Opinion | GOP ignores inflation and crime post-election

Opinion | GOP ignores inflation and crime post-election


In the run-up to the midterms, the 2 prime points for Republicans — and, in flip, the media — had been inflation and crime. We had been informed inflation was an Achilles’ heel for President Biden and the Democrats. The crime drawback was a headache for Democrats — “devastating” even!

But Republicans’ election efficiency was historically poor. And, now, with the election within the rearview mirror, Republicans aren’t speaking a lot about both concern. They favor to spend time making an attempt to defund the Internal Revenue Service, criminalize abortion suppliers, threaten financial meltdown and beat the drum on “scandal” investigations. Instead of working to clamp down on crime, House Republicans need to examine these prosecuting the Jan. 6, 2021, armed insurrectionists and journey to the rescue of the previous president, the goal of a number of legal investigations.

As it seems, inflation and crime had been reducing when the GOP was hyping each.

Inflation declined for the last six months of 2022 as gas prices returned to pre-Ukraine war levels. (Wages went up in December as costs and consumer spending went down.) Indeed, Republicans care so little about inflation, they handed a invoice to roll back funding for the IRS, which would increase the deficit, and one other to forestall Biden from taking steps to scale back fuel costs (as he did final 12 months).

Despite being hyped endlessly on right-wing media and featured in innumerable mainstream reviews, crime charges fell, in line with the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice. Its figures present “the variety of homicides in 2022 was 4% decrease than counts recorded in 2021, representing 242 fewer murders within the 27 cities that publicly report month-to-month murder knowledge.” Although the murder fee was greater than pre-pandemic ranges, homicides are however at “about half the historic nationwide peaks in 1980 and 1991.”

Other excellent news: Aggravated assaults are down, as are drug crimes. However, “Robberies (+5.5%), nonresidential burglaries (+11%), larcenies (+8%), and motorized vehicle thefts (+21%) all elevated from 2021 to 2022. Residential burglaries fell by 2%.”

Quite plainly, the GOP (and media) hysteria surrounding crime doesn’t correspond to actuality. The real-world image is at worst blended, with violent crimes in opposition to folks declining and property thefts rising — maybe an indication of return to extra regular work patterns and the tip of shutdowns.

The GOP anti-crime rant, a part of its decades-long “war on crime” rhetoric, has an insidious racial side. “In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, adverts have labeled a Black candidate as ‘totally different’ and ‘harmful’ and darkened a white man’s palms as they portrayed him as a legal,” Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times reported. He continued, “Appeals to white fears and resentments are an outdated technique in American elections, etched into the nation’s political consciousness, with adverts like George Bush’s advert utilizing the Black convict Willie Horton in opposition to Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Jesse Helms’s 1990 business displaying a white man’s palms to denounce his Black opponent’s help for ‘quotas.’ ”

Let’s not overlook that racial bias all through the legal justice system and bigger society itself ends in crimes — disproportionately the homicide and maiming of younger Black folks from George Floyd to Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor to Jacob Blake to Tyre Nichols. The outcomes of racially tinged anti-crime hysteria (together with mass incarceration and horrific police violence of the sort seen within the video of Nichols) have been devastating to many communities whereas the policies the rhetoric conjures up have not made us safer.

But don’t count on details — both crime statistics, scenes of mass shootings or vivid, heart-wrenching proof of police brutality disproportionately victimizing Black males — to immediate Republicans to rethink their techniques. For them, crime is an election crutch to gin up their base, instill worry in suburban voters and shout down any discuss of racism as unacceptable “wokeism.” (All the whereas, they pander to the gun foyer and mock police who defended our democracy on Jan. 6, 2021.)

While Republicans stay unserious about crime, Democrats ought to deploy an all-of-the-above and fact-driven strategy. The White House and congressional Democrats can be smart to pursue police reform and additional funding for confirmed, profitable crime-fighting measures and severe gun-safety measures.

If Republicans are actually involved about crime, they need to sit down to debate affordable approaches with out injecting extra racism and its lethal penalties into the legal justice system. Alas, so long as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairs the House Judiciary Committee, don’t maintain your breath.