SOCIALISTS and their fellow travellers like to broadcast that democracy is being subverted by Big Money and Big Data. They do this because socialism has been given a proper drubbing not just in the UK but across the world for the last decade. Since socialists cannot explain this by blaming the practical and intellectual failures of socialism, they are required to blame something else.
In the first place they blame the voters. They have yet to work out that this is not the best way to encourage voters to change their preferences. They will then state that the voters are unsophisticated and easily led. Rebecca Long Bailey did this in her car-crash interview with Andrew Neil last week when she did not blame the policies contained in Labour’s manifesto for last year’s General Election, but declared that the manifesto was written in ‘quite intellectual terms sometimes that were quite alien to many of our communities’. Nice one, Becky.
Socialists revert to blaming conspiracies by the rich and connected for their repeated failures. This will inevitably drift into anti-Semitism, and it has done so while the Labour Party has endured four successive General Election defeats. In is in this vein of conspiracism that there have been numerous stories of a former mayor of a major city who has enjoyed repeated electoral success on the national stage not because of his presence or the policies he champions, but because he has had access to considerable funds and been able use these to leverage voter data to his advantage through a highly directed use of social media. It has been not quite openly suggested that due to the power of social media in the electoral process that some past election results were bought and paid for, sometimes using the resources of unfriendly foreign powers.
And this is how Mike Bloomberg captured the Democratic Party nomination to face off against Donald Trump in the autumn.
No, wait a minute. Something’s wrong.
Bloomberg, after spending half a billion dollars in his campaign, has pulled out of the race. A multi-billionaire, Bloomberg made his money by providing market information to traders in the financial services industry. He built his fortune on the capture, formatting, and delivery of large quantities of data in approximately real time. If anyone had the resources and capability to satisfy Left-wing paranoiacs and buy the US Presidential Election, it was Bloomberg. And yet, despite having served as a (Republican) Mayor of New York, he failed when facing off against Democrat politicians with years more experience of elected office than his three terms at the helm of New York. It can’t have just been because he had metaphorically crossed the floor, having previously been a Democrat himself. Churchill crossed the floor and succeeded. Twice.
The failure of Bloomberg and his millions to defeat veterans such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders is evidence that money and data alone cannot deliver votes. Bloomberg won the mayoralty of New York three times without sufficient controversy to dog him in his bid for the Democrat ticket. Yet Mayor Bloomberg did not have what it took to prevail over Obama’s Vice President and the senior Senator from Vermont. And Joe Biden, one week after his dominant Super Tuesday performance, has bested Senator Bernie Sanders again in the Michigan Democratic primary.
Will the demise of Bloomberg and his half-a-billion-dollar war chest silence the tinfoil hat brigade of Lefties? Unlikely. But we have seen a real-world lesson in the limits wealth and databases have to shift voter sentiment.