EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

There’s no denying it: Homicides and gun violence are spiking across America. FBI data estimates a 25 percent increase in homicides from 2019 to 2020, with preliminary 2021 data showing further increases. And there are some increasingly audible whispers among some liberal strategists that this could cost Democrats elections in 2022 and beyond.

But that’s far from inevitable, as long as Democrats don’t rely on outdated tactics. Instead, the party can stake out a bold, empathetic vision for criminal justice, taking control of the crime narrative before that narrative takes control of them.

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, the majority of Americans—Democrats and Republicans—view crime as a serious problem. Roughly one-third of respondents deemed it “extremely serious”—the highest percentage in 20 years.

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.