Eleven of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world are in the United States. All are governed by democrats. 27 of the 30 cities with the highest crime rates in the country are governed by democrats. Homicides have grown the most in counties that vote Democratic.
These results seem less surprising if we take into account that the Democratic Party, especially in cities, has adopted a soft policy on crime. Adding to the wave of events following George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, many cities went down the path of police defunding. Many have eliminated cash bail, a policy that increases the incidence of crime. Several prosecutors have stated that they will not prosecute several misdemeanors. And all these policies are financed by the deep pockets of George Soros.
Under these conditions, it is difficult to argue that Democratic policies do not favor crime. But some scholars are striving to reach these conclusions. According to an analysis by Parker Thayer at the Capital Research Center (CRC), these attempts have not been successful.
An article explaining why its author is wrong
Thayer refers to three cases. The first of these is a celebrated article from the ultra-left website The Atlantic. In it, Ronald Brownstein writes an article entitled, What's really going on with de crime rate? The article is very well written, however, it does not cleary demonstrate the point that the lax crime policies of progressive prosecutors have not led to higher crime. It is enough for Thayer to excerpt the conclusions of the article itself:
Brownstein concedes, among other things, that
- National crime rates reversed their downward trend around 2014.
- Left-wing progressive DAs first became popular in the "mid-2010s,".
- 20 percent of the country now lives in the jurisdiction of a left-wing progressive DA compared to "essentially none 10 years ago" when crime rates were at an all-time low.
- There is "no clear alternative explanation" for rising crime rates besides the proliferation of left-wing progressive DAs.
The article offers many opportunities to disprove his thesis, which is, to disprove the idea that progressive prosecutors are behind the rise in crime in the United States.
The Third Way Report
Thayer then refers to a report prepared for Third Way, which drew several conclusions that appeared to be definitive against the Republican Party's security policy:
- The rate of murders in the US has gone up at an alarming rate. But, despite a media narrative to the contrary, this is a problem that afflicts Republican-run cities and states as much or more than the Democratic bastions.
- In 2020, per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden.
- 8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century.
However, the interpretation of the data is not so conclusive. The Capital Research Center researcher cites an article by Mark A. Thiessen in The Washington Post. Thiessen stresses that one of the problems with the report is that "in most of these red states, the high murder rates are driven by the lethal violence in their blue cities."
It is not the states, but the cities
On the other hand, the complaint that the states in which the homicide rate grew the most are Republican seems to have less relevance when the following is taken into account:
Third Way also claims that 3 of the 5 states with the largest increase in murder rate between 2019 and 2021 were "decidedly rural" red states - "Trump-voting Wyoming at 91.7%, South Dakota at 69%, and Nebraska at 59.1%." Sounds terrible. Here's what they left out: According to FBI data Wyoming had a grand total of 13 murders in 2019, or 2.2 per 100,000 residents
while South Dakota had 17 and Nebraska had 45. So even if Wyoming's murder rate nearly doubled, it still saw fewer than 30 murders in 2021. What else are these red states missing besides large murder numbers? Large, crime-ridden, Democratic-run cities.
In short, what Mark A. Thiessen is trying to make people see, is that crime is a local phenomenon. Thayer fails to cite another article that is even more telling about the Third Way report. It was written by Rafael A. Mangual in The New York Post.
Mangual stresses that this phenomenon can only be understood from a local analysis. For example, Mississippi
had 332 murders in 2019, giving the state a murder rate of 11.2 per 100,000. Jackson saw 76 of those homicides, giving it a murder rate of 46.5 per 100,000. Without Jackson, the state's murder rate drops by 18.7% to 9.1 per 100,000.
Jackson is a Democratic city. The same analysis can be done on a state-by-state basis.
Difference between Democratic cities and the rest
On the other hand, Mangual points out, "criminal homicide is primarily (which does not mean entirely) a problem that resides within large cities." Regarding the 50 most populous cities in the country, "the homicide rate in the blue cities was 15.8 per 100,000, compared to 9.4 per 100,000 in the red cities and 10.9 per 100,000 in the two cities with Independent mayors."
He again quotes American Enterprise Institute expert Mark Thiessen, who reminds us:
Take Missouri. Yes, it voted for Trump. But it is also home to two of the most dangerous U.S. cities - St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which are run by Democrats. Earlier this year, CBS News analysis of the "deadliest U.S. cities" using the latest FBI and other crime data. In 2019, it found, St. Louis had the highest murder rate in the nation, with 64.54 murders per 100,000 residents. Kansas City, meanwhile, had the eighth-highest murder rate, with 29.88 murders per 100,000. According to the FBI, In the last two years, the state had about 520 murders in major metropolitan areas that year, 20 in cities outside metropolitan areas, and 28 in non-metropolitan counties. So, the vast majority of Missouri's homicides took place in its Democrat-run cities.
The Atlantic article explained the reasons why its author was wrong. In the case of the Third Way report, experts have pointed out that its arguments are of little relevance. But there is a third attempt to rescue the Democrats from the accusation of being behind the rise in crime in the country.
This is a study entitled, Violent Crime and Public Prosecution, and was published by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, at the University of Toronto. The main finding is that "from 2015 to 2019, for instance, the study found that murder rates increased in a smaller share of cities with progressive prosecutors (56 percent) than in those with traditional prosecutors (68 percent) or prosecutors who fell in the middle (62 percent)." Thayer points out that this data is not very relevant, because the analysis stops in 2019. It does not enter 2020, "the banner-year for left-wing progressive criminal justice reform." It also does not take into account state or local legislative changes, nor changes in security budgets, such as police budgets.
Where does this effort to explain that lax crime policies by Democratic mayors and prosecutors are not responsible for the increase in crime in the country come from? Thayer points to the source of the money: George Soros' Open Society Foundations, which, on the one hand, finances the political careers of progressive prosecutors, and on the other, funds studies that attempt to justify those policies.