle matters for the moment, accept the outcome until the next election, and continue to engage with one another productively in the ordinary course of their lives. To put it simply, healthy democracy is about living with disagreement, not eliminating it,” he continued.
Imagine this being a controversial idea. Now take a look around at our current safe space, cancelling, boycotting culture and see very clearly that it is. We don’t find many occasions these days to take up for Michael Bloomberg, of all people, but his point here is salient and well heard. If only the people doing the hearing were the people who need to listen.