One Tweet About Trump's Speech Reveals a Lie About Crime in America

July 22nd 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

There was a frightening theme in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

In his address on Thursday, Trump claimed that the U.S. needs safety to be "restored."

"Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims. I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017 safety will be restored."

The idea that the U.S. is no longer safe was repeated throughout the convention. In fact, the first day of the RNC was themed "Make America Safe Again."

Republican National Convention Program

But is the U.S. is no longer safe?

Americans nationwide think that's the case. About 70 percent of Americans said that crime was on the rise, according to a 2015 Gallup poll. That's up seven percentage points from the 2014 poll, and it's been rising steadily since 2001.

However, this one tweet from John Green shows the reality.

What's the truth?

Nationwide, crime in the U.S. has dramatically declined since the early 1990s. This chart from Pew Research Center shows the disparity between what Americans think about crime and the reality of crime.

"Public Perception of Crime Rate at Odds with Reality"

There are definitely specific cities and populations that are experiencing a rise in violence, but others are experiencing a decline, as The New York Times reports. For example, earlier this year, New York City saw a 25 percent decline in murders, but the murder rate in Las Vegas doubled.

Trump also claimed that terrorism is a major threat to your safety.

"To make life safe in America, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside America: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS, and we're going to defeat them fast," Trump said.

With the recent horrific terror attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino, California, it may seem like terror is a pressing threat that puts large numbers of Americans in danger. The odds of dying in a terrorist attack, however, are actually pretty low. They fall somewhere between 1 in 3.5 million and 1 in 4 million. Of course, terrorism is an important issue, and this does not invalidate the 49 people killed in Orlando or the 14 people killed in San Bernardino. But there's no question that Trump has overstated the threat.

But if crime is actually lower than why do Americans feel less safe?

Some experts think it's because of the media's coverage of crime and political rhetoric. New York Magazine's Science of Us interviewed Brooklyn College sociologist Alex Vitale, and he said that news is a major force in people's perception of crime.

”The mainstream media continue to live by if it bleeds it leads," he told Science of Us. "I've found that if the TV news doesn’t have a horrific local crime story they just pick one up from another city.”

RELATED: Donald Trump Just Defended The Wildly Inaccurate Crime Statistics He Retweeted