Jeff Sessions Is Right About Violent Crime

Jeff Sessions just said we’ve seen a spike in violent crime “the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1960s.” Is that true? Let’s roll the tape:

Sessions should have said “since the 1980s,” but that’s a minor mistake. In fact, the violent crime rate rose more than 3 percent in both 2015 and 2016, and that’s the biggest spike since 1991. Hate crimes were even worse, rising about 5 percent last year. So Sessions is on solid ground if he just changes his decade.

Now, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about this. The gasoline lead phaseout that led to the big crime drop of the 90s and aughts has mostly been played out. At this point, we’re probably going to see fairly flat crime rates with small spikes up and down from year to year. The current increase is worrisome, but not something to panic about unless it continues for several years. That said, Sessions is well within his rights to call it out.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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