In business, the Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsement of Mr. Donald Trump would be characterized as a strategic alliance. Mr. Trump – the Republican nominee for president who, after more than five years of championing the birther movement, on Friday afternoon conceded that Mr. Barack Obama is without question an American citizen but not before blaming without proof Mrs. Hillary Clinton for initiating the absurd inquiry – and the FOP have mirrored objectives: amidst what’s perceived as lawlessness by pro-police reform activists and anti-government anarchists, re-establish law and order with zero tolerance for antagonizing officers.
But beyond shared objectives, the FOP surely appreciates Mr. Trump’s sympathy and his refusal to, in any way, cater to the Black Lives Matter movement, which is inaccurately portrayed wholly as an anti-police organization rather than an a decentralized network of mostly young activists (some individuals affiliated with protests do at times shout anti-police rhetoric but that’s not reflective of the movement’s sentiments) who aim to dismantle systems of white supremacy while advocating for strict police accountability. Indeed, Mr. Trump believes that its police, not black and brown citizens who traditionally have been maligned by governments, who are among the aggrieved class.
Even while conducting faux outreach to black voters, Mr. Trump, who at the onset of his campaign said during an interview that he’s unsure whether black drivers are arbitrarily targeted by police, hasn’t even appeared tempted to navigate into a serious narrative about police and criminal justice reform. And when he does talk about police, it’s always a call for them to be endowed with more powers.
So preoccupied is Mr. Trump with bolstering the police that he fabricated – and when I say fabricated I mean he completely made up the entire fucking experience – a conversation he had with a high-ranking Chicago police officer who said they could end the senseless gun violence in mere days if they could be tougher.
I wrote recently about how Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are polar opposites on the issue of policing. Mr. Trump believes stop-and-frisk is great while Mrs. Clinton, who has embraced into her campaign mothers whose offspring met their demise when encountering the criminal justice system, said in Philadelphia that the evidence for stop-and-frisk doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Even their respective national conventions offered a distinction: the Republicans gave a platform to a Sheriff who rejoiced in the fact that the Baltimore officers on trial for their role in the injuring of Mr. Freddy Gray had their charges dismissed, while the Democrats again made room for grieving black mothers who see the criminal justice system as public enemy number one.
Interestingly enough, the last time the FOP endorsed a presidential candidate they sided with Mrs. Clinton’s husband in 1996, shortly after the 1994 crime bill – which created more policing jobs and allowed lawmakers to be tough on crime – began to take effect. In Mr. Trump, who describes himself as the law-and-order candidate, the FOP sees a man who will enable their double-consciousness, a pol who will laud their bravery and strength while sympathizing with them as repeated victims of slander and scrutiny.
In short, Mr. Trump and the FOP is, for some, a match made in heaven, while for others, their strategic alliance may foreshadow hell on Earth.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
Photo: Getty Images