“You have a lot of power to tilt an election,” Brian Kilmeade told John Kazanjian on Fox & Friends this morning. The Florida Police Benevolent Association certainly hopes so, and one has to assume other police unions and support organizations do too. Kazanjian will deliver an endorsement letter to Donald Trump later today from the FPBA, one that got a unanimous vote as police officers begin to push back against Democrats demanding “defunding.”
The FPBA has already withdrawn an endorsement of a local Democrat, Kazanjian noted as well, over the issue of defunding:
“We’re 30,000 strong. We go from the panhandle to Daytona, to Tampa down to Miami and the Keys,” said the president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, John Kazanjian.
Kazanjian explained that the decision to endorse Trump started with his move last week to call for an “emergency meeting via conference phone” with all of the chapter and charter presidents and board of directors.
“I spelled it out on what’s going on not just in Florida but across this country that, ‘Hey, you know what, we’re getting beat up. We’re getting used like a punching bag and we’re tired of it and President Donald Trump has been there for us. He supported us.’”
Kazanjian comments came after a Florida county-level union rescinded its endorsement of a Democratic candidate for the state legislature, in the wake of public statements in which he called for police to be demilitarized and questioned the need for patrol officers to drive unmarked cars, Fox News has learned.
The 30,000 figure is just current membership, Kazanjian points out. Those members have friends and family who might resent the attacks on police and demands to defund or abolish them too, as might retired police officers. Donald Trump won Florida in 2016 by only 113,000 votes. One presumes that police officers probably lined up in the Republican category more than with Democrats in that election, but this time around they will likely be more enthusiastic about aligning with Trump and the GOP. If the unanimous vote for an endorsement is an indication, they’re a lot more enthusiastic now.
This will likely be a trend, and one that will impact Joe Biden. He has normally enjoyed a rather positive relationship with police, but that was based on the same law-and-order votes that he’s all but disclaimed in this cycle under pressure from the Left. This isn’t so much about Biden personally anyway, but about the Democratic Party’s now-open hostility to law enforcement in their rush to pander to the Black Lives Matter movement and anarcho-progressives on their fringe.
Don’t forget too that most people oppose the defund efforts, especially in the suburbs but also in the cities. They may see a need for police reform, but the nihilism and rioting that has taken place over the last two months will remind them why police are more necessary now than ever. If Trump can get more disciplined on law and order, this might end up being the breaking point in 2020.