The Republican Failure On Crime

The Republicans’ odd closing argument is that because crime is up in the red states, people should vote for Republicans to keep them safe.

The Republicans are using crime as their closing argument in 2022. In many states, the GOP’s arguments on crime have veered into playing the race card. The GOP is using darkened images of African-Americans and alleging that they are dangerous. It is reminiscent of the infamous Willie Horton advertisements in 1988.

It’s time for some straight talk on crime. Simply stated, the Republicans have failed to keep us safe from crime. Voting for Republicans won’t reduce the crime rate. Any voter who believes the Republicans will keep us safe from crime is sorely mistaken.

The cold hard reality is that homicide rates are much higher in the red states. According to a 2022 study from The Third Way: “In 2020, homicide rates were a stunning 40 percent higher in the 25 states that former President Donald Trump won compared to the 25 won by current President Joe Biden. Of the 10 states with the highest 2020 per capita murder rates in America, eight of them not only voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, they voted Republican in every presidential election this century.”

Despite the higher homicide rate in red states, the “liberal” mainstream media hasn’t reported on the crime wave plaguing Republican run cities. “Lexington, Kentucky, which has set back-to-back murder records , has a homicide rate twice that of New York City. Tulsa and Oklahoma City have Republican mayors, a Republican governor and murder rates that dwarf that of Los Angeles. Jacksonville was the murder capital of Florida in 2020 with its Republican mayor, governor and a stratospheric homicide rate that if it were matched in New York City would’ve added more than 1,000 murders that year.” The, April 20, 2022.

And that’s not all. “The homicide rate in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco was half that of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, California, one with a Republican mayor — with overwhelming Trump support and not a whiff of flirtation with defund the police movements.” The April 20, 2022.

Closer to home, we’ve seen a 400% increase in fentanyl overdoses in the Omaha area the last two years. Moreover, homicides increased 61% in Omaha in 2020. Don Bacon, Jean Stothert, and Don Kleine have failed to keep their constituents safe. Despite that record of failure, Bacon and Kleine are running on a tough on crime platform. It beggars belief.

A review by Jeff Asher, an analyst who studies crime trends, indicated that murders increased in 2020 by approximately 29 percent in cities with a Democratic mayor and 26 percent in cities led by a Republican. Another recent policy brief by Third Way, a center-left think tank, points to relatively high rates of violence in “red” states — underscoring the truly national nature of the 2020 crime increase and the lack of a clear relationship with specific policies.”

What this means is that the Republicans are gaslighting the voters when they claim the increase in crime is due to what’s happening in the blue cities. The reality is that the crime rates in blue and red cities are very similar. That tells us that it is the red states that are suffering the most from the current surge in crime.

The Republicans and the “liberal” mainstream media would like you to believe that Democratic policies have caused the current spike in crime that began when Donald Trump was president. (Crime had been in steady declined between 1993–2019.)

From The Brennan Center on July 12, 2022:

“Broadly, it does not appear that policies associated with criminal justice reform were a significant contributor to recent trends in crime and violence.

More broadly, some critics have asserted that policies adopted by progressive prosecutors and “blue-state” mayors — such as declining to prosecute certain nonviolent offenses or to seek bail in some cases — contributed to rising crime. But there is no evidence to support these claims.”

If liberal Democrats didn’t cause an increase on crime, why did it happen?

“Three explanations help explain the increase in violence. The Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns disrupted all aspects of life, including the social services that can tame crime and violence. The high-profile police killings of 2020 and the protests that followed strained police-community relations. And Americans bought a record number of guns in recent years.” NY Times on April 17, 2022.

The Republicans are directly responsible for the proliferation of guns and resulting crime wave. The reason why we are undergoing a surge in violent crimes is because it’s simply too easy for unsuitable people to obtain guns. And the blame for that falls squarely on the shoulders of Republicans due to their long time fealty to the National Rifle Association or the gun lobby.

“Gun sales increased in 2020 by 40%.

Gun deaths increased in 2020 by 30%.

That’s not a coincidence. If more guns made us safe, the U.S. would be the safest country in the world.” Chris Murphy tweet.

Let’s be clear: it’s been Republican policies that have made it easier for people to obtain guns. Republicans are misleading the voters about the actual cause of rising crime to protect their allies — the gun manufacturers. You can not complain about violent crime if you are not tough on gun violence.

The Republicans do want to crack down on women and their doctors. Across the country, Republicans have pledged to imprison women and their doctors who seek out reproductive health care. Apparently, that’s a high priority for them.

We Democrats need to acknowledge the validity of concerns over the recent crime surge, while also pointing out that MAGA Republicans who talk tough on crime have failed to keep crime low.

Any questions?

Vote Blue in 2022!



I’m an aspiring historian, defender of democracy and a sports fan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dennis Crawford

I’m an aspiring historian, defender of democracy and a sports fan.