The American people are watching two separate movies on the same screen again. To those who accept reality, Baltimore is a dumpster fire of a city, engulfed in the flames of corruption, destitution, and mortification. To those who can never agree with President Donald Trump on the most elementary objective truths, Baltimore’s tragedies are really being distorted by people who suffer from supposed anarchic insecurities. Guess which side the cable news networks are on?
You Dirty Rat
President Trump recently did what he does best. In an uncouth manner, Trump used the cold hard truth to send his virulent detractors into a delusional hissy fit, handwringing and pearl-clutching about racism and other neoteric progressive tropes.
His latest musings were directed at Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the city of Baltimore, a once-thriving East Coast metropolis that regularly enjoyed winning sports teams, economic prosperity, and desirable living conditions. Now the city has turned into a rat-infested (literally!) jurisdiction with little prospects.
The president tweeted:
“Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous.
“His district is considered the Worst in the USA as proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
As expected, the media escalated the remarks to Code Red, and now it seems everyone on the left is in an uproar. Trump is being accused of racism (again), a virtue-signaling social media hashtag campaign is trending (again), and possibly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will hypothesize that this is truly the nail in the president’s coffin and grounds for impeachment (again).
British columnist Katie Hopkins may have summed up the situation best in a tweet comparing what Trump says to everyone else: Facts vs. “tweet a close up of a flower / share a hashtag. Feel better.”
Baltimore: Life on the Street
In the 12 months ending July 1, 2018, Baltimore suffered a net loss of more than 7,300 residents, or 1.2% of the city’s population, according to US Census Bureau data. This represents the largest single-year decline in two decades and the fourth consecutive annual population decrease. Today, just 600,000 live in Charm City, which is good for 30th in the country – behind Louisville, KY, and ahead of Milwaukee, WI.
Why are people, particularly families, fleeing to the suburbs and neighboring counties?
The first obvious reason is crime. Baltimore has been named one of America’s most dangerous cities and dubbed “Most Robbed City.” Just take a gander at these statistics from 2017, courtesy of the FBI (per 100,000 population):
- Homicide: 55.7
- Robbery: 958.71
- Aggravated assault: 949.7
- Forcible rape: 62.29
- Motor vehicle theft: 843.2
- Arson: 42.5
Reasonable people would agree that these are not figures to be proud of or for other cities to emulate. Unfortunately, we no longer live in rational times; this is an age to do something foolish just to own the other side.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the upward trend in crime is a result of a police officer shortage, low morale among cops who stay on the job, weak political leadership, and a high turnover of police commissioners. Others contend that the Freddie Gray riots also sparked a firestorm of perpetual crime.
The second reason for thousands absquatulating from the city is the decades of horrid economic policy, implemented by every Democratic administration since the 1960s. One of the biggest obstacles to maintaining a decent standard of living and attracting young families is the property tax rate. Baltimore homeowners are slapped with a 2.248% property tax rate, double that of nearby counties. With more exiting the city every day, the remaining residents are forced to endure a larger share of the tax burden. Yet, the well-connected receive sweetheart deals in the form of tax breaks, often paying 16 times less than homeowners.
That’s not all.
Baltimore has a 6% unemployment rate, one-quarter of residents live in poverty, and B’More is primarily a low-wage service economy, accounting for about one-third of all jobs. In recent years, many prominent factories have shut down operations, including a General Motors facility and an Ikea furniture factory.
Times have changed for a jurisdiction that used to be a leader in manufacturing and energy.
The third reason has to do with the horrific state of education. In 2017, The Hill ran this headline: “Baltimore’s failing schools are a tragedy of criminal proportions.” Most public-school students cannot read or write at their respective grade level. Seventy percent of those who successfully graduate high school need remedial assistance in basic reading and math when they enroll in a two- or four-year college program. Despite the putrid results, the city spends $16,000 per student and pays thousands of staff $100,000 a year, including teachers, administrators, contractors, and consultants. You cannot help but wonder if education is an excuse to raid the piggy bank anytime a public official or crony professional needs quick cash.
Baltimore is now hoping to turn things around by welcoming immigrants and refugees into the city. Or, as The American Thinker put it, Baltimore is adopting the Angela Merkel model.
‘A Third World Country’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was right when he said in 2015 that “you would think that you were in a third world country” if you visited Baltimore. No word yet if the media think this was a racist thing to say.
Are you a white, affluent, and progressive family from Seattle, New York City, or Beverly Hills? Do you believe the fake news commentary coming out of the mainstream media and think President Trump’s remarks are driven by racism? Well, the best way to own Trump is to migrate to the middle of Baltimore and really proclaim that #WeAreBaltimore. Put simply, stop virtue-signaling on Twitter and Facebook and start walking the walk.
We live in an age when the president tells the truth, and the media try their best to prove that the opposite is true. If Trump were to say that water is wet and necessary to live, the mainstream press would have wall-to-wall coverage of why this is climate change denial, racist, and grounds for impeachment. Then, celebrities on social media would record themselves crying, Democrats would convince themselves that this is worse than Watergate, and patients diagnosed with Trump Derangement Syndrome would initiate a water strike, choosing to dehydrate themselves to protest the administration. Baltimore may not be a war-torn wasteland, but we should still accept the fact that it is not the personification of the American Dream.