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Democrats Think Downplaying Rising Crime Rates Is a Winning Strategy — They Are Dead Wrong

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Some on the left seem to think they can ensure a Democratic victory in the upcoming midterm elections by convincing the American public that the rising crime rates are no big deal. If they believe they can gaslight the populace into ignoring what’s clearly in front of them, they are in for a rude awakening next year.

You might recall that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in June, demeaned those concerned about the increase in violent crime by referring to their worries as “hysteria.” During a conversation with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), she said:

Now, I want to say that any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much, but I also want to make sure that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context so that we can make responsible decisions about what to allocate in that context.

Recently, Third Way, a think tank that doesn’t seem to do much thinking, released a brief echoing AOC’s sentiments. Jim Kessler, policy chief for the organization, also referred to concerns over rising homicide rates as “hysteria.”

NBC News used the report’s findings to assure its audience that everything is fine because Third Way contends that “contrary to the media narrative, overall crime decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.”

But, as anyone who has been following this trend over the past year recognizes, the problem with Third Way’s argument is obvious: Property crimes and other types of nonviolent offenses have dropped. But guess what? Homicides and other violent crimes have seen a sharp increase over 2020 and even in 2021.

In a piece written for City-Journal, author Charles Lehman writes:

To reach their conclusions, Third Way analysts Kylie Murdock and Nathan Kasai collected data on the frequency of seven crimes—murder, aggravated assault, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, and motor-vehicle theft—in 2020 from 22 states and Washington, D.C., and compared them with 2019 rates of the same offenses in the same states. They conclude that crime fell by about 4.9 percent between 2019 and 2020—but this figure is essentially meaningless because it combines all the major categories.

Lehman continued, pointing out that police reported about 8 million crimes to the FBI in 2019. But Third Way’s analysis found that “rapes, robberies, burglaries, and larcenies fell—but that aggravated assaults rose 11 percent, automobile theft rose 15 percent, and murder rose a shocking 31 percent.”

The Bureau also released a report on Sept. 27 which found that murders increased by 29.4 percent in the U.S. It marks one of the greatest single-year increases ever documented in U.S. history.

The Epoch Times reported:

The federal law enforcement agency’s data show that 21,570 homicides were reported in 2020, which is 4,901 more than in 2019. The overall violent crime rate, including murders, assault, rape, and robbery, was up by about 5 percent, while property crimes decreased by 8 percent in 2020, the data show.

The FBI released a statement pointing out that “in 2020, there were an estimated 1,277,696 violent crimes.” The statement continued:

When compared with the estimates from 2019, the estimated number of robbery offenses fell 9.3 percent and the estimated volume of rape (revised definition) offenses decreased 12.0 percent.

Nationwide, there were an estimated 6,452,038 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates.

The data doesn’t lie – but apparently, leftists like the ones at Third Way do.

But even without knowing all of the data, Americans are not going to buy what the left is selling. Anyone living in or next to a major city knows that violent crimes have been on the rise over the past year. Indeed, 2021 might see another increase in these offenses.

The reason why the left is lying about the increase in crime is obvious: They spent the past two years demonizing law enforcement and pushing ludicrous policies like “defund the police.” Indeed, in the cities that slashed police budgets in a way that resulted in fewer police officers on the streets, violent crime has flourished.

This further demonstrates that the hard left’s attempts to diminish the ability of police to do their jobs was a major miscalculation, one that will undoubtedly contribute to the losses they will experience in 2022. Now, they are attempting to do damage control by pretending these anti-police measures did not play a part in the rising violent crime rates. Unfortunately for them, it’s not going to work.