The nation’s largest police union endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Friday, helping to change the narrative on a day in which so many reporters and commenters wanted to talk about d birtherism.
The valuable endorsement, made by the national Fraternal Order of Police, was won after Trump secured more than two-thirds approval from the FOP board.
“Trump has clearly recognized the danger of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
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The whole year has been an unusual one in politics, said Chuck Canterbury in a statement released to the public. But what is perhaps most surprising is not the endorsement, but the fact that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did not seek the FOP’s support.
It was a surprising revelation. In the past, Democrats have learned the hard way what it is like to ignore or offend police unions.
In the 1988 presidential election, Vice President George H.W. Bush won the endorsement of the Boston police union, right under the nose of Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis. The endorsement was an embarrassing blow to Dukakis’ campaign — and particularly damaging since his soft record on crime was already a campaign issue.
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On the other hand, Trump went wholeheartedly after the endorsement by meeting with officials from the 330,000-member union.
The FOP’s snub of Clinton comes two months after the Democratic National Convention focused on Black Lives Matter during their ceremonies. Clinton herself has often tweeted during police-related shootings, repeating the mantra of the liberal activist group, “Black Lives Matter.”
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The positioning by Clinton is strategic. Clinton obviously believes she cannot risk offending black voters who are sympathetic to BLM. But after the numerous assassinations of police officers — in July, five in Dallas, and then three in Baton Rouge — Clinton could have shown more interest in the FOP. She passed.
The FOP also recognized which candidate will stand by police during intense criticisms of their work.
“Trump has clearly recognized the danger of the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Heather Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops” and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Mac Donald said the union wisely put aside Democrat vs. Republican politics and addressed the serious issues police face.
One of those issues is the false narrative being promoted by Black Lives Matter, which is deeply dangerous to the mission of police, Mac Donald said.
On Twitter, reaction from liberals and critics of law enforcement was swift and angry.
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“The National FOP believes ‘Trump will make America safe AGAIN,'” John Pfaff, a Fordham Law professor and advocate for liberal criminal justice reforms, tweeted alongside recent stats showing crime at an all-time low.
Of course, Pfaff, like criminal justice reform advocates often do, failed to mention that the policies he thinks should be reformed account for the nearly 20 years of uninterrupted decline in violent crime, while recent spikes in violence experts have attributed, in part, to the vilification of police.