There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind about a decision you made, a political stance you held, or reversing feelings on something after you’ve obtained all the facts. With knowledge comes understanding, and those two tools bring enlightenment which may many times lead to a change of heart – or mind. But what if those modifications are not due to knowledge gathering, but are brought about by peer or societal pressure?
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, looks to be doing exactly this. As we already know, he won two terms as a Republican, then another term as an Independent. Now he has fully embraced being a Democrat and is poised to throw his cap into the presidential race. His recent apology for the stop-and-frisk procedure he previously vehemently advocated seems to be just another example of a politician changing his beliefs to adhere to a particular demographic or political trend.
Speaking to the congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in East New York, Bloomberg said, “I got something important wrong. I got something really important wrong – stops on the black and Latino community.” The Church has a large, predominately black population. “I want you to know I realize back then I was wrong,” he added.
However, the policy is something the former mayor has adamantly defended, even as recently as January of this year. While speaking at the United States Naval Academy’s 2019 Leadership Conference, he was still championing stop-and-frisk. When asked by a midshipman what he would say to the black and Hispanic communities regarding the controversial policy, he said:
“We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system … kids who walked around looking like they might have a gun, remove the gun from their pockets and stop it. The result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.”
Bloomberg’s sudden change of heart could be just a huge coincidence. However, since the politician has a history of changing his mind and which side of the aisle he supports, it is more likely he’s making a run for the next commander-and-chief and is saying exactly what he thinks people want to hear.
“As crime continued to come down as we reduced stops – and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit – I now see that we could and should have acted sooner, and acted faster, to cut the stops.”
A lot of credit has been attributed to the policy for reducing crime in the city, even though many researchers argue that it has had little to no impact. Some suggest putting more police officers in dangerous neighborhoods has been more beneficial than ever. Still, even with the strategy receiving so much criticism, Bloomberg stood fast to his belief and said that he “was totally focused on saving lives.” It wasn’t until he seemed to be a contender for the White House that he suddenly developed a moral conscious and apologized to his former constituents. Is it just a fluke that he has officially signed the paperwork to be a candidate in the Alabama Democratic presidential primary?
Unfortunately, an abrupt change of tune is a tactic used by politicians from all areas of the Swamp. It’s a game of find out what the people want the most and then tell them what they want to hear. It doesn’t matter if the candidates supported or rejected said policy before because now they’ve seen the error of their ways and will modestly apologize for being blind to the truth before now. The promises begin to flow while insulting their “enemies” for believing in or doing exactly what they, themselves, did until they saw the light.
It is not surprising, then, that Bloomberg has changed his mind about his pet project. He has already changed his political party to garner more votes. The next question is: Will the American people believe his change of heart?
Read more from Kelli Ballard.