A thoughtful piece we should send viral:

. . . [M]urder rates are far higher in Trump-voting red states than Biden-voting blue states. And sometimes, murder rates are highest in cities with Republican mayors.

For example, Jacksonville, a city with a Republican mayor, had 128 more murders in 2020 than San Francisco, a city with a Democrat mayor, despite their comparable populations. In fact, the homicide rate in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco was half that of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, a city with a Republican mayor that overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Yet there is barely a whisper, let alone an outcry . . .

That’s one of my friend Carl’s key issues — crime.

Carl sends me one or two often nasty emails each day in what I have to assume is his sincere effort to heal the world.  Why am I always picking on Trump and perpetuating the Russia “hoax”?  (He knows it’s a hoax because he did not read the Mueller report.)  Why am I not demanding an investigation of Hunter Biden?  (See below.) Why am I not blasting Democrats on crime?

The first thing to say about that last one — crime — is that whoever came up with the slogan “defund the police” had the right motivation but, taken literally, a horrible solution.  Effective criminal justice reform may in some cases require more funding, not less.  “Defund” is a position not held by a single Democrat I know of among the thousands running for office.

The second thing to say is that Carl is right:  Crime sucks (well, duh) and we should all be looking for ways to reduce it.

Both kinds:

> White collar crime that involves money.  (Here’s a start: funding the IRS to go after wealthy tax cheats at the expense of honest wealthy taxpayers and all the rest of us.  Dems support; R’s oppose.)

> And, even more concerningly, violent crime.  (A start on that: Keeping kids too young to buy beer from buying assault weapons; imposing universal background checks for gun-buyers of any age.  Dems support; R’s oppose.)

Another needed improvement — already underway — is to tweak some of the bail reforms Democrats (and some Republicans) have supported.  Do we want not to ruin poor kids’ lives because they can’t make bail on minor non-violent infractions?  Yes!  That’s simple justice — and a good investment because a ruined life costs taxpayers a lot of dough and often leads to more crime.  But should we help alleged violent offenders make bail?  Clearly (in my view), rarely if ever.

The main takeaway on crime?  We might well have less of it going forward — both kinds — if Carl chose to vote Democrat this year.  Spread the word.


And while we’re at it, a few other responses to Carl and any other readers who may share his views:

Woke-ism.  I and many Democrats agree it’s gone too far.  (See all my links to Bill Maher, who is great on this.)  Jefferson lived in a different time.  And he actually tried to put stuff in the Declaration about slavery.  There’s a difference between removing statues of Robert E. Lee (who led the fight to preserve slavery) and statues of Thomas Jefferson (who, in the context of his times, was a champion of all that democracies hold dear).  We need to be able to discuss such things without fear of being canceled.

Inflation.  A terrible, global, transitory problem.  The price of oil underlies much of it; pandemic-caused supply chain problems, most of the rest; and corporate price-gouging plays a role as well (says this Harvard MBA who likes capital gains as much as the next guy but doesn’t see why the price of insulin should go up each year, or why Republicans vote against capping it).

Putin is largely to blame — Democrats don’t set the global price of oil — and, astonishingly, all too many Republicans, including their leader, are almost on Putin’s side when it comes to Ukraine.  (The only change Trump made to the Republican platform in 2016 was to weaken the language expressing support for Ukraine.)

Not to mention Tucker Carlson.

Yes, the trade-off between investing in fossil fuel versus greener energy leaves room for good faith differences of opinion.  But it should be noted that the Biden administration approved 33% more drilling leases in its first year than Trump did in his.  And that because there are long lead times in producing oil, the spike in global oil prices that underlie so much of our inflation can’t possibly be “the Democrats’ fault.”  Quite the contrary, our investments in R&D and incentives for green energy should ultimately lower costs and reduce the inflation-causing impact of climate change (have you checked Florida homeowner insurance rates lately?).

Immigration.  People should be reminded it was the Republicans who blocked the Comprehensive Immigration Reform that the Senate adopted 68-32 in 2013.  There were more than enough votes in the House, too, but — knowing that — the Republican House speaker wouldn’t allow it come up for a vote.

More to the point today: it’s not an open border (click if you disagree) . . . nor do any Democratic candidates favor one.

(That said, allowing desperate asylum seekers refuge to fill jobs American citizens won’t take is a win-win for them and us.  But no question: we need more resources — and Republican cooperation — to get immigration under control.)

“The economy.”  Ask yourself: would Mitch McConnell and whoever is the House Speaker (even Trump!) be working to see Biden’s economy succeed these next two years?  If history is any guide, if given the gavels, it would be quite the reverse.

Hunter Biden.  Carl is convinced he’s guilty of a crime — and if Carl is right, the First Son should be indicted, tried, convicted, and punished.  (The FBI, long dominated by Republicans, is investigating.)  No one should be above the law.  But Hunter Biden should only be of significance to voters if (a) he holds some role in running the government, which he does not; or (b) his dealings in China have corrupted his father in his dealings with China (maybe he secretly hopes to make a fortune building a Biden Hotel in Beijing?)  But that’s clearly not been the case.  E.g.: With New Crackdown, Biden Wages Global Campaign on Chinese Technology. And there are lots more examples of Biden’s standing firm.  So even if Hunter needs to be punished for something, of what possible relevance is that to your vote?  To whether we should codify Roe (as Dems want to) or entertain cuts to Social Security and Medicare (as Republican leaders want to).  Please!  Focus, Carl!

Democracy.  Last week I plugged the most recent January 6 hearing.

Carl’s response:

Like all the others, a one sided circle jerk off with no contrary testimony.  Still think anyone cares? Watch November 8 to find out.

He’s right that it was one-sided — virtually every witness in all 9 hearings was a staunch Republican, most of them Trump employees and supporters.  And Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are Republicans.

Where I hope he’s wrong is that people won’t care enough to show up November 8.

If they don’t, the election deniers and coup excusers take control of the legislature and we lose our democracy.

Once lost, democracy can take a very long time — millennia in the case of Greece and Rome — to restore.



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