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Do You Want to Reduce Crime? Don’t Make Minnesota Turn Red
Conservatives are spending the farm on frightening Minnesotans about crime in the final days of the 2022 campaign, and it’s succeeding. Before believing that a new breed of Trumpy Republicans will make us safer, people should consider this fact: red states, most of which have been under conservative leadership for decades, have no better crime rates than blue states.
Is It Your Goal to Decrease Crime? Minnesotans Would Be Grateful if You Didn’t Make Them Angry
In 2020, the first year of the epidemic and national turmoil after George Floyd’s death, the FBI ranked violent crime as follows: Seven of the 10 most violent states were red (voted for Trump in 2020 and most also have a history of conservative Republican control over the last 50 years). Eight blue states had the lowest violent crime rates.
Minnesota ranked 38th that year, despite its rise. Six of the 10 worst states for property crime were red, while eight of the best were blue. Minnesota scored 20th, too high, but approximately the same as rural, safe (and red) North Dakota.
Since 2019, there’s been no visible difference between red and blue. A recent analysis titled “The Red State Murder Problem” found that of the 10 states with the highest murder rates, six were red and four were blue. Third Way, a national nonpartisan group, produced the report.
The Third Way analysis indicated that homicide rates rose 32.2% faster in Trump states than in Biden states. Per capita homicide rates in 2020 were 40% higher in Trump states (which haven’t flirted with “Defund the Police”) than in Biden states.
“Murders are rising nationwide, not only in liberal places. The findings show that Republicans are better at blaming others than reducing murder rates.” Social scientists and criminologists agree crime’s causes are complex and interconnected. Inequality and exclusion, racial, economic, and cultural, are major factors.
The Wall Street Journal stated in 2018, before the epidemic, that rural crime rates had surpassed metropolitan ones. Domestic abuse, property crime, and drug offenses drove up rates significantly more than in suburbs and urban cores.
The U.S. has higher crime rates than most liberal countries with stronger economic security. Recognizing crime as a national problem, not merely a “soft-on-crime” liberal big-city concern, is crucial. Both sides need humility. Decriminalizing drug usage and treating addiction and mental illness as public health epidemics may assist. In recent years, Minnesota Democrats and Republicans have found accord on these measures.
Just as crucial in the current increase is the proliferation of more dangerous weaponry, which conservative Republicans and the NRA have enabled and will continue. Inequalities carried by a long national history of racial discrimination, segregation, and exclusion are indisputably significant determinants, yet MAGA Republicans deny racial injustice and any programs they designate as creating “equity.”
Minnesotans have other concerns. State officials’ capacity to change inflation is limited. To battle inflation, the Republican candidate for governor has proposed removing the state income tax, which funds public protection and other important services, especially in rural areas.
Conservatives dismiss 2020 election results without evidence and promise new voter restrictions that would diminish voting in urban communities of color. Conservatives oppose climate action. Many are anti-LGBTQ and want to pull back their rights.
If crime is still your top concern, you must ask: Is it worth adopting an ideology that has failed to reduce crime in other states, when you’ll also be choosing people who won’t check the expansion of deadly weapons and who ignore the role of economic inequality and racial injustice as causes?
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