In the era of President Obama, almost all Republican ideas and talking points are rooted in outright lies or conspiracy theories.
Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim. His health care law will kill jobs – and senior citizens. He is coming for your guns. He sympathizes with terrorists. He is working to destroy the United States from the inside.
These are the arguments you make when you have nothing to offer the country. These are also the ridiculous ideas that elevate an unserious and unqualified candidate like Donald Trump, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Now, after a gunman in Dallas killed five police officers, we’re being blessed with yet another tinfoil-hat-wearing argument: President Obama is anti-cop.
The argument is simple and nothing short of crazy.
President Obama, like most Americans, has expressed his disappointment about senseless police shootings of unarmed black men. He has advocated for reform in our criminal justice system and urged police departments across the country to rebuild trust in their communities so that both law enforcement and civilians will be safer.
Thus, the president hates police officers and, as some Republicans have said in recent days, is at least partly responsible for any violence against them.
Like I said, crazy.
Wanting an organization that serves the public to be accountable does not mean you are opposed to that organization or wish harm on it. It just means you want it to work better for the people it’s supposed to protect.
Just about everyone in America would agree that the vast majority of police officers serve their communities with honor, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak out and demand answers when one decides to be the judge, jury, and executioner.
It may also be a good time the GOP to remember the old saying about actions speaking louder than words.
Obama hasn’t had a chance to sign criminal justice reform into law – even though he has called for it on numerous occasions – because it stalled in Congress. No surprise there. But he has taken action when it comes to protecting the same police officers that Republicans accuse him of hating.
Last year, Obama signed into law the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act – named after two police officers killed in a 2014 ambush attack. The measure requires instant nationwide “Blue Alerts” that notify law enforcement officers of any impending attacks and help them track down possible suspects trying to carry them out.
At the bill’s signing ceremony last year, Obama said it’s important that “we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they’re in the line of duty.”
Sheesh, is he bad at being anti-cop or what?
It should also be noted that law enforcement officers are safer under this president than they have been in decades.
According to Officers Down Memorial Page, an average of 101 police officers were intentionally killed under President Reagan each year during his presidency (1981-1988). Under Obama, the annual average is 62.
This is not to say that Reagan deserves blame or Obama deserves credit for the number of police killings during their presidencies. But it does show that Republicans have no factual basis for their argument that those wearing blue are in more danger under President Obama.
In fact, the only evidence available shows that cops are actually safer now than they have been in quite some time.
This is yet another Republican myth we can add to the growing landfill of right-wing lies.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.