Professor James Gillligan has spent his professional life studying violence. In his latest book, “Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others,” he summarizes his study of a whole century of data, proving that all forms of violence increase in eras and locations of GOP rule.
His study focuses on murder and suicide statistics, but also includes state-sanctioned execution, which he notes is 22 times (2,200%) higher in red states.
In his interview with Thom Hartmann (see video below), Hartmann mentions the related work of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in the United Kingdom, whose book, “The Spirit Level,” documents the very high correlation between economic inequality in a society (the US is among the most unequal of societies) and a whole host of social pathologies, such as homicide, obesity, drug use, mental illness, anxiety, teenage pregnancies, high school dropouts, etc. Gilligan says that his own studies are in accord with the work of Wilkinson and Pickett.
Publisher’s Summary of Gilligan’s Book:
Politicians and the political process, even in ostensibly democratic countries, can be deadly. James Gilligan has discovered a devastating truth that has been “hiding in plain sight” for the past century – namely, that when America’s conservative party, the Republicans, have gained the presidency, the country has repeatedly suffered from epidemics of violent death. Rates of both suicide and homicide have sky-rocketed. The reasons are all too obvious: rates of every form of social and economic distress, inequality and loss – unemployment, recessions, poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness also ballooned to epidemic proportions. When that has happened, those in the population who were most vulnerable have “snapped”, with tragic consequences for everyone.
These epidemics of lethal violence have then remained at epidemic levels until the more liberal party, the Democrats, regained the White House and dramatically reduced the amount of deadly violence by diminishing the magnitude of the economic distress that had been causing it.
This pattern has been documented since 1900, when the US government first began compiling vital statistics on a yearly basis, and yet it has not been noticed by anyone until now except with regard to suicide in the UK and Australia, where a similar pattern has been described.