The Puritanical President

When Thucydides writes his History of the Cola Wars, when he finishes his account of the Eastern Front in which a billion reds, alongside an equal number of whites and blues, defeated the Red Army, when he explains how so many tin soldiers did what France and Germany failed to do—what neither all the marshals under Napoleon’s charge could accomplish nor all the generals of the Wehrmacht could achieve—when the history of this triumph reads like a tragedy, while we experience it as a farce, it will be too late; for there will have arisen an American Bonaparte. He will bestride a pedestal of phone books to deliver his inaugural address. He will hail himself as a conqueror not of men but of molecules, of sucrose and sodium chloride; of sugar and salt.

The media will call him President Michael R. Bloomberg.

Before we stockpile bottles of soda like oenophiles on a very limited budget, shelving six-packs of Coke and Pepsi like crates of Screaming Eagle and Château Lafite, before we lift the floorboards and bury liters of Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew so as to hide contraband from this ninny of a nanny, let us stop his presidential campaign before it begins.

We need only reveal Bloomberg’s record as mayor of New York City.

It is a record of contempt toward the little people—by a little man—who wanted New Yorkers to banish from their homes what he bans from his life: the brine, the butter, the layers of fat, the pools of oil and the rivers of grease, the smell of cigar smoke and the scent of smokehouses, the brisket brushed with syrup and the burnt ends braised with spices, the sound of the griddle and the sizzle from the spatula pressed against raw meat, the fried foods and the trans fat, the gallons of ice cream and the oceans of root beer white with foam.

It is a record of contempt for the law, too.

Not content to abide by the rules, he changed them.

Not content to serve two terms as mayor, and unwilling to respect the limits of power, he had New York’s City Council expand his powers by abolishing any limits in his pursuit of power.

Thus did Bloomberg win a third term by sugar-coating his pride with the sweet nothingness of patriotism, by saying he could save the city—because no one else knew how to spare the city—from a financial crisis that nonetheless struck New York and all other cities.

Such is the immodesty of a man with much to be modest about, including his disregard for history and tradition and his simultaneous regard for reason as a trump card against factions and feelings.

Such is the danger of politicians trained as engineers, who treat politics as a form of social engineering.

Such is the way Bloomberg, who is an electrical engineer by training, would train us to follow not the rule of law but the laws of physics: as if we were the input to his conceived output, as if the city—and the country, if not the whole world—were one vast circuit board, as if were transistors and transformers, as if we were relays and resistors; not resistant to change but designed to regulate heat and reduce any hindrance involving maximum efficiency.

Such is the way Bloomberg would code us to conform.

He wants us to surrender our guns by forfeiting our right to bear arms. He uses the First Amendment, which is his right, as a way to repeal our right to exercise the Second Amendment.

Even worse, he wants us to buy what he typed.

He wants us to order—and read—Bloomberg by Bloomberg, Revised and Updated.

Thus does he use the First Amendment as a way also to erase the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

As cruel to read in Braille as it is insufferable to see in print, the book is the stuff of a loser’s bid to be president of his high school class.

Boring because it is banal, and banal because it is so ordinary, Bloomberg all but dares us to defile his book by defying his words so we may follow the words of a great book—a masterpiece about book burning.

Though there are 451-plus reasons to burn it, it is better to print bad books than it is to burn them.

Some things, after all, are worse than sugar and salt.

A Bloomberg presidency is one of them.

Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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