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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/28/22

If a Criminal Becomes President -- Do You Get More Crime?

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After four years of America having a professional, lifelong criminal as our president, is it any wonder crime is up?

Years ago when rolled out, Louise signed up to see what was happening in our neighborhood; back then it was mostly people offering kittens, trying to find their lost dogs, or begging neighbors to take piles of zucchini. Today, in many parts of the country, it's become a running list of assaults and burglaries.

Crime is up and people are noticing. Which means it'll get political, and fast.

Republicans are planning to make crime a big issue this fall for the elections: Newt Gingrich just pointed out on Fox how well it worked for Glen Youngkin in Virginia and they see it as a template for November.

It's a scheme rich with irony. On the other hand it will probably work for them: Democrats need to get ready now.

So where is this crimewave coming from?

Part of it, no doubt, is associated with people being out of work or out of school, and may resolve itself as people get back to work and back to school.

Part of it is probably associated with how the pandemic exacerbated the homelessness crisis.

And numerous studies over the years has shown a clear association between increases in crime following increases in economic inequality, which has gone up in America over the past few years because of the Trump tax cuts and four decades of neoliberal economic policies.

But it would be impossible to discuss the pervasiveness of crime today without talking about the criminal who occupied the White House.

After four years of America having a professional, lifelong criminal as our president, is it any wonder that crime is up?

Criminality - like morality - flows from the top down.

Remember Enron? A professional corporate criminal named Ken Lay started the company in 1985, during the Reagan "greed is good" heyday of corporate crime. Hundreds of charges and indictments later, America found that Lay had succeeded in corrupting not only his company's own employees, but also corrupted and thus destroyed the Arthur Anderson accounting firm, one of the five biggest in the nation.

Pandemic binge-watchers may be more familiar with the storylines of the streaming shows Billions, Yellowstone or Succession. All show the power of culture being defined by a ruthless rule-breaker at the top.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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