This is a truth that’s hidden in plain sight: It’s not poverty, drugs, lack of gun control or even downright meanness. The reason there is so much homicide in America has to do with politics!

When Americans begin routinely complaining about how they hate their government and don’t trust their leaders, it may be time to look warily at the homicide rate. Historian Randolph Roth tried to make sense of changing homicide rates by sifting through records of tens of thousands of homicides in the United States and western Europe over the past four centuries.

He concluded that people’s views about the legitimacy of government and how much they identify with their fellow citizens play a major role in how often they kill each other, much more so than the usual theories revolving around guns, poverty, drugs, race, or a permissive justice system. Roth says, “The predisposition to murder is rooted in feelings and beliefs people have toward government and their fellow citizens. It is these factors, which may seem impossibly remote from murder, that hold the key to understanding why the United States is so homicidal today.”

During the Great Depression the homicide rate in the United States went down, even while poverty was increasing. In the 1960s, the United States had more police and more people in prison than nearly any other nation on earth, along with strong economic growth, and yet the murder rate skyrocketed.

Roth says, “Criminologists make a case for one theory or another by going through records for a short period of time. But if they try the same theory in colonial America or the early 20th century, it won’t fit. That’s where it helps to have a historical perspective.”

While Roth admits that his theory may seem strange at first, it fits the evidence much better than all the other theories about what drives people to murder. In his analysis, Roth found four factors that relate to the homicide rate in parts of the United States and western Europe throughout the past four centuries: the belief that one’s government is stable and its justice and legal systems are unbiased and effective; a feeling of trust in government officials and a belief in their legitimacy; a sense of patriotism and solidarity with fellow citizens; and a belief that one’s position is society is satisfactory and that one can command respect without resorting to violence.

When those feelings and beliefs are strong, homicide rates are generally low, regardless of the time or place, Roth says. But when people are unsure about their government leaders, don’t feel connected to the rest of society, and feel they don’t have opportunity to command respect in the community, homicide rates go up. According to Roth, his theory helps explain why the United States generally has had one of the highest murder rates since the mid-nineteenth century of any advanced Western democracy. He says, “As Americans, so many of us hate or distrust our government. You can see it today in the anti-government rallies in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. It’s been part of our culture since the very beginning, but especially since the Civil War, and it is one reason why we have such a high homicide rate.

“When Americans stopped identifying with each other through national heroes, they killed each other more often.”

On, the only politics we care about is the politics of disclosure, and we believe that the best thing we can do is to use our brains (which are BETTER in contactees and abductees) to CHANGE THINGS. Anne Strieber explains what this is all about just for subscribers!

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