The front page of Friday’s New York Times admitted voters were worried about crime, which may bode well for Republicans in Tuesday’s elections – but the reporters also did their best to chip away at that argument in “Fear of Crime Looms Large for Voters, to Republicans’ Advantage.”
After anecdotes from three crime-concerned voters from across the country, reporters Julie Bosman, Jack Healy, and Campbell Robertson consistently worked to deflate the Republican arguments, as if the American people were suffering false consciousness and just imagining a crime wave around them.
The report even suggested crime wasn’t really affecting most people, just those in certain cities, or their “friends and neighbors”:
Though polls show that voters’ biggest concerns are about the economy and inflation, many Americans -- especially more conservative voters like these, but also moderates and liberals -- say they are gripped by worries over crime and disorder. Even though national crime trends are mixed, these voters have seen reports of homicide spikes in places like Memphis, Milwaukee, Albuquerque and Jacksonville, Fla., and have heard from friends and neighbors who have been victims of car thefts or muggings.
In many cases, their anxieties stem not from experiencing serious crime, but from seeing homeless encampments, or finding a syringe or human waste on the sidewalk, or reading accounts in their neighborhood social networks of vandalism on a local bike path.
These concerns are generally benefiting Republican candidates, who have bluntly blamed Democratic elected officials for a surge in violent crime in many cities that began during the pandemic and has yet to fully subside. Conservative news outlets like Fox have also focused heavily on crime, as has local TV news. In interviews, voters criticized liberals’ efforts to eliminate cash bail, decriminalize marijuana and decrease funding for police departments, even if those policies have not been put in place where they live.
….most of the party’s candidates focus far more on assailing progressive criminal justice policies or the “defund the police” movement, which most Democratic candidates have rejected.
After defending Democrats from the “defund the police” charge, the reporters dragged out a pathetic liberal comparison: Crime was actually higher in the 1990s. They argued that “[c]riminology experts pointed out that in most parts of the country, crime rates were still substantially below the levels of the early 1990s despite the recent increases”.
In other words, what are you guys complaining about?
So, by following their logic, it’s now wrong to be concerned about crime in poor neighborhoods:
And even if most Americans are insulated from the frequent shootings and robberies that plague many poor urban neighborhoods, they now say they feel more personally vulnerable to getting murdered, mugged, burglarized or sexually assaulted….
They found a Wisconsin resident worried about “reports of thefts in California cities, which she sees reported on Fox News,” which “drive her mad with fear and rage.” (That sounds rather over-dramatic.)
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was also found guilty of baselessly scaring voters: “Ms. Lake often accuses Democratic-run cities like Phoenix or Tucson of failing to support the police and of coddling criminals. But her attacks are less about data than about stoking voters’ feelings of unease”.
The real irony, though? It's that this came from the paper that has been trying to scare readers with COVID hysteria for almost three years.