Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey made headlines a couple of weeks ago with a rant against Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Plank’s Port Covington development, claiming that the proposed development will further segregate the city and saying this about Plank:
“He is not a local. He is not from Baltimore. He does not live in Baltimore. He is not about Baltimore. He is himself, an occupying, colonizing, culturally appropriating force.”
As if that was not enough Dorsey, who is white, also said that a meeting that Plank attended with President Donald Trump and other business leaders amounted to “white supremacy cozying up to white supremacy.”
In a tweet I described Dorsey as a fool for attacking Plank as a carpetbagger, if only because the city desperately needs people who do not live in the city but nevertheless care about it and are willing to invest in it, especially Marylanders like Plank. In a recent letter to The Baltimore Sun Dorsey proved that he is more than a fool; he is a reckless bomb-throwing idiot.
In his letter Dorsey doubled down on his criticism of Plank for meeting with Trump because by doing so, according to Dorsey, Plank “aligned” himself with the Trump administration and because meeting with the president “normalizes figures like President Donald Trump and White House adviser Steve Bannon.” Why Dorsey believes that a single meeting with Trump in the company of other business executives to discuss the future of manufacturing in the United States means that Plank has “aligned” himself with Trump is one thing but his accusation that advising the president “normalizes” Trump and Bannon is quite another and displays Dorsey’s true colors.
Dorsey used a term (“normalize”) that gained currency during the presidential campaign of Mr. Trump as another way of saying that someone did something that added an air of legitimacy to Mr. Trump or his message; in other words, something that tended to counter the impression that Mr. Trump was not a “normal” (legitimate) candidate and should not be treated as such. In the eyes of many opponents of Mr. Trump it referred to the act of improperly treating someone on the lunatic fringe as if he was a normal person.
I have news for Dorsey: Mr. Trump is the president of the United States and we need to accept that reality if we are going to deal with it successfully. The mindset that he is not “legitimate” leads to misguided and dangerous concepts such as the proposition by Dorsey that people of good conscience should not undertake to advise or counsel the president.
On the contrary, when for example it comes to foreign policy and the use of military force we may in the future be damn glad that someone as cool-headed and savvy as James Mattis is willing to serve in Mr. Trump’s cabinet. Dorsey apparently believe that Mr. Trump should get all of his advice from people like Steve Bannon and the latest whack job who seems to have his ear, 31 year old advisor Stephen Miller, to whom I now refer as Oberführer Miller because of his pronouncement that “the media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” (Stay tuned, by the way, as more about the background of Miller is published.)
Dorsey’s mention of Bannon in his letter is ironical, because Dorsey is the mirror image of Bannon, albeit on the other end of the political spectrum from and a lot less sophisticated than Bannon. As I observed in a prior post Bannon is by nature an anti-establishment bomb-thrower more interested in disrupting the status quo rather than repairing it; during Mr. Trump’s campaign his approach appealed to disaffected voters willing to blow up the establishment in hopes that something better would arise from the ashes.
I am as concerned as Dorsey about the direction Mr. Trump and his administration are taking this country, to the extent that I set forth in detail in the above-referenced post my thoughts on how the tide could be reversed. The difference is that Dorsey appears to believe that Mr. Trump somehow can be run out of office and that if Mr. Trump is deprived of all sound advice from sensible and successful citizens like Plank his departure will be hastened.
Think about it for a moment: Why would depriving Mr. Trump of advice from “normal” people hasten his exit? Because without sound advice Mr. Trump might continue to make calamitous decisions that lead to his downfall? Is that what we or Dorsey really want? It seems like a risky strategy to me, given the rather dangerous world in which we live.
I recommended an approach based on the strategy of persuading Mr. Trump that he needs to distance himself from the influence of Bannon. I don’t know if my strategy can succeed; if anything Mr. Trump seems to be growing more erratic and unpredictable. I do know that I am not willing to adopt the same strategy that got us into this mess, which is based on the idea that you blow everything up and then hope against hope that order magically emerges from chaos. Whack jobs on the left are no more helpful than whack jobs on the right.
Dorsey’s antics are just one more reason to be disheartened about Baltimore. Bomb-throwers typically do a lot more harm than good in local government and the Baltimore City Council has enough problems without having to deal with someone like him.
February 14, 2017