The capital of the most powerful and prosperous country to ever grace Earth is an unpleasant — even unlivable — place to call home.
Over the past decade, Washington, DC, has transformed from a beautiful, bustling and vibrant metropolis into a city that often feels like a rip-off of Batman’s Gotham.
Between 2013 and 2019, DC recorded between 104 and 166 homicides per year.
In the three full years since, it’s recorded 198, 223 and 203 murders.
This year, it’s on pace to bear witness to 256.
All this has been accompanied by skyrocketing crime rates across the board.
The capital has already far eclipsed the staggering number of carjackings that took place there last year.
Worse yet, only 80 arrests have been made in connection with 2023’s 606 carjackings so far.
Prospects are so bleak that Trayon White Sr., a Democratic city councilman who originally voted to lower the criminal penalties for a number of serious infractions — including carjacking and armed carjacking — is now calling for the National Guard’s intervention in the carnage.
Imagine telling someone in June 2020, amidst the gnashing of teeth that accompanied Sen. Tom Cotton’s call for the National Guard’s use then, that a little over three years later, Democrats would be pining for the same.
“I am tired of burying our children,” White told the press this week.
“We are too comfortable with the state of our city. We must take action to gain control and protect our residents.”
The violence and liberal backlash to it are hardly contained to the capital.
Oakland is on track to double the number of assaults and triple the number of carjackings cases in the city from 2019.
Its NAACP chapter has minced no words in assigning blame for this sorry state of affairs.
“Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life-threatening serious crimes, and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals,” asserted the progressive group in a letter.
“People are moving out of Oakland in droves. They are afraid to venture out of their homes to go to work, shop, or dine.”
This spring, even Al Sharpton — he of “No justice, no peace!” fame — ripped his fellow progressives for their reticence to take the crime epidemic seriously.
“Anybody that tells you they’re progressive but don’t care about dealing with violent crimes are not,” declared Sharpton.
“You’re labeled progressive, but your action is regressive.”
All this follows Eric Adams’ ascension to Gracie Mansion on the strength of his tough-on-crime image in 2021 and San Francisco’s ejection of progressive prosecutor Chesa Boudin last year.
As the Golden City’s bleeding-heart liberal mayor London Breed put it in a famous rant in late 2021, it’s time for “the reign of criminals who are destroying our city” to end.
Both she and law enforcement, she said, needed to be “less tolerant of all the bullsh-t that has destroyed our city.”
Breed’s fellow progressives may be late to notice the rampant lawlessness rendering America’s cities unrecognizable, but their change in heart should nonetheless be celebrated.
The hard truth is that because urban electorates will not so much as give Republican candidates a second look, Democrats will need to lay the groundwork for urban revival in most cases — at least over the short term.
City dwellers should be optimistic about progressives’ increasingly firm grip on reality regarding the state of their streets, then — but only cautiously so.
As Mayor Adams has shown, there are limits to the power of tough talk.
Polling last month showed 70% of New Yorkers are still “very” or “somewhat” concerned that they may soon be the name behind another crime statistic.
Nearly a tenth of the city says it has been assaulted or robbed some time in the past 12 months.
So by all means, give the new liberal crime hawks a round of applause for their stated intentions.
But don’t let them off the hook if their actions don’t ultimately mirror their rhetoric.
Isaac Schorr is a staff writer at Mediaite.
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