This is the rare newsletter that’s going to start with a reading assignment. While you don’t have to read Jonah’s mid-week newsletter to understand what follows, it’s going to help. It’s about the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of America’s surging violent crime rate, and it’s spot-on. All too many progressives have forgotten there was a time when crime rates were so high that you were simply unelectable unless you ran as a “law and order” politician.
I like the way Jonah puts it:
Crime—particularly violent crime—causes people to prioritize safety and security. This is a fact of human nature, and an entirely justifiable one. Get on the wrong side of that priority, and you can’t get elected to do the other stuff you want to use government for. This is because, again, government exists to protect people from violence and murder before literally anything else.
His newsletter helped me crystalize a question that I’ve been increasingly pondering these last few weeks. Is history about to rhyme again?