It looks as if a “law-and-order” appeal with a racist subtext can be politically successful, and induce people to support right-wing economic policies. I’m not surprised that Dave Kopel is delighted; but why should he be surprised? It’s a natural combination, and has worked before.
In Europe today as in the U.S. in the period 1965-1985, liberal politicians, by ignoring or denying the reality of crime a a problem (and most of all as a problem for the poor and socially marginal groups they claim to speak for) have left the right a free field of fire. That means that the necessary toughness will be implemented by people who hate criminals, but who don’t really much care about the welfare of the poor people who are the primary victims. As a result, there will be lots of pointless cruelty on top of the necessary toughness, and the crime control efforts won’t work nearly as well as they would if everyone remembered that the goal is more safety, not more brutality and more imprisonment.
There’s no logical reason why crime control should be a conservative issue. But it’s hard for someone who remembers (as conservatives forget) that punishment is a cost, not a benefit to acknowledge that, as bad as punishment is, unchecked crime is worse.