Hardcore MAGA Sen. Tom Cotton On Rising Crime: U.S. Has An Under-Incarceration Problem

Written by Ann Brown
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing, May. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is getting backlash for a tweet in which he claims that the U.S. has a “major under-incarceration problem,” despite the country being the world’s leader in the rate of imprisonment

“We have a major under-incarceration problem in America. And it’s only getting worse,” tweeted Cotton, citing a CNN article about rising crime in major U.S. cities throughout 2020. 

There was a 33 percent increase in homicides last year, according to CNN. The reason is complex and due to any number of combined factors, including the global pandemic, a devastated economy, high unemployment, entrenched poverty, civil unrest, changes in policing and distrust of police, rising homelessness, and surging gun salesThe Huffington Post reported.

The high U.S. incarceration rate has disproportionately affected Black people, who are significantly over-represented in prisons.

MAGA supporter Cotton, however, seems to think more people should be locked up. 

Twitter spoke out.

“We saw thousands of scofflaw criminals storm the capitol on 1/6, steal things, and smear feces on the walls – very few are locked up. Can we start with them and the politicians who ordered the savagery?,” said one user, referencing the MAGA attack on the Capitol in support of Donald Trump.

Another wrote, “Under-incarceration problem???? WOW. #1 incarceration rate in the world isn’t good enough for you? Insane is doing more of the same and expecting different results.”

One tweeter wondered if Sen. Tom Cotton has a special interest in seeing more people locked up: “This really feels like you have friends in the private prison industry and you’re helping them.”

Cotton has a history of making outrageous statements and expressing pro-law enforcement views. In 2016, he also spearheaded the opposition in a bipartisan effort to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms.

Considered a right-wing hardliner, Cotton has pushed for using the U.S. military to crush anti-racism protests, The Guardian reported.

He also spoke out against President Joe Biden’s covid-19 relief bill because it provided payments to prisoners, or as he described it, “murderers and rapists” in prison. However, during Donald Trump’s presidency, Cotton voted twice for covid relief bills that provided payments for prisoners.

In 2019, Cotton pushed back against the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The 1619 Project” from the New York Times.

Crafted by Nikole Hanna-Jones, it reexamined the history of slavery in the U.S. and stimulated debate about systemic racism. A year after its publication, Cotton proposed a bill to keep the project out of schools and claimed slavery was a necessary evil.

The conservative lawmaker sought to ban schools from adopting the project as a part of their curriculum, the Washington Post reported. “The 1619 Project” is a series of essays, poetry, and fiction focused on slavery. Cotton calls it fake news. 

“As the Founding Fathers said, it (slavery) was the necessary evil upon which the union was built,” Cotton told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “The union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.