Jane Coaston, the host of the podcast “The Argument,” asked Wednesday “Why do people feel unsafe?” when violent crime appeared to rise in both cities and rural areas controlled by both parties.
“So there’s not an easy like, ah, if only this one dastardly liberal prosecutor wasn’t there. But it’s like, no, it’s complicated — but the vibes,” she said.
The journalist questioned the public sentiment when New York was allegedly safer than “a lot of small towns.”
“Why do people feel so unsafe? Is it the pandemic? Is it — what’s going on here where things — even if you look at the data and you’re like, ‘I understand that New York is, in many ways, safer than a lot of small towns,’ why does it not feel like that?” she asked Times editorial board member Alex Kingsbury.
Kingsbury claimed politicians and gun manufacturers “prey on fear” as an “incredible motivator” to get what they want from voters.
“So politicians prey on fear and use it to get elected to office. Gun makers prey on fear and use it to sell guns. So fear is an incredible motivator for humans to do certain things because to want to protect yourself and your family and your community is a very primal kind of response,” he said.
Like his colleague, Kingsbury also suggested many people’s fears about violence in certain cities were misplaced, arguing you were more likely to get hurt by driving a car.
“But the reality of the lived danger, right — our ability to assess risk as humans is also very bad, right? One of the most dangerous things you can do in this country is not walk in a bad part of Chicago. It’s to drive a car,” he stated.
Senior Manhattan Institute fellow and researcher Rafael Mangual said on the podcast that fears were not overblown as crime had risen in 30 cities in America to get close to or surpass 1990s levels.
Kingsbury said he believed the pandemic was “almost 90% responsible” for “disruptions to society” which caused crime, adding that Democrats were not sending a winning message on the issue.
“Look, liberals have a real problem with admitting that crime is more powerful than the ‘anecdata’ that goes behind a lot of these campaigns, right? I don’t think that bail reform, for instance, is directly a causal reason why crime has increased. But it is the reason that some of these crimes have occurred in the first place. So you can’t sort of pretend that none of this happens or that none of it matters to people. Crime is a really visceral thing, and the way we talk about it really matters,” he added.