Populist Sanders versus billionaires Bloomberg and Trump?
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If the campaign for 2016 becomes a three-way race between Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Trump was right about 'trying to end endless wars' Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico Bernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' MORE (I-Vt.), billionaire Michael BloombergMichael BloombergHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ The truth behind companies' 'net zero' climate commitments The strategy Biden needs to pass his infrastructure plan MORE (I) and billionaire Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE (R), the band will be playing "Hail to the Chief" for President Bernie Sanders after his inaugural address in January 2017.

A Sanders race against the two billionaires would be a fitting climax to a race that currently pits the only populist campaign — Sanders's — against the Democratic establishment, the Republican establishment, the Wall Street establishment and the corporate media establishment. To understand why and how strongly Sanders would win this three-way race, consider that Sanders is already defeating Trump by landslide double-digit margins in multiple polls of the national race and races in both Iowa and New Hampshire.


Americans do not want an America that is an oligarchy dominated by the wealthy and the special-interest lobbyists and super-Pacs they finance. Americans do not want our nation to become the kind of society Pope Francis has called a "cult of money." Americans do not want a political system where those with the most money can buy the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Bloomberg was generally a good mayor of New York City. But while Sanders champions the cause of economic equality advanced by Francis and the Occupy Wall Street movement, it was Mayor Bloomberg who sent the police in the middle of the night to evict Occupy Wall Street from a city park in New York.

While Bloomberg was a brilliant investor and builder of a great company, it is Sanders who champions the dramatic Wall Street reform that Bloomberg stands against.

While Trump pretends to be a populist while he insults and berates one group of Americans after another, it is Sanders who fights for an economy that will lift all Americans and bring the change that Americans hunger for.

The thought of Sanders standing side by side with Trump and Bloomberg in a presidential debate warms the heart and thrills the soul of liberals across America. That would be a debate that is a real debate, a choice is a real choice, and an event for the political ages that the media would dub "Bernie versus the billionaires." In this debate, working men and working women, poor men and poor women, middle-class men and middle-class women should learn in the most clear terms the one candidate who is the true friend of the 99 percent and his two billionaire opponents who the true friends of the 1 percent.

The small donors who have driven the fundraising of Sanders to become virtually the equal of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in campaign fundraising would be in overdrive for the battle between Bernie and the billionaires. The Sanders campaign would never be able to match the money of the two billionaires, but Sanders would not need to, because the entire nation would know that Sanders vs. Trump and Bloomberg would be the ultimate battle between the David of American populism against the Goliaths of vast fortunes.

What a debate that would be! What a choice that would give the voters. What a moment of truth that would be for the politics of America.

A Sanders-Bloomberg-Trump race is not likely to happen, but if it does, I'll make my reservations for Bernie Sanders's inauguration in January 2017.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.