Solution to Dems’ Crime Problem is to Ditch Left-Wing Policies | Opinion

Crime wave? What crime wave? That’s been the primary reaction from the White House and liberal talking heads in recent weeks when asked about the surge in murders in deep-blue cities and voters’ sense that they are less safe than ever.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki scoffed at coverage of the issue. Referring to a Fox News program that spoke of Democrats being “soft on crime” she asked, “What does that even mean?” A day later, she doubled down, saying claims that rising levels of crime was a top concern for voters had “no basis.”

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter summed up the disconnect between the chattering classes and ordinary citizens when he used his program to mock the stories Fox News runs on the issue. As far as he is concerned, the entire notion of cities becoming unlivable and people afraid to leave their homes or take subways was nothing more than an “imagined drama.”

That’s enough to satisfy those who think President Joe Biden‘s sinking poll numbers are the result of a Trumpist plot.

Whether or not Fox News is hyping the issue—while Biden cheerleaders downplay it—concerns about crime are not being invented by the media. Polls have shown rising worries about crime in the last year.

This is more than a problem of perceptions. The Center for Disease Control reported that 2020 brought the highest one-year rise in the national homicide rate in modern history. Even CNN referred to historic increases in violent crime in American cities as an “epidemic.” Ten of the country’s largest cities set records for homicides last year.

Democrats harp on the ease with which criminals can obtain illegal weapons. However, passing new gun control laws isn’t the answer. Such proposals wouldn’t do anything more than nibble around the edges of the problem in a country where firearms already outnumber people and existing laws are not fully enforced.

The crisis in America’s cities goes a lot deeper. And the responsibility for it can be laid directly at the feet of members of Biden’s party.

The moral panic about race that spread through the country after the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 had real consequences. It brought a backlash against law enforcement and calls for defunding the police that caused resignations, declining morale and a trend in which police pulled back from hands-on enforcement in order to avoid unfair criticism or prosecutions.

Most Democratic officeholders knew the defund movement was political poison. Yet they weren’t prepared to defy their activist base, which had fully embraced the notion that law enforcement was synonymous with racism.

New York City police
New York police officers are seen in Times Square on December 15, 2021 in New York City, New York.
Yuki IWAMURA / AFP/Getty Images

Democratic district attorneys like San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin and Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner have put BLM ideas into action with deplorable results. Boudin and Krasner—who were, like many others across the country, elected with help from left-wing billionaire George Soros—have moved away from prosecuting all but the most heinous of crimes. They act as if their prime responsibility is to defend criminals against cops, not citizens against criminals. In doing so they have essentially decriminalized the drug trade and a host of other “low-level” crimes. Gang members and other repeat offenders are receiving permanent “get-out-jail-free” cards.

The effects of these policies have been felt the most acutely in inner-city minority neighborhoods. Though leftist activists insist that law enforcement is a threat to these communities, the people who live there understand their problem isn’t too much policing but too little.

In New York, Democrats in the state legislature passed one of BLM’s pet ideas: a “bail reform” law that went into effect in 2021. The law made it difficult to keep even career criminals behind bars pending trial, leading to a situation in which law breakers, including those who shoot cops, are released as fast as they can be apprehended.

Revulsion against such policies is part of what allowed Eric Adams, a former police captain and—in the context of deep blue New York—a relative moderate, to be elected mayor last year, beating a collection of leftists whose ideas were more in line with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Adams has declared “democratic socialists” like AOC to be his main political foes. He has pushed back hard against criminal-friendly Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and criticized bail reform. But while the mayor makes his stand, Biden is repeating the same tired liberal talking points about gun control.

Adams was elected by the middle- and working-class New Yorkers who didn’t have to watch Fox News to be convinced that their city became a hellscape under the misrule of progressive predecessor Bill de Blasio.

Critics of Adams’ approach who live in safer neighborhoods or who can afford to flee to the suburbs or Florida can laugh along with Psaki and Stelter. But as pandemic-related economic decline, liberal policies that left drug addicts and mentally ill people on the streets and “bail reform” made New York unlivable, Adams voters want safety, not virtue signaling about racism that makes their lives worse.

The message should be clear for Biden and other Democrats as they approach a midterm election cycle likely to bring catastrophic defeat.

While Democrats would rather continue talking about Jan. 6 and a mythical threat to democracy from their political opponents, the voters have noticed that liberal policies are destroying America’s cities.

On crime and other issues, Biden remains in thrall to the Left, unable or unwilling to support Adams’ efforts to save New York or to criticize the Soros-backed DAs ruining other cities.

With murders—including a rash of tragic killings of police—on the rise, crime is going to be a major issue in the 2022 midterms. If Biden wants to save his party, he’s going to have to jettison the Left and start opposing the bad policies—and the toxic ideas—that blue-state Democrats have inflicted on the country.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of, a senior contributor to The Federalist and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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