To increase their chances, Republicans are repeating false information that crime is rising

While inflation and healthcare costs are rising List of Americans One of the biggest problems in the country is crime, which is something that people constantly think about — even though it is failing across the United States.

Perhaps that’s why candidates looking to win the election in four months continue to echo the rhetoric of former President Donald Trump, who told the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year that America under President Joe Biden is being flooded “bloodshed, chaos and brutal crime.”

This narrative is part of a “disinformation campaign, pure and simple” said Matt Jordan, president of Pennsylvania State University Literacy Initiativeand disinformation expert.

“The idea is to create the belief that American cities are ‘riddled with crime,’” Jordan said in an interview, “and the Republican Party wants to restore law and order to cities like Philadelphia.”

As is the case across the country, crime has declined significantly in Philadelphia and the state as a whole over the past year.

Still, at a Pennsylvania leadership conference in April, Republican Joe Pittman, the Pennsylvania Senate majority leader running for re-election, declared, “There’s no question we’re a lawless, lawless country.”

“The City of Brotherly Love,” he said, “has become a place full of crime and shame.”

Pittman represents the 41st Senate District in Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland counties.

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser (R., Luzerne), also running for reelection, told the House floor in March that the left had supported a “failed social experiment” that “has led to high levels of crime… We need to change course…”

Meanwhile, the state representative. Craig Williams (R-Delaware), who served as a legislative leader in the Republican effort to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, said that in Philadelphia, “looting, carjackings and murders are out of control. . . ” Williams lost the Republican primary in April for Pennsylvania attorney general.

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry painted his opponents with a broad brush of criminal fraud when, during a closed-door briefing for lawmakers on anti-Semitism in May, he called the Ku Klux Klan the “military wing” of the Democratic Party. according to CNN.

Former leader House Freedom Caucus is seeking re-election to Pennsylvania’s 10th U.S. Congressional District, which includes Dauphin County and parts of Cumberland and York counties.

Sociologist Judith Levine, director Temple University Public Policy Labsaid in an interview that Republicans’ constant raising of crime issues, even as rates decline, is “a proven and effective approach to exploiting people’s fears and feelings of insecurity.”

She added: “It has to do with racial animosity — using criminality as a slogan to exploit white people’s fear of taking over, of being attacked.”

Republicans running for office are also echoing Trump’s repeated attacks on immigrants, particularly his claim that Mexicans coming to the country are “drug dealers, criminals, rapists.”

Such characterizations, which include the charge that immigrants raise crime rates, also qualify as misinformation, said Penn State’s Jordan. And research seems to back that up.

Stanford University economist Ran Abramitzky and his co-authors found that in the 140 years of American history they examined, they found no evidence that the presence of modern immigrants caused an increase in crime.

He added in a statement from the Stanford Economic Policy Research Institute that “recent waves of immigrants are more likely to be employed, married, have children, and in good health — not the rapists and drug dealers that anti-immigration politicians perceive them to be.”

Nevertheless, Abramitzky wrote: “since Henry Cabot’s Cottage In the late 19th century, up until the time of Donald Trump, anti-immigration politicians repeatedly tried to link immigrants to crime, but our research confirms that this is a myth, not a fact.

Less plague

While crime remains a scourge — as evidenced by the July 4 shooting in Southwest Philadelphia that left eight people injured and one dead — statistics show it is becoming less common.

According to data from 2023, the number of murders nationwide has decreased by 10%. Brennan Center for JusticeThere was also a decrease in the number of reports of assaults, attacks with firearms, burglaries and thefts.

In 2022, Philadelphia saw 741 shootings between January and May. During the same period in 2023, that number dropped to 422, according to an analysis by The Inquirer.

” READ MORE: Gun violence in Philadelphia has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade.

In Baltimore, the murder rate also dropped by about 20%falling below 300 in 2023. for the first time since 2014Likewise in New York almost 50 fewer murders in 2023, a decrease of about 11%.

Overall, violent crime fell 11% in cities with 1 million or more people, according to the FBI — the same cities that the FBI reported NBC Newswhich Trump attacks, saying they are substantial, perilous and blue.

According to data calculated by Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. And so far in 2024, violent crime has been lower from January through May compared to the same months last year.

Although it is hard to say precisely why crime is failing, some sociologists believe that factors such as rising incomes and an aging population are contributing to this trend.

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