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Letter from Sherwood Guernsey

Let’s Get Honest About Crime

Trump and the Republican Party constantly rail about rising crime rates. But that’s not real life in America today. They’re making it up.

In 2023, murder rates plummeted faster than ever before, according to FBI statistics.

Murder is down 12.7 percent with a decline registered in three-quarters of the more than 175 cities with available data. These are the largest percent declines ever recorded in overall violent crime, murder, rape, and aggravated assault, with near-record high declines in robbery, overall property crime, theft, and burglary. Yes, there is still a terrible level of gun violence in America, but we’re moving in the right direction in all areas except auto theft and, in some areas, shoplifting.

In fact, the worst crime rates in the country occurred during the 1980s and very early 1990s, when Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush sat in the Oval Office. Crime rates have been on a downhill slide since then.

We all heard Trump rage about “American carnage” in his 2017 inaugural address—he said there was a wave of violence sweeping our cities. He lied. Actual urban violence was near a generational low point at the time. But, bolstered by Fox and the right-wing media megaphone, his rhetoric resonated with many Americans. And as we know, Republicans only get concerned with crime when a Democrat is president. Even if they have to make it up.

Of course, there was a brief surge in violent crime during the pandemic, for all kinds of reasons. But that is simply no longer the case, as pointed out above. Violent crime rates are falling back to the low levels of the 2010s.

So, if we’re going to be honest about crime, it’s time to tell your friends and family the truth: Republicans want us to believe that cities in blue states are hellscapes of crime. But the truth is just the opposite. Today, the murder rate in New York City, for instance, is about half that of Republican cities like Miami and Fort Worth.

The good news is, Trump has been proven wrong again. The nation is heading back to our pre-pandemic, low levels of crime. The bad news is that the Republican noise machine still wants you to believe the worst, even though the facts prove otherwise.

Sherwood Guernsey
Rural Freedom Network
Pittsfield, MA

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