You don’t have to look very far to find a Republican politician attacking Democrats for paying insufficient attention to rising crime rates.
The GOP’s virtual captive party news organization, Fox News, regularly features headlines decrying record-breaking homicide rates in Democratic-run cities, strongly insinuating that the problem is related to the Democratic leadership in those cites.
A new report from a “center-left” think thank, Third Way, refutes those sorry, lazy talking points from Republicans. by presenting them with some hard truths about crime in America.
“Murder rates are far higher in Trump-voting red states than Biden-voting blue states. And sometimes, murder rates are highest in cities with Republican mayors,” the Third Way report reveals.
With Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for a “crime wave spreading across the country” — claiming that “Democrat politicians defunded police, raised money for rioters, and pushed policies that are soft on crime — the Third Wave report provides some embarrassing facts.
“The homicide rate in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco was half that of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, a city with a Republican mayor that overwhelmingly voted for Trump,” the report points out.
It’s not just McCarthy’s home district of Bakersfield that suffers from the higher crime rate that the GOP is attempting to pin on Democrats. Looking at the date for 2020, the report finds that:
“Per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden.”
It seems that the Republican myths about Democratic stewardship of policing are about as factual as their claims about election fraud stealing the presidency from Donald Trump.
“We found that murder rates are, on average, 40% higher in the 25 states Donald Trump won in the last presidential election compared to those that voted for Joe Biden. In addition, murder rates in many of these red states dwarf those in blue states like New York, California, and Massachusetts,” the Third Way report states.
Moreover, it appears as if this is not a recent phenomenon.
“8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century,” Third Way’s analysis declares.
“Mississippi had the highest homicide rate at 20.50 murders per 100,000 residents, followed by Louisiana at 15.79, Kentucky at 14.32, Alabama at 14.2, and Missouri at 14. The national average was 6.5 per 100,000 residents, but the top five states had rates more than twice that high.”
It seems as if the Republican rhetoric around crime is based upon cynical political ambition rather than having any grounding in actual facts.
It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to understand that lax gun regulations and open carry laws create an environment that leads to more — not less — gun violence and higher homicide rates.
It’s unfortunate that intelligence is exactly what the Republican Party is lacking when it comes to gun and crime policy.
Original reporting by David Badash at Raw Story.