Megan Brenan has this report for Gallup with the above title:
Americans’ concern about crime and violence in the U.S. has edged up in the past year, and for the first time since 2016, a majority (53%) say they personally worry a “great deal” about crime. Another 27% report they worry a “fair amount,” which places the issue near the top of the list of 14 national concerns — behind only inflation and the economy, and on par with hunger and homelessness.
Crime, policy, and politics have gone in a depressingly predictable cycle. The American people were pitched a bill of goods that going soft on crime could be done without increasing crime, and perhaps even lower it. Fueled by billionaire-funded campaigns and viral videos, they bought it, having forgotten the lessons of the last third of the twentieth century.
We went soft on crime in the 60s and 70s. Crime rates soared until peaking in the early 90s. We got tough on crime in the 80s. Crime rates dropped in the mid-to-late 90s, continuing into the early 21st century. (There is a lag between policy and effect.) None of this is a coincidence. Sentencing policy is not the only factor in crime rates, but it is an important component.
More recently, with soft crime policy, crime is predictably up. As crime goes up, people get concerned. They are waking up from the woke delusion, and politicians are noticing.
Even some Republicans had been soft on crime. Some had a libertarian bent all along. Others, I suspect, had been bought with Koch Brothers money. I am not hearing those noises from the GOP side of the aisle these days.
On the Democratic side, the fringe left remains criminal-friendly, but the more moderate ones don’t seem to be running scared of them as much. They are making efforts to toughen their image, though their record of past votes can and will be used against them in the court of public opinion. The “defund the police” slogan proved politically toxic and is nearly dead. In California, one recall of a “woke” DA is on the June ballot, and the signature drive to recall another is on trajectory to meet the deadline this time.
It is discouraging that so many people are so gullible and have such short memories as to fall for such claptrap in the first place. It is tragic that it takes blood running down the gutters to wake them up. But so it goes.
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