Just say no, Michael Bloomberg.
I know you’re more likely than ever to attempt an independent run for president after Tuesday night. You’re horrified at the prospect of either winner becoming president.
As to Donald Trump, who can argue your point? Right now he looks as unstoppable as he is unbearable. His giant win in New Hampshire (the word “huge” is ruined forever) was a victory for small-mindedness, for the pull of bombastic celebrity, no matter what it says.
The night before the primary, Trump gleefully repeated an audience member’s vulgar insult, calling Ted Cruz a word I won’t repeat here, for not being gung-ho enough about torturing terrorism suspects (mere waterboarding is insufficiently medieval for tough-guy Trump). A whopping 100,000 Granite Staters voted for him anyway, undeterred by the fact that his State of the Union addresses would require parental advisory warnings.
You already get this, but if ever you’ve any doubt that Trump’s cynical, racist, misogynistic candidacy is fueled by a sea of haters and their enablers, I can take you for a spin around my inbox. It’s a real treat this week, since I suggested that Muslim Americans be spared the despicable attacks he has helped lead. (“They all need to leave our country, be interned or die,” wrote one of my many charmers. God bless America!)
You’re worried, I know, about Democrat Bernie Sanders, too. You’re put off by his calls for revolution and higher taxes, his fire-and-brimstone vows to come after rich folks like you. And maybe, too, you’re worried that if it comes down to him and Trump, Sanders can’t best him. I admit, I worry about that, too.
But you’re not going to help things by getting into this race, Mr. Bloomberg.
Third-party candidates never succeed. Like it or not, only the two major parties have the resources to mobilize voters in 50 states. Even your billions won’t bridge that gap, according to Hans Noel, an associate professor of government at Georgetown University, and an expert on political parties.
“Doing politics is more than swiping your card and buying stuff,” Noel said.
A fractured nation is not going to magically unite behind Mike Bloomberg, the Medford boy who grew up to build a vast empire and run New York City for 12 impressive years.
There is plenty to love about you. But conservative voters will hate you for your support for abortion rights, your war on Big Gulps, and especially for your courageous battle to bring sanity to a nation gripped by Second Amendment absolutists. Liberals will hate you for your aggressive policing policy, and for your extreme coziness with Wall Street.
You can’t win, Mike. But you can do serious damage, a la Ralph Nader in 2000. Nader wrote a Globe op-ed this week arguing that your candidacy would be a good thing, that your mere presence in the race would put pressure on the two-party duopoly.
Nader’s is not the endorsement you want here. If you get into a race you can’t win, all you’ll do is pull votes from somebody, possibly handing victory to one side, as Nader did.
He gave us W. Do you really want to risk giving us Mr. T?
The fascinating thing is — and maybe this is a testament to your centrism, or the craziness of this cycle — the experts I spoke to couldn’t say which candidate in a contest between Sanders and Trump, or Sanders and Cruz, would lose more votes to you. Pushed to decide, Seth Masket, chairman of the political science department at the University of Denver, said you’d probably draw more voters from the Democrat, given your moderate views on social issues. Noel was equally reluctant to predict your draw, but if he had to put money on it, guessed you’d pull more votes from the Republican.
Are you OK with tipping the election to any of these characters, Mr. Mayor? Do you really want to be that guy?
Walk away. Please.
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.