By Barry Rubin
“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” –Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Well, is it still there? Is it? Or has it been lowered over Fort McHenry? Has Baltimore and other American cities surrendered to blight, to an irreversible downward spiral? Is American going to go cheering into decline, praising itself for its environmental purity, high-mileage autos, pristine multicultural manners?
A few years ago I was on a book tour in Baltimore. They put me at a nice downtown hotel and I had some time before the evening event. So I decided to eat something at the coffee shop in the lobby. But it was a bit cool so I went upstairs to put on a jacket. When the elevator opened on the lobby the door was blocked by a gurney. Medics were wheeling out a dead body. Police guarded the entrance of the coffee shop, not letting anyone go in. Someone had been shot dead.
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I went on to the bookstore and begged a sandwich there. Well, that’s not fair to Baltimore, of course. But it’s a true story. It is a wonderful city and fond to me for two reasons.
First, growing up in the artificial, tax-payer funded paradise—well, no, but that’s another story—of Washington DC, for me Baltimore was the real America. A harbor, a real baseball team (postpone discussion of Washington Senators); industry and real workers, people who actually did something productive for a living. Not to mention Fort McHenry; and later the aquarium; the science museum; and the USS Torsk, a World War Two submarine that played a very important part in my life (that story for another time); the USS Constitution and the USS Constellation.
Second, I fell in love with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and industrial history. The B&O was American first railroad. Its task of crossing the mountains was so daunting that the history of the B&O is called Impossible Challenge. It was at the center of the Civil War and to this day I am editor of the Sentinel, the B&O Historical Society journal.
BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT. This article is my very angry equivalent of an indictment on contemporary “Progressive” “liberalism” and the greedy SOBs who are wrecking America as they sip cocktails like so many pre-revolutionary French aristocrats and sneer at the peasantry.
Al-Jazira, the revolutionary Islamist, anti-American, pro-terrorist television network (praised by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!) has made a documentary on Baltimore. I haven’t seen the documentary but I’ve been Baltimore.
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The theme is basically this: You Americans are a hypocritical joke. Your society is a wreck; you’re going down and you dare preach to us about liberty and democracy! Look at Baltimore! Its industry is gone; its buildings are decaying; its street corners are full of African-American unemployed men with nothing to do with their lives.
And you dare preach to us?
You know what? Al-Jazira is right.
And what is America’s first black president, a phony “community organizer” doing about it? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Hire more teachers and even more important more useless administrators. Save obscure fish. Make damn sure nobody explores for oil off the coast. Build high-speed rail nobody needs.
And what about rebuilding the cities? What about creating job? What about putting America back together again: Detroit, South Los Angeles, East St. Louis, and the list goes on. Here are the great heroes of the poor and downtrodden, with their John Kerry tax-cheating yachts; their Harry Reid corrupt land deals; their Nancy Pelosi multi-million-dollar vineyards; their destruction of the American auto industry, and the energy industry.
These people are not liberal heroes. They are reactionaries in disguise. They don’t give a damn about the American people, including the poor, especially the poor. They are not lifting a finger to rebuild America, to save the country.
Now here are two novel ideas. First, this is not about liberals versus conservatives. That’s all outdated. This is about those who want to build a productive America that can rebuild the cities and create jobs and have decade schools and those who profit from looting the productive sector until the camel’s back breaks.
We are not talking about rich, fat-cat, greedy, arrogant and elitist conservatives. We are talking about rich, fat-cat, greedy, arrogant, and elitist radicals pretending to be liberals who care about the average American.
And I have a name for them: DINOs, Democrats in name only, and you can note the similarity to the word dinosaur.
Do you know what’s really happened in America? Under the banner of humanitarisnism it is an alliance of the worst political elements: the corrupt big city do-nothing, steal-,money political machines; the corrupted old-style good-government upper middle class movements; the do nothing in exchange for welfare lobby )with Obama having unilaterally eliminated workfare), and the crony capitalists who cannot make money on their own so have to loot it from the public trough.
And what is their solution to Baltimore and Detroit and the other urban blight? Not to increase productivity but to loot the suburbs to lower the entire country to a more minimal level. And this is what passes for compassionate liberalism?
Second, here’s a novel idea for you. If you are looking for courageous “liberal” reformers, forget about this crew of poseurs and think of a couple of guys named Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. If you are a Democrat, if you are a liberal, if you really care about saving America from a long slow decline then think a moment: what’s needed is real change, not phony slogans. People who know how to get things done; not how to tell pretty lies.
Think about it. This is going to be the most important political decision you ever make. Do it so there’s some home for change in Baltimore and everywhere else.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in
International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East
Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press.
Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition),
The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle
East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center and of his blog, Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.