Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Jeff Greenfield:

Absolutely. Because of the violence that was on television screens, the occasional sporadic violence around protests and the fact that crime jumped in 2020. In many big cities, though, the murder rate, the homicide rate went up sharply. And what people like Jim Clyburn, one of the most influential Democrats in the House of Representatives, said after is that the whole issue of crime hurt congressional Democrats running in many purple districts. It may explain why Donald Trump, who ran a very, very strong law and order campaign, got more of the brown and Black votes in many parts of the country. These were middle class folks who were upset by violence.

And so now you have the specter of a president trying to run on what he’s doing for the economy. Who could be politically threatened by the fact that when crime rises, it becomes a central issue to people because it is literally about their safety. And that’s a very real possibility that will hinder Biden’s attempt to win back reluctant Democrats to say, look what we’re doing for you. Because if the response was, yeah, but I’m not safe in my neighborhood, that can be a powerful political tool. As you mentioned, we saw that a generation ago.

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