A war of words broke out this week between President Trump and Elijah Cummings, the Democrat who represents Maryland’s 7thCongressional District, which encompasses Baltimore.
The skirmish started when Cummings berated Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Kevin McAleenan over conditions at Customs & Border Patrol detention facilities at the southern border. The president, never one to take without giving back, said to Cummings via Twitter that Cummings would do well to take a look at the horrible conditions in his own district – most particularly Baltimore – before leveling criticism at the administration.
Predictably, Trump was branded – again – as a racist.
Where the racism is in the president’s observation is objectively hard to find. He never mentioned Elijah Cummings’ skin color. He never mentioned the ethnic makeup of the City of Baltimore.
What he did was state an observable fact. Baltimore is an urban catastrophe.
As recently as 1980, Baltimore was a top 10 American city with close to a million residents. Today, with a population of just over 600,000 and dropping, it ranks number 30 – eight places behind El Paso. Baltimore has lost population in every census since 1980. It has the highest murder rate in the United States, suffering 300-plus homicides per year — more than New York, a city 14 times its size.
There are 17,000 abandoned buildings in Baltimore. Those vacant buildings are home to rats, cockroaches and drug dealers. A recent TV news report from Baltimore featured an African-American mother who makes her children sleep on the floor in order to avoid the possibility of being hit by stray gunfire.
Baltimore’s decline mirrors that of other once great American cities, examples of which include St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee.
So question: What do these cities have in common? Answer: All have been dominated by one-party Democrat rule for decades. The last Republican mayor of St. Louis left office in 1949. The last Republican mayor in Baltimore departed in 1967. Cleveland has had Democrat mayors in 63 of the last 77 years and 29 of the last 29. Detroit’s last Republican left in 1962. And Milwaukee, for practical purposes, has never had a Republican mayor.
President Trump, unlike any of the Republican presidents who held office while these cities were deteriorating, dared call out the sad state of Baltimore to its elected congressional representative, Elijah Cummings.
In doing so, he by extension calls attention to the other troubled American cities that suffer under single-party Democratic political domination.
No Republican president prior to Trump has had the gumption to tell the truth about anything if there existed even a microscopic chance that it might evoke a charge of racism. This despite the fact that pointing out failure makes one a realist, not a racist. Fear of a racism charge means that nothing gets fixed.
Of course, Democrats don’t really want to fix cities like Baltimore. They’d rather just keep taking the votes of beleaguered citizens for granted. Weaponization of the “R” word has allowed them to do that.