The twisted politics of crime in 2022 are less about tragic murders than former President Trump’s continued success in exploiting America’s racial politics.
His constant talk about the rise in violent crime is a way to connect crime and racial minorities — without taking responsibility for playing racial politics. And it is a strategic way for congressional Republicans to go after Democrats as the party in charge of big cities. …
Fear of crime has been historically to the advantage of Republicans. But crime rates have fallen dramatically since the 1990s.
In the 2016 and 2020 presidential races, candidate Trump elevated fear of crime — especially crime perpetrated by immigrants and minorities — to alarm suburban white voters in key swing states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
“I mean, honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities,” he said during the 2016 campaign.
Sometimes he embellished the ties between urban areas and crime by tossing in other negative outcomes. “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street,” he said at a September 2016 rally in North Carolina.
For Trump, the persistent focus on violent crime remains a powerful element of his brand of identity politics.
— Juan Williams in GOP is stirring up crime fears