Jul 26, 2016 5:10 PM GMT
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/manafort-fbi-crime-statistics-cant-be-trusted.htmlIn his speech to the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump talked a lot about murder. Specifically, he suggested that an enormous increase in our nation's homicide rate has turned America into a blood-drenched hellscape (where young, white women are constantly being killed by undocumented immigrants).
"I will present the facts plainly and honestly," Trump said. "These are the facts: Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore."
Trump is correct that preliminary FBI data show a significant increase in big-city homicides in 2015. But he is extremely incorrect in asserting that decades of progress in reducing the incidence of violent crime have been reversed by the Obama Administration's (unspecified and unsubstantiated) "rollback of criminal enforcement." In fact, violent crime has fallen dramatically since the current president took office...
...Trump wants to run a national campaign as the "law-and-order candidate," and to do that, it's helpful to pretend that the Democratic president has overseen a drastic increase in violent crime. And so, when CNN's Jake Tapper confronted Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort with the inconvenient facts about how historically safe most Americans are, Manafort chose to attack the messenger. Which is to say, to attack the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"Empirically, according to FBI statistics, crime rates have been going down for decades," Tapper said. "How can Republicans make the argument that, somehow, it's more dangerous today, when the facts don't back that up?"
"People don't feel safe in their neighborhoods. I don't know what statistics you're talking about," Manafort replied. "The FBI is suspect these days...