"Crime constantly monopolizes the headlines, but the criminal appears there only fugitively, to be replaced at once."
—Camus, The Fall
As we continue to (irrationally) consider the reaction to the exceptional events of 9/11 as normal and necessary over 4 years later, it is no surprise that "crime"-- and its victims, safety and security--has been made a salient political issue in the impending Minneapolis Mayoral election between Rybak and McLaughlin. "Crime," like that which it threatens, "security," is only mentioned when it is intense, which seems to be the case every election.
Rybak proposes (surprise, surprise) more police, while his challenger, McLaughlin, is running an equally hackneyed "get tough on crime" campaign. Not to be out-manned, McLaughlin wants to add 250 police officers to the force over the next five years. If it is true that men tend to overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened by supporting the war in Iraq, purchasing a SUV or expressing homophobia, surely the debate over crime in Minneapolis is another manifestation of such overcompensation.
I doubt that any of their propositions are essential to the security of Minneapolis. This debate only makes sense as a way to facilitate political outrage against the status quo, which I should think can only hurt Rybak. In short, safety is not a safe issue for him.