All around us failed Democratic leadership is insisting on being recognized. As Baltimore, a great American city, teeters on a precipice, media and politicians still tiptoe around the truth, knowing if reality was actually acknowledged, the entire liberal narrative would collapse.
Thirty years of liberal leadership is dooming Baltimore. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat, is also the secretary of the Democratic National Committee. She is now infamous for her comments at a press conference during the riots that she wanted police “to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” and announced, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
Ms. Rawlings-Blake has since said her comments were taken out of context, but I found them refreshingly honest. Finally, a Democrat admitted the agenda. Later, a senior law enforcement official told Fox News that the mayor had issued a stand-down order to the police during the riots.
A native Baltimorean, Ms. Rawlings-Blake’s father was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and in the early 1990s she was a lobbyist for Young Democrats of Maryland. She represents a long history of liberal activism that has consigned so many in Baltimore to despair and hopelessness.
Consider the condition of Freddie Gray’s Baltimore neighborhood. Mr. Gray’s death while in police custody is what started protests, which degenerated into self-serving riots by thugs, victimizing the entire community.
On Friday, the new city prosecutor charged six police officers involved with Mr. Gray’s arrest and death with several offenses. The fact is, though, the horrible series of events we’re facing is only a byproduct of decades of political abuse and abandonment of a community.
Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post linked on Twitter to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute and Prison Policy Initiative. He tweeted this shocking reality: “Jaw-dropping stats on Freddie Gray’s Baltimore neighborhood: half of residents not working, 33 percent of homes vacant.”
Those statistics (through just 2012) tell us even more about what decades of liberal leadership gets you: 51.8 percent unemployment for those ages 16 to 64; families receiving federal welfare assistance: 25 percent; 9th-12th grade students chronically absent: 49.3 percent; population 25 years and older without a high school diploma: 60.7 percent; number of narcotics calls per 1,000 residents: 464.8; mortality rate for 15-25 year-olds: 19 per 1000.
If numbers could illustrate despair and hopelessness, these would do it. One of the arguments from the report is redirecting funds from prisons would help the community. Yet more money doesn’t cure incompetence and malevolence. Democrats keep arguing it’s the “1 percent” and insist the issue is race-based. For a city run by Democrats, mostly African-American, and a police department that is comprised almost evenly of white and black officers, that usual liberal narrative doesn’t hold water.
Bottom line: Generations of Democratic so-called leadership is why so many great American cities are in trouble — they’re imploding under the weight of generations of hopeless, victim-based liberal politics and polities.
Cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York don’t just suddenly lose their minds and mysteriously decline into a state of nature. Having no trust in the citizen, liberal politicians feel it is their duty to micromanage people’s lives. Because, you see, they’re better than us and they’re gonna prove it.
In New York, once again under the boot of the liberal menace, the Democratic city council speaker is proposing decriminalizing “minor” offenses, like urinating in public, drinking in public, jumping turnstiles to beat fares, littering, riding a bike on the sidewalk, being in a park after dark and making excessive noise.
All these activities make a neighborhood unsafe and unlivable. They may seem minor, but they speak directly to the quality of life. One of the arguments is arresting people for these crimes disproportionately affects people of color in their own neighborhoods.
The truth is pandering to the creeps and losers in society condemns the law-abiding in those neighborhoods to a disgustingly lower quality of life. All in the name of improving the quality of life for people of color.
No matter what your complexion, no one wants to step over a puddle of human urine while avoiding the biker on the sidewalk after you’ve had no sleep because the police won’t come for the drunk jerk honking his horn and screaming all night long, only to be hit in the face by another jerk throwing his to-go coffee cup outside his car. Because littering, not a big deal.
This is the madness wrought by liberals. Crime goes up, people move away, buildings become vacant, depression increases, crime increases, cities collapse. Combine that with the liberal economic punch in the gut of regulations and taxes that discourage entrepreneurs, destroy small businesses and jobs, and you have the typical American city run into the ground by your friendly neighborhood I-feel-your-pain, hope-and-change Democrat.
Last week New Yorkers also heard their city council was contemplating ordering the “dimming” of the New York skyline. Why? Because bright lights interfere with the comfort of the nesting sea turtle. And disturb monarch butterflies. And upset the mating habits of frogs. Seriously.
Last year, Maryland rejected the successor to its fool of a governor, Martin O’Malley, and gave the job to a Republican. The new Baltimore prosecutor is from Boston. The people of Maryland and their great city perhaps are realizing they need to choose different leadership if they are to survive. I hope all great American cities under the liberal boot are realizing that as well.
• Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host, author and Fox News contributor.