Despite the fact that the Democratic Party has already held its first presidential debate, and that one candidate has already dropped out of the race, billionaire progressive activist Tom Steyer has decided to try his hand in a bid for president.
“I think what people believe is that the system has left them,” Steyer said in a campaign announcement video. “I think that people believe that corporations have bought the democracy, that politicians don’t care about or respect them, don’t put them first, are not working for them, but are actually working for people who have rigged the system.”
Steyer has a background in finance that earned him the nickname “California’s Hedge Fund King.” He founded and was the co-managing partner of Farallon Capital, a hedge fund that manages $20 billion in assets for high net worth clients.
He is as progressive as any Democrat candidate, and served on the board of trustees at liberal Stanford University from 2012 to 2017. His four-minute campaign launch video detailed his life growing up during the Civil Rights era, and the lives of his parents who lived through the WWII era.
“We have a society that is very unequal,” he said. “And it’s important for people to understand that this society is connected. If this is a banana republic with a few very, very rich people and everybody else living in misery, that’s a failure.”
He lamented Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the legal status of people, and their ability to influence American politics. He then linked that issue to climate change, a go-to issue for every Democratic Party presidential candidate.
“When you look at climate change, that is literally people saying ‘we’d rather make money than save the world,'” he said.
The video, which had a decidedly populist tone, noted that behind most major political decisions were big money lobbies.
“Americans are deeply disappointed and hurt by the way they’re treated by what they think is the power elite in Washington, D.C. and that goes across party lines, and it goes across geography,” Steyer said.
He ended the video by announcing his presidential run.
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Peter D’Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.