The Consequences of Soft-on-Crime Policies: A Closer Look at the Failures of Big-City Democrats

Progressives’ Misdirection and Excuses in the Face of Rising Crime Rates

The issue of crime and its handling by big-city Democrats has become a hotly debated topic in recent years. Critics argue that soft-on-crime policies have led to a rise in violence and a disregard for the principles of justice. In his thought-provoking essays, William Voegeli sheds light on this issue, highlighting the failures of progressive policies and the need for accountability. However, instead of engaging with Voegeli’s arguments, many on the left resort to excuses and misdirection. This article will delve into the three common tactics employed by progressives to downplay the severity of crime and avoid taking responsibility for their policies.

Denying the Reality: Crime Isn’t as Bad as It Seems

Progressives often attempt to dismiss the rising crime rates by questioning the validity of the data and presenting questionable studies to support their claims. However, these studies often suffer from methodological flaws and fail to accurately reflect the ground reality. In cities like St. Louis and Philadelphia, the murder rates have reached unprecedented levels, either on a per capita basis or in real terms. Ignoring the undeniable facts only serves to perpetuate the problem and hinder efforts to address it effectively.

Shifting Focus: Quality of Life Crimes vs. Violent Crime

Another tactic employed by the left is to shift the narrative away from violent crime towards so-called quality of life crimes such as shoplifting, drug possession, and prostitution. Some rogue prosecutors argue that these crimes can go unenforced without adverse consequences for the community. However, the reality is that these crimes have significant implications for society. Retail theft alone amounts to a staggering $100 billion per year problem, leading to the closure of essential establishments like grocery stores and pharmacies. Ultimately, it is the most vulnerable members of the community who bear the brunt of these crimes.

Political Posturing: Appeasing the Radical Base

Many Democrats on the national stage attempt to balance their tough-on-crime rhetoric with appeasing their radical base. President Biden’s refusal to veto a congressional resolution rescinding the Washington, D.C., city council’s criminal code, which had radical soft-on-crime features, exemplifies this approach. However, it is important to note that while the president allowed this override to take place, he vetoed a local law that would have hamstrung police officers, making their jobs more difficult and dangerous. This contradictory stance not only undermines the credibility of elected officials but also exacerbates the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies.


The arguments put forth by William Voegeli regarding the need for accountability and punishment in the criminal justice system are crucial. It is imperative for elected officials and citizens alike to acknowledge the failures of soft-on-crime policies and work towards effective solutions. Denying the reality of rising crime rates, shifting focus away from violent crimes, and engaging in political posturing only serve to perpetuate the problem. By prioritizing the principles of justice and holding criminals accountable, we can strive towards safer communities and a more equitable society.

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