A Fox News guest claimed Monday that “far-left liberalism” is responsible for gun violence in cities like Chicago and Baltimore, where two people were killed this weekend after locals called for a 72-hour “ceasefire.”
Dan Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent in the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, acknowledged that Baltimore residents are “responsible adults” who can vote how they choose. But he argued that decades of Democratic victories in local and state elections have ruined the city.
“What’s the common denominator in inner cities that are collapsing and are being beaten up by crime and poverty?” Bongino said on “Fox & Friends.” “The common denominator is liberals. This is not a dramatic, hyperbolic, ridiculous statement I made. It’s a statement of fact.”
Bongino, who has mounted several unsuccessful bids for Congress as a Republican ― twice in Maryland and once in Florida ― accused liberals of promoting the “breakup of inner-city families.” It’s not clear how exactly Bongino believes Democrats are encouraging this phenomenon, which has been linked to mass incarceration practices.
It’s true that many Democrats voted for punitive prison legislation in the 1990s ― such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which President Bill Clinton signed into law. But today, most liberal lawmakers are in favor of criminal justice reform.
The recent rise in urban crime across U.S. cities is a complicated issue that has been linked to a variety of factors, including poverty, racial discrimination, unemployment, mass incarceration and even lead poisoning.
To combat inner-city violence and gang recruitment, experts have said wide-ranging, bipartisan reforms are needed, including greater state and federal investment in education and community-based programming.
President Donald Trump, however, has sought to cut $1.2 billion in federal funds toward after-school and summer programs. He has also targeted preschool development grants, including in urban areas.
Still, despite Republican efforts to cut inner-city programming that could reduce gun violence, Bongino appears to have made up his mind that Democrats are actually to blame.
“Republicans may not be the answer,” Bongino said. “But far-left liberalism certainly has been the cause of the problems if you’re looking at it with clear eyes.”