It is time to deport Baltimore
WASHINGTON -- I'm sorry to be the one to say this, but somebody has to: We are going to have to deport Baltimore.
I'm not naive. I know that deporting the Maryland city, which itself is one of America's busiest ports, will be a logistical headache. And yet, it could not be clearer that Baltimore has no place in President Trump's America.
The president has in the past few days described Baltimore as a "corrupt mess" and a "disgusting," "very dangerous" and "filthy place" that "ranks last in almost every major category" and is "the Worst in the USA" where "no human being would want to live."
It's easy to see why Trump feels this way. Everything that Baltimore is, Trump is not, and vice versa. There isn't enough room in this country for both of them. Consider:
Baltimore is a city of letters, home of Edgar Allan Poe, Upton Sinclair, H.L. Mencken and Tom Clancy; Trump dishoners English in unpresidented and covfefe ways.
The Second Continental Congress met in Baltimore in the winter of 1776, and Baltimore's Samuel Chase signed the Declaration of Independence; Trump says the Continental Army "rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do."
Baltimore is where Francis Scott Key penned "The Star-Spangled Banner" while detained with prisoners of war on a British warship; Trump says "I like people who weren't captured."
Baltimore produced New York Yankees great Babe Ruth; Trump says of himself: "I was the best baseball player in New York."
Steel from Baltimore's Sparrows Point built the Golden Gate and George Washington bridges; Trump almost built a tower in Moscow.
Baltimore is the "Charm City"; Trump has insulted 598 people, places and things on Twitter over the past four years, per a New York Times tally, and he once shoved the prime minister of Montenegro.
Baltimore's blue crab is the world's finest and its aquarium world-famous; Trump's top seafood dish is McDonald's Filet-o-Fish.
Baltimore occupies a key place in African American history, with ties to Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass; Trump says Douglass is "an example of somebody's who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more."
Baltimore's Little Italy produced Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. and his daughter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Trump eats pizza with a fork.
The Baltimore Orioles were one of the charter franchises of the American League, and Camden Yards the inspiration for the modern ballpark; Trump promised to start a baseball league and failed to deliver.
Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr. is called the Iron Man for his record-setting endurance; Trump took a golf cart while other world leaders walked during a Group of Seven summit in Sicily.
Baltimore Colts (and later, Ravens) fans have been unfailingly loyal through good times and bad; Trump paid hush money to Stormy Daniels.
Billie Holiday grew up in Baltimore; Jennifer Holliday pulled out of a performance at Trump's inauguration.
Baltimore's Johns Hopkins is one of the world's top medical institutions; Trump says windmills cause cancer.
To be fair, there are a few areas in which Baltimore and Trump have some common ground: Baltimore, in the early 19th century, was the first American city to embrace gas lighting; Trump, in the early 21st century, embraces gaslighting. Baltimore inspired "Hairspray" and "The Wire"; Trump gave us "The Apprentice." Baltimore, in Trump's telling, is a "rat and rodent infested mess"; Trump's Mar-a-Lago was cited for 78 health-code violations over three years.
But these are the exceptions.
It should be obvious that Baltimore and Trumpism are fundamentally incompatible. If we are truly to Make America Great Again, we will have to send Baltimore back to the place it came from -- in this case, Ireland. (Baltimore is named for the second Lord Baltimore of the Irish House of Lords, Cecil Calvert, the first Proprietor of the Province of Maryland.) Also to be deported are other portions of the country Trump has recently deemed unsuitable: Cincinnati, Detroit and New York (Trump had tweeted that nonwhite congresswomen from these cities should "go back" to the "totally broken and "crime infested places from which they came"), and now San Francisco (Trump, in a misspelled tweet Sunday, said Pelosi's district is "failing badly" and "not recognizeable").
Some will mourn Baltimore when it is gone. I, however, will take some advice from Baltimore's favorite son.
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Baltimore!
Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
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