said one of last night's speakers. Rudy Giuliani was in full thunder and damnation mode, shouting, "There is no next election! This is it!"
If crime is such a problem, surely the Trump campaign has some ideas about what to do about it? But no. So far as I can tell, Trump has advanced exactly one crime-fighting measure, which is jailing Hillary Clinton.
Otherwise it's just tough-guy posturing and more rants about political correctness. Various spokesmen have suggested that Trump is modeling his campaign on Richard Nixon's in 1968, which capitalized on middle class disgust with dirty hippies, violent protests, race riots, and rising crime. But if you take a quick look at the chart above, you see that Nixon's tough-guy posturing had no effect on the violent crime rate, which kept on rising all through his time in office and on down to the early 1980s, when it started to fall. It really started falling in the 90s and it fell right through the great recession all the way to 2014, although it may have ticked back up last year. Many experts think one of the biggest drivers of both the rise and fall of the crime rate was lead poisoning, and while Hillary has (of course) a detailed, multi-part plan for fighting lead poisoning and other toxic threats, Trump has never mentioned it and I wouldn't be surprised if he has never even heard of this theory. Nor has Trump called in any serious way for conservative measures to combat crime, such as more police or tougher sentences. The emptiness was summed up best by Giuliani, who said, "Donald Trump will lead by leading."
America obviously has a violence problem. I'll grant Trump that. But just as with the other problems he has called attention to – dying industrial towns, political corruption via campaign finance, terrorism – he has not a clue what to do about it. Tough language is not a policy.