Currently you are hard pressed to find anything more divisive than politics when discussing current events. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to avoid politics when talking about Policing. They are practically intertwined like peanut butter and jelly. From running a campaign to be Sheriff, to placating the mayor to have your new budget approved. There are simply times when politics are unavoidable need to be discussed. This is one of them for me.
Before you decide my article sucks and you hate me and everything I stand for because of the title of my article, consider this a teachable moment. I am giving you insight in to the minds of many police officers in the United States and it doesn’t cost anything more than your time to read it. If you want to play partisan politics, play the loyal dog to your party master, that’s completely up to you. I can’t force you to be neutral or objective. I can only give you the facts as seen from a mid-western law enforcement officer.
I like to think of myself and an informed citizen who wholly believe in the words of the constitution. I think you have to be if you you are going to enforce the law. It is the document that governs your existence. When deciding whom to vote for, I try to keep and open mind and listen to what each person has said, and weight that against their previous political record (assuming they have one). Like most Americans, I am tired of the same old song and dance from both political parties. They both make promises they have no intention of keeping. The only thing they ever keep is the establishments own power. So it makes weeding through the *BS difficult because most of them are well versed and quite convincing. The parties may have a few core differences, but when its all stripped away they are essentially the same animal. Neither one delivering what they promise and always making themselves money.
August 9, 2014, the day all hell began to break loose not far from where I live. A 6’4 300lb Michael Brown(who happens to be black, not like it should matter) strong arm robs a convenience store and then is in a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson. Micheal Brown is killed in the exchange is what is later ruled as a justifiable shooting. Ferguson erupts into violence and racial tensions explode throughout the country. Every time a white officer has to shoot a black man, its because he is a racist. Suddenly, being a white cop is an undesirable profession.
Many, many liberal politicians (especially in Missouri) began preaching about how unfair the justice system is, how every white person has “white privilege” and how police and just jack booted, racist thugs. Forgetting that 12% of Police Officers are black. The leftist media began hopping on the bandwagon, condemning all police, and doing so before many of the facts had been released. It felt like a programmed narrative. Like someone had a script they were following. How else could the media get it all so wrong?
The current president of the United States at the time, Mr. Obama, even sent an official White House delegation to Brown’s funeral prior to the conclusion of the investigation. Wilson was given his walking papers and forced to move his family out of Ferguson. For doing his job correctly.
The comments continued from the liberal politicians, happy to support #BlackLivesMatter and hop on the racist bandwagon if it meant they got to keep control of Washington. Even some right-winged politicians jumped on hoping it may help their chances at the black vote. Numerous comments and actions, to many to mention that helped fuel anger towards police which culminated in the assassinations of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Suddenly we were the target, not just in the media, but on the street as well. You could be killed for simply wearing a badge and wanting to serve your community. Around the end of 2015 beginning of 2016, it pretty much felt like the only friend you could trust were other officers. The media surely didn’t have your back. Left and right politicians didn’t have your back. Everyone was head hunting the police, aka “racist death squad”.
Enter the orange haired wild man. I admit at first I thought there was no way he was going to pull off winning a primary much less the election. That’s what you get for underestimating Donald Trump. I was looking towards hanging my hat on the hopes of Dr. Ben Carson whom I greatly admire, or possibly Ted Cruz. The democrats gave me no real reasonable option when they put forth an admitted socialist in Bernie Sanders and the less than honorable Hillary Clinton. It only took about two speeches before they attempted to pander for the black vote. From the “systemic racism” quotes to bring Michael Brown’s mother to the Democratic National Convention, it was clear the police did not have a friend in the Democratic party, they had chose to hang their hat elsewhere.
Now lets be clear, I am no expert in the black community. I only know what I read, what I see and what I discuss with other gentlemen of color. I have many friends of color who are Police Officers and I rely on them greatly to form my opinions. Because if I allow the media to control my opinion, well than I would probably assume that all black people hate the police, and that’s simply not true. I am sure there are improvements that can be made to make sure our justice system is not prejudice and fair for people of all colors. Demonizing the entire police force, especially those who are white, is not how you solve that. The sad part is, this has never been a black and white thing for most officers. The media and politicians made it that way. The try to divide us.
So here you have a current president (Obama) who appears to be fairly anti-police, and numerous politicians who want to become president, and they all appear to be hitching their wagon to the anti-police bandwagon. All of them except one.
The positive police comments are what initially made me give consideration to Mr. Trump. For two years we had been assaulted by just about everyone there was. Telling us we were trigger happy, racist, blue thugs, etc….
Celebrities hopped on the bandwagon. JayZ, Tarantino, Beyonce, Gabrielle Union, Colin Kapernick, Jesse Williams, the list goes on and on. Because nothing says oppression quite like millionaires letting police officers know how much they hate them.
Colin Kapernick wears socks depicting police as pigs. Tarantino attends an anti police protest
So here you have a new found racial tensions that most of us Gen Xers had never experienced, criminals being treated like royalty and the police being demonized by practically everyone but their own mothers. One man took a stand and verbalized his appreciation of the Police. That was Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, that is a fact. It made him a viable candidate to many.
Then the final nail in the coffin for the other Republican primary candidates. Ted Cruz and John Kasich in April 2016, decide to make a agreement on removing their names from a state ballot in an feeble attempt to stop Donald Trump, confirming that Trump was not party of the Republican Establishment, and they would do anything to stop him. The more the democrats hated him, and the more the republicans showed their true colors, the more viable candidate he became. The people in power feared him, something that has not happened in a long time. He wasn’t one of them, which made him one of us, and my choice for president.
Democrats then did what they do best, cry racism/racist. The same way they claimed the police were racist, they saddled Trump with the exact same burden. It really never stopped there, eventually anyone who was supporting him or even considering it, was deplorable and irredeemable. Which has led us to where we are now, left vs. right, conservative vs. democrat. Which in a way is funny, because it was never about left or right for most of us. It was the fact we had never had the opportunity to vote for someone who wasn’t a ” American Political Power Family”, who wasn’t a Bush, Kennedy or Clinton.
The electoral college will stand, so both parties better figure out a way to win with the deplorable citizens of the flyover states. We are the heart of this country.
For the first time in a few years, I feel as though maybe some of the respect is coming back. I don’t feel as if I should lie about what I do for a living. I feel proud to be Police again. I feel like the President has our back.
Now the detractors will point to some high profile incidents of Police misconduct and try to say that all police behave this way. Its simply not true. The photos we share on the stop the cop haters, of police helping the homeless, playing with kids, running towards the gunfire, I see those things daily from the many, many brave and loving officers who care deeply about their communities. So much so that they would give their life for it. The negative incidents need to be addressed and handled, but that shouldn’t take away from all the good they do.
I have no idea how history will judge a Trump presidency after 4 or maybe 8 years. I cannot read the future. All I can tell you is how he came to be my choice. Like it or not, its still a free country and will remain that way on my watch.