If Progressivism makes so much gosh-darned progress, then please explain to me why Freddie Gray drank his water from leaden plumbing. His family is suing the city. Their child is dead. They probably voted repeatedly for the people that helped make their own city a killing ground worth of Al-Anbar Province in Iraq. Here’s a brief bio of Freddie Gray that appeared in The Washington Post.
Freddie Gray’s life and death say much about the difficult problems that roil Baltimore. As a child, he was found to have elevated levels of lead in his blood from peeling lead paint in his home, leading to a raft of medical and educational problems, his family charged in a lawsuit. His friends remember him as a smiling, friendly guy who liked nice clothes and deplored violence. His criminal record says he operated on the periphery of the drug game. He did a short stint in prison, and according to news reports, his mother used heroin.
Much of the attention after the recent rioting in Baltimore has focused upon the visible flashpoint. Liberals have bemoaned a culture of police misconduct and disrespect for individual rights. Conservatives wonder where this big and bad police force was hiding while Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave the rioters “space to destroy.” Others, such as Funnyman Jon Stewart, trotted out tired and broken ideological shibboleths that directly contrasted with reality.
If anything, law and order issues resulting from the war on drugs are a symptom; not the disease. The disease is that the people running Baltimore as a one-party state since 1967 when the last GOP Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin stepped down are immune from any pressure to change what they are doing. The primary source of political information in a democracy is election results.
If you are winning, it must be what works. Keep doing it. In a competitive series of elections, this puts a positive evolutionary pressure on all groups of politicians competing for power. In Baltimore, this political evolution is in rewind to the point where people in Inner-City Baltimore drink lead-poisoned water from the municipal plumbing fixtures. Presidential contender, Martin O’Malley did a great job of using Baltimore as a springboard to the Governor’s Mansion. Critics claim he left the place a tinder-pile just waiting for a spark that would touch of the current conflagration.
But policing isn’t what’s wrong with Baltimore. It goes far deeper. Mayor O’Malley and Mayor Rawlings-Blake hold diametrically opposing views on police roles and limitations. You would have to compare the law-and-order beliefs of [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] to Rudy Giuliani to get anything close to that stark a juxtaposition amongst Republicans. The unasked question would be why Baltimore stinks to the point where a Libertarian approach to law enforcement causes the explosive de-tensioning of a tightly-cocked helical coil.
This brings us around to the view that Progressives have towards those over whom the rule.* When the leadership of an area could truly care less if the people who live there live or die, they quite simply develop a higher propensity to die. They die much sooner. In some extreme cases, they die sooner than people in North Korea or even ISIS-infested Syria.
Another way of looking at it is to compare life expectancies in Baltimore to various countries. If Roland Park’s life expectancy is similar to Japan’s, then Downtown/Seton Hill would be closest to Yemen. Roland Park would be the 4th longest-living country in the world while Seton Hill would be the 230th. Fifteen Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea. Eight are doing worse than Syria.
No matter how much money they spend, no matter how many times they quote Gandhi or Maya Angelou, Liberals do not care. This shows up on the bottom line. This shows up in the very guts of the plumbing in Baltimore, Md. The Left has governed Baltimore as a SWPL fiefdom for the past five decades. Its peasants are living the lifestyle that a conquered Goth could have expected to live as a villain in about 850AD. This is the true achievement of Progressivism when it is given unlimited power.