Opinion | Crime: Red Delusions About Purple Reality

One factor is visibility. As Bloomberg’s Justin Fox did shownNew York City is one of the safest places in America – but you’re more likely to see a crime, or know someone who’s seen one, than other places because the city has a much higher level of exposure. . population density than anywhere else, meaning there are usually more witnesses around when bad things happen.

Another factor could be the tendency of people to believe stories that confirm our prejudices. Many people instinctively feel that getting tough on crime is an effective crime-fighting strategy, so they tend to think that places where it is less difficult – for example, places that do not prosecute certain crimes. violence – incur higher guilt as a result. Here not appear is true, but you can see why people might believe it.

Such misconceptions are facilitated by the longstanding disconnect between the reality of crime and public perception. Violent crime halved between 1991 and 2014, but most of the time, most Americans tell the pollsters that crime has increased.

However, only a minority believe it is increasing in their area. The trend to believe that crime is terrible, but mostly elsewhere, was confirmed by an August poll that showed a large gap between the number of Americans who consider violent crime a problem. serious issue. nationwide and a much smaller number of people who consider it a serious problem where they live.

Which brings us to the efforts of the right-wing media and Republicans to weaponization of crime as a matter of midterms – efforts that one must admit are working, despite the breadth of the crime wave, more or less affecting red and blue states, rural areas and urban, etc. shows that nobody’s fault.

Maybe these efforts will gain traction no matter what Democrats do. However, it is also true that so few Democrats have responded effectively.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul arrived very late to the party, apparently realizing just a few days ago that crime is a big problem that she needs to deal with. On the other hand, Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, seems to have harbored fear, claiming that he has “never seen a crime of this level“, An assertion that contradicts his own Police Department data. Even after the 2020-21 increase, serious crime in New York is far below its 1990 peak, and in fact still lower than when Rudy Giuliani was mayor.


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