Up-and-coming loonie Senator Tom Cotton has been making the news quite a bit lately as the latest in a long line of honorably crazy Republicans whose entire career is based off of gross hyperbole and a complete lack of empathy and common sense.

On Wednesday, Cotton declared that we don’t have a problem with over-incarceration despite the fact that the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Instead, Cotton said that we should be throwing MORE people in prison.

“Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19% of property crimes and 47% of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem,” Cotton said.

“The truth is you cannot decrease the severity and certainty of sentences without increasing crime,” Cotton said. “It’s simply impossible.”

But here Cotton is comparing apples and oranges. Or rather, Cotton is ignoring the apples and focusing exclusively on the oranges. Cotton is unhappy about the capture rate of violent criminals and thieves, but he completely ignores the half of prison inmates who are nonviolent drug offenders.

These are the people we mean when we refer to criminal justice reform, but Cotton knows that. He would rather misdirect and fearmonger than face the fact that America has a major problem with throwing people in jail for decades over minor offenses.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com