Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to France this week to receive the country’s top civilian honor.
The “Legion d’Honneur,” an award that “embodies the ideals of liberty,” was given to Bloomberg by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Tuesday at the Quai d’Orsay.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) September 16, 2014
The former mayor took to social media to thank Fabius, who also tweeted his excitement in giving Bloomberg “the insignia of Commander.”
Bloomberg joins several other high-profile recipients including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alan Greenspan and Bono.
The trip was also used by Bloomberg to push for government solutions on climate change at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development conference, ironically only days after satellite images revealed Antarctic sea ice cover to be at record high levels.
Given Bloomberg’s track record, many New Yorkers and Americans alike may dispute the former mayor’s liberty credentials.
Bloomberg, a staunch anti-Second Amendment advocate with countless armed body guards, publicly worked earlier this year to censor gun-themed fan pages on Facebook. The move came only one month after nearly 50 mayors quit Bloomberg’s gun control group, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” when one of its members leaked their gun confiscation agenda.
Last year, fresh off his attempts to ban large sodas, Bloomberg ordered the New York Health Department to write legislation targeting cigarettes, which in several leaked drafts called for a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes.
In what may be his most symbolic case, the former mayor even pushed Gov. Andrew Cuomo to not approve a bill legalizing holiday sparklers. According to Bloomberg, sparklers on the Fourth of July would undoubtedly benefit terrorists seeking to harm innocent lives.
Bloomberg’s support of the “Stop and Frisk” program, which was ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court judge last year, saw countless innocent New York residents searched by police. The former mayor also received backlash after calling for more than half a million residents to be fingerprinted “for their safety.”
“If you have strangers walking in the halls of your apartment building, don’t you want somebody to stop and say, ‘Who are you, why are you here?’” Bloomberg said. “What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in, since there’s an allegation that some of the apartments aren’t occupied by the people who originally have the lease.”
Despite his clear disregard for basic liberty, the former mayor told reporters earlier this year that he has definitely earned a place in heaven for his great deeds.
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed,” Bloomberg said. “I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”