President Biden plans a big speech later today to address some startling statistics: The murder rate is up almost 25%, even more in big cities and shows no sign of slowing down. Of course, the increase in crime has absolutely nothing to do with the defund the police movement. There’s nothing to see here, please move along…
Last month, CNN’s resident propagandist, Stephen Collinson, proclaimed that the United States was about to return to the roaring 20’s, an era after World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic marked by social and economic indulgence. To be sure, Mr. Collinson included a few caveats, everything from a marked increase in violent crime in inner cities to concerns about a Republican led war on science, but ultimately he concluded, “despite the caveats, the prospect of a new version of the ‘Roaring ‘20s’ — when a generation that endured the Great War and an influenza pandemic let its hair down — does seem in reach. The lifting of national gloom is becoming increasingly perceptible in the parade of daily moments from coffee shops to airports and ballparks to restaurants that are slowly moving from novel to normal.”
Yesterday, however, Mr. Collinson noticed that some of our challenges might be more intractable than he thought less than a month ago. Instead of clear skies ahead, he declared “America is heading into a best of times, worst of times summer as the longed-for promise of deliverance from Covid-19 is tempered by spasms of violent crime, economic false starts and unexpected obstacles on the road to freedom.” Of course, in Mr. Collinson’s mind, none of these things have anything at all to do with the occupant of the Oval Office or his Democrat party. “A new presidency has restored science to its rightful place. The more than 600,000 dead are honored, not ignored. And the most important antidote in a national crisis — truth — has made a White House comeback.”
Alas, even these substantial achievements are overshadowed by reality, making the “hopes of a sudden transition to a new and carefree ‘Roaring 20s’…elusive.” As Mr. Collinson explains, “While Washington has been fixated by former President Donald Trump’s undimmed assault on democracy and the audacious debut of the Biden presidency, the rest of the country has had more immediate concerns.” One of those immediate concerns is a rapidly unfolding crime wave that has grown too large for even the media to ignore. They will certainly try, but when the overall murder rate throughout the United States increased by almost 25% between 2019 and 2020, despite the pandemic, people are going to notice. That’s thousands of lives needlessly lost.
The numbers for urban areas are even worse, up about 40% and continuing to rise. According to The New York Times of all places, there was an increase of another 18% across 37 cities this year alone. All told, 63 of the 66 largest police jurisdictions saw an increase in some kind of violent crime in recent years. New York City, for example, seems poised to return to the bad old days with shootings up 73% in May compared to 2020. It’s not just shootings either. Over Memorial Day weekend, a man was stabbed in the neck with an umbrella at a Harlem subway station and another was beaten badly by muggers in Midtown. All told, 55 transit related incidents were reported that week, up 21% from 2020. The Daily Mail reports that “For every million riders in the first three months of this year there were a reported 1.63 felonies. That was up from 1.06 reported felonies per million riders in 2019 – a 53.7 percent increase.” The number of felony assaults over the first three months of the year was as high as it’s been since 1998.
The situation is getting so serious that President Biden plans to address the matter in a speech later on today. Unfortunately, Democrats and their progressive allies seem incapable of making any connection between the rapid increase in crime and the movement to defund and demonize the police, as if these two phenomena occurring at exactly the same time is purely a coincidence. Instead, they prefer to blame the actions of criminals on the guns they carry, even though gun violence is only one type of crime. Mr. Collinson put it in this baffling fashion, “questions are being raised over whether the pent-up frustration of months of social distancing and consequential mental health issues are combining in a fatal mix with a nation awash in firearms.” He continues, “some police chiefs feel they are now confronting the possibility that a confluence of factors — including economic deprivation, psychological strain, booming gun sales and constrained budgets in some political jurisdictions following a racial awakening after the murder of George Floyd — are joining to create a self-sustaining momentum of violence and unrest.”
To support this fantasy, they quote Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul. “We have seen the data change, peoples’ state of mind change, ever since the Covid pandemic has presented so many challenges from the economic hardship, the stress, the anxiety. We have to deal with the causes of crime and not just arrest our way [out] of this.” While no one knows what Biden will add to the discussion, the Administration appears to be onboard with this insane interpretation of events. Last month, Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to acknowledge a crime problem, saying it was a gun problem. When asked if there was a “crime problem,” she replied with this gobbledygook, “I would say certainly there is a gun problem, and that’s something the president would say, and there are communities where local violence, community violence is an issue. That’s one of the reasons that we have proposed and now are implementing funding for community violence prevention programs across the country.”
Lest you think I’m being overly harsh, consider that simultaneous with these disturbing crime trends and the head-in-the-sand refusal to connect any of this with either BLM or Defund the Police, the mainstream media is also running another set of stories that implicitly makes that same connection, as if their right and left brains have been completely severed. NPR notes that “A Year After George Floyd’s Death, Plans for Minneapolis Police Reform Have Softened.” The New York Times describes it as “A Year After George Floyd: Pressure to Add Police Amid Rising Crime.” CNN itself even says “Defund the police encounters resistance as violent crime spikes.” Who could have possibly imagined that slashing the number of cops on the streets, limiting their ability to intervene in violent situations, and demonizing if not actually prosecuting them anytime they do, even going so far as to attack an officer who defended a woman being attacked with a knife earlier this year, would have an effect?
None other than Donald Trump of course, on the campaign trail just this past year. According to The Hill, “Former President Trump sought to frame crime as a central issue in his 2020 campaign. Trump cast himself as a tough-on-crime candidate, trumpeting his support for law enforcement and calling for crackdowns on protests as unrest rippled through the country after the murder of George Floyd. Trump would frequently cite rising crime rates in cities during campaign rallies, blaming Democratic leadership in urban areas for the issues and casting Biden as soft. The Trump campaign repeatedly questioned whether Biden would condemn riots and looting and attempted to tie him closely to progressive Democrats who supported defunding the police.”
Even worse, it’s not just defunding the police and the general behavior of progressives toward the police. No, they’re not satisfied to just leave it there. They also seek to release criminals and eliminate prisons. Under the guise of “bail reform,” California, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, New Mexico, Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, and more have all passed laws greatly limiting or eliminating cash bail, meaning criminals can no longer be held pending trial. Instead, they’re back out on the streets, sometimes the same day of their arrest, committing more crimes. How could anyone have possibly imagined this wouldn’t turn out well?
Not content to let criminals roam the streets before their trial, progressives are also moving to limit our ability to lock them up after their conviction. In fact, just last week, Democratic Senators announced they want to “revise” the 13th Amendment to change the nature of incarceration in the country, permanently. “At the moment that we are celebrating, if you will, the 13th Amendment and the end of slavery and its eventual announcement…we should at the same time recognize that the 13th Amendment was flawed,” Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said. “It enabled states to arrest people for any reason, convict them and put them back into slavery.”
To be sure, the change they are pushing technically refers to prison labor only, but does anyone really believe that is their end goal? I certainly don’t, when leading progressive lights like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say, “I know the term ‘prison abolition’ is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out. Yet the US incarcerates more than anywhere in the world. We have more than enough room to close many of our prisons and explore just alternatives to incarceration,” I take her at her word.
Of course, Mr. Collinson and his progressive kind ignore all that, preferring to wallow in fantasies about how we’re witnessing an “emerging scenario” where the United States is divided into healthy blue states and sick red states. I’m serious, he actually makes that precise claim, “An emerging scenario, for instance, of a nation divided by Covid — between vaccinated Democratic states and skeptical and sickened conservative bastions — is deepening an already bitter political estrangement.”
No, Mr. Collinson what is deepening our estrangement is your inability to acknowledge objective reality while continually lecturing us on your evidence-based bonafides, an increasingly common trend in progressive circles. This crime wave was predicted by Donald Trump and many others. The situation is so obvious there’s a term coined almost 10 years ago to describe it, the Ferguson Effect. The outcome we are seeing is only surprising in your progressive fantasyland where letting criminals loose and demonizing the police has no impact on the crime rate. The rest of us are capable of making the connection, even as we acknowledge there is certainly room for improvement in policing. You see, those of us who still live in free-thinking America can understand concerns about policies like stop and frisk and the Biden-supported 1994 crime bill, while still believing we need to lock criminals up for the safety of the primarily minority citizens they’re terrorizing when they’re on the streets. Sadly, this is the same lack of logic when it comes to border security where a tenfold increase in border crossings somehow has absolutely nothing to do with repealing every policy that was in place to discourage crossings.
Ultimately, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Democrats are a party absolutely incapable of acknowledging the output of their own policies. On crime and the border, this is precisely what they asked for and yet they seem surprised at the outcome. As if to make this point even more clear, Mr. Collinson continues to bemoan the state of the economy as another potential crisis for Biden. “Vaccinated diners flocking to finally reopened restaurants sometimes find there aren’t enough waiters and line chefs to serve them. Some staff have moved on. Others rely on government unemployment benefits that pay nearly as well as the grind.” Paying people more not to work, ends up with less people working, you don’t say?
This, ladies and gentleman, is the party of science and evidence in the year 2021. I submit to you that no religious cult ever had their head more in the sand and I doubt they’ll be taking an actual look around themselves anytime soon.