In his 2016 interview, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told thousands of people the reason why young people support Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders because they're not learning the basics with Western history and civics.
This interview took place in 2016, just a month after President Donald Trump won the 2016 election. His audience at that time was Oxford University's Saïd School of Business. Bloomberg stated that Sanders would've won the race if only he got the Democratic nomination. This is because, in Bloomberg's opinion, young people don't know and have no idea on what they're doing.
He said "I don't mean to knock young people - I wish I was one again - but young people listened to [Bernie Sanders] and they said, 'Yeah, Democratic: That's good. Socialism: Yeah, that's that social media stuff.' Because our kids no longer learn civics in school, they longer study Western history, they no longer read Western literature."
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Bloomberg continued "We are trying to change and dumb down the system and if you don't know what happened in the past, you're going to have to relive it."
In the video, Bloomberg responded to a woman who asked whether or not he agrees that lack of communication or socialization between the upper and lower classes led to the breakdowns in society and the election of Trump or Brexit. Bloomberg answered that social grouping has less to do with race and gender than it does with class, because people of the same class generally care about the interest of that class. He did say that the widening wealth gaps do lead to gaps in understanding.
He then told the audience "Look at a mirror if you want to see why society is the way it is. We're the ones that didn't see Brexit coming, not the people in the rest of the country. We're the ones that didn't think that Donald Trump had a chance; I don't know anybody that thought Donald Trump had a chance." In his opinion, the lack of education among the lower classes was not to blame.
After this, he took the chance to say his thoughts on young people who support Sanders. In a Vice article, they've concluded that centrists are necessary to moderate the impulses of "extremists" on both sides of the political spectrum.
In his words, Bloomberg said "It's very dangerous, the world we're going into. You see both the left and the right coming up here, and the middle is getting unfortunately not listened to anymore and it's the extremists that are going to shape the political culture if we're not careful going forward. And we've had extremism before, particularly on this continent, and it didn't work out very well."
When Bloomberg was asked if he still stood by his words in that 2016 interview, spokesman Stu Loeser responds with another jab, stating "The Bernie who ran in 2016 called himself a truth teller. Even Bernie wouldn't honestly say that about himself anymore - let alone his allies."