President Donald Trump positioned himself as the “law and order candidate” in the general election, and he’s already taking concrete steps to make good on that promise. With the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a new series of executive orders, the Trump administration is poised to give police the support they never had under Obama.
On Thursday, Trump announced a new executive order directing the Justice Department to implement new federal crime penalties for anyone arrested for violently attacking police officers. Another order signed last week calls for a new task force aimed at reducing violent crime. A third order called for an increased focus on the drug cartels.
“We must better protect those who protect us. Our men and women in blue need to know that we’re with them 100 percent as they patrol our streets. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
Naturally, liberal Democrats are trying to find ways to oppose Trump’s law-and-order agenda. Their initial focus seems to be on downplaying national crime rates and accusing Trump of trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. In this, they have an ally in the ACLU, which released a statement opposing the orders.
“President Trump intends to build task forces to investigate and stop national trends that don’t exist,” said the statement. “We have seen historic lows in the country’s crime rate and a downward trend in killings against police officers since the 1980s. The president not only doesn’t acknowledge these facts about our nation’s safety, he persists in ignoring the all-too-real deaths of black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement.”
Okay, great. So what’s the point here? Because crime rates are down, we should be outraged to see the president of the United States sign orders meant to protect police, dismantle the cartels, and restore peace to some of our country’s chaotic cities?
“President Trump stood up for our law enforcement officers and pushed back against the rising tide of crime with three key Executive Orders,” the White House said in a statement Saturday. “President Trump’s actions respond to past failures to address rising crime throughout the country.”
Democrats can do as they wish, but they might want to be careful about which battles they pick. The 2016 election showed that many Americans have grown weary of their extreme-left positions, and that includes Obama’s rhetorical and legal war on police. Before they start fighting Trump on this issue, they may want to pause and consider how much appetite there is for a “pro-crime” party. Our best guess: not much.