“And when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you.” — Roy McAvoy, Tin Cup
I wonder if modern-day liberalism’s defining moment has come with the riots and mayhem this week in Baltimore. It was easy for liberals everywhere decried the white power structure in place in Ferguson during the riots there; how do they now explain the same thing happening in a city where the power structure, from the mayor on down to the majority of the police force, is black? What happens then? And what does it mean that the governor of Maryland, a white Republican, had to step in and take the necessary measures to restore law and order to Baltimore’s streets?
What it tells me is that in this particular case it’s about time the grown-ups finally showed up and rescued a mayor who was clearly in over her liberalism-clouded head. And about time all the tired “Racism!” excuses don’t apply when it comes to the systemic misery of Baltimore’s African-American community. And about time that liberals have run out of excuses for what’s happening not just in Baltimore, but in the nation’s largest cities where, by and large, Democrats – black and white – have ruled the roost for decades.
The writers at National Review Online’s Corner blog have been on fire this week, starting with Kevin Williamson’s blistering indictment of liberalism as applied to the nation’s major cities. Here are just a few excerpts:
American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too: Blacks make up barely 9 percent of the population in San Francisco, but they represent 40 percent of those arrested for murder, and they are arrested for drug offenses at ten times their share of the population. Criminals make their own choices, sure, but you want to take a look at the racial disparity in educational outcomes and tell me that those low-income nine-year-olds in Wisconsin just need to buck up and bootstrap it?
Yes, Baltimore seems to have some police problems. But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project.
He closes out his post with this:
The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do. And the kids in the street screaming about “inequality”? Somebody should tell them that the locale in these United States with the least economic inequality is Utah, i.e. the state farthest away from the reach of the people who run Baltimore.
If you’re willing to have your eyes opened I invite you to read the whole thing.
There is also this entry by Jay Nordlinger, who pushes back against the incredibly tepid response from Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose soft response to the original violence created a mile-wide opening for a highly- organized group of agitators to make their move on Monday night:
At the first sign of lawbreaking — particularly of the violent sort — society must say No. Not one brick, not one store window. There is no excuse. To excuse lawbreaking is not compassionate, it is cruel (to all concerned). Where I’m from, the worst thing you could be was a Republican or conservative. I mean, it was terribly uncool. But life forced me into it — into conservative Republicanism. I saw that contemporary liberalism was sick at its core. I see it in Baltimore, and the responses to it, now.
Which is why Maryland’s newly-elected Republican governor, Larry Hogan, did absolutely the right thing by authorizing overwhelming force to combat the lawlessness the mayor seemed oh-so-willing to tolerate on Sunday and Monday.
The events in Baltimore should be a defining moment for liberalism and the damage wrought following a half-century of big government programs, liberal ideals and Democrat politicians so concerned about the so-called poor. I’ve written to the point of ad nauseum about how liberalism in general, and the Democratic Party in particular is no friend to African-Americans. Its targeting of so-called “entitlement programs” to the African-American community has reduced self-reliance and increased its dependence on federal and state government programs. It actively works to undercut the Christian religion which was once the social and moral center of the African-American community. Its expansion of abortion and promotion of “abortion on demand” has had a disproportionate impact on African-American generations. Its teachers unions fight every proposal designed to give African-American parents more choice and rescue their children out of failing inner-city schools. It seeks to reward illegal immigration in all of its forms, thus ensuring the country and our inner cities will be flooded with more unskilled labor, making it even harder for African-Americans to find work.
That, my friends, is today’s Democratic Party and the liberalism it espouses.
And if you even dare to call them out on this they’ll call you a racist, then play the race card to its fullest extent to get African-Americans to the polls and pull that lever for Democrats.
Modern-day liberalism, and by its extension today’s Democratic Party, is a virtual cancer on American society and the values that has made America unique in the world. You can’t and won’t eradicate it, but you can fight it with everything you have. And it’s time for the African-American community to take its place in that fight.
They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Until the African-American community stops casting their lots with the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and the Democratic Party – not to mention liberalism in general – there is little hope that anything will change.
Maybe, just maybe, the events this week in Baltimore will become a defining moment where the insanity can finally be recognized for what it is.