Many American cities have suffered through alarming increases in their homicide rates this summer. New York City is not one of them.
As the Wall Street Journal reported on September 2, “[b]etween June and August there were 82 homicides and 345 shootings in the five boroughs, the lowest for both data points since the New York Police Department began keeping detailed records two decades ago. These months tend to be the city’s most violent.” So, make of New York mayor Bill De Blasio what you will, but he was on solid ground when he proclaimed the summer of 2015 to be the “safest in New York in twenty years.”
Making a television appearance this week, presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, unfortunately, decided to deny reality—and apparently propose a new epistemological system, whereby one’s feelings trump measured reality.
“I’m just stunned — as are most people who live in this area — that this has been the safest summer in New York,” he blustered, ““No one else believes that, except for the [De Blasio and his wife].”
Christie could have made an honest attack on De Blasio’s boasting; noting, for example, that the “summer” data are cherry-picked; after all, taken as a whole, 2015 has been slightly more violent than last year. But instead, the New Jersey governor played the demagogue (and the post-modernist!), waving away demonstrable facts and instead appealing to what people “believe”—a trait, by the way, that has in recent decades been more associated with the left than with hard-nosed Republicans. One wonders whether the same epistemological idiocy leads Christie to wave away his dismal poll numbers as well.