"In focusing on America’s rising rates of violent crime leading up to the midterm elections, Republicans were routinely accused of playing a dirty trick on voters.“We don’t really have a common definition of what crime means,” crime-statistics analyst Jeff Asher asserted in an October interview with NPR.
Apparently, the range of activities that constituted a violation of statute made it difficult to discern what voters meant when they said “crime.”
- And when “crime” wasn’t a nebulous concept that eluded the unsophisticated, it was cast as a problem presided over by Republicans. “Research has repeatedly shown that crime is rising faster in Republican, Trump-supporting states,” wrote Clinton-era Labor Sec. Robert Reich.
- It certainly wasn’t rising in cities led by lenient progressive prosecutors, as the Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein noted, citing the entirely dispassionate research produced by the Center for American Progress. Indeed, violent crimes such as homicides and rapes were down in 2022, according to the FBI’s midyear survey. “Violent crime is not soaring,” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank asserted. “In fact, it might be declining.”
These formless arguments orbit around one animating imperative: Neutralize the crime issue...