Now Light The White House Blue


President Trump shouldn’t wait for another officer to be killed before he turns 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a deep cop blue in a symbolic but potent message of support for America’s ‘Thin Blue Line’

By Mark Cromer

The Trump Administration has wrapped up its first frenetic work week riding high on a wave of gleeful relief from Americans across the heartland who took his flurry of executive orders, rare prepared comments and the usual random declarations on Twitter as a reassuring sign that he actually intends to remain true to the vows he took while on the campaign trail—and a tsunami of hysterical rage from Americans who fear the very same thing.

Judging by Week One, whatever trajectory the epidemic of opioid abuse in America takes in the coming years, prescriptions for Xanax are likely to explode and vodka distilleries seem a far more secure investment than gold, backstopped by solid a stake in Ruger Firearms, Inc.

Left, right and center? That doesn’t begin to describe it.

America is split like Sybil.

So there’s no time like the present for our President Trump to shine a light that all cognizant Americans still vertical can appreciate and gather around, but none more so than for those who it’s meant to honor: Cops.

Trump needs to light the White House blue.

A deep and reassuring hue of Cop blue.

And not just for a night, mind you, but rather he should turn 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Cop blue for a solid week in remembrance for those officers who have fallen in the line of duty and in preemptive honor of those officers who will surely tragically die on the beat in this year to come.

It’s a somber light show that’s already long overdue.

As January comes to a close, a dozen police officers across America have died in the line of duty in 2017, with five of those officers being killed by gunfire. That total figure is more than twice the number of officers that died in the line of duty in January 2016, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), which maintains detailed statistics on officer deaths around the country.

By the time 2016 ended, 140 law enforcement officers had died in the line of duty, with 63 of them cut down by gunfire, a dramatic jump from the 39 officers shot to death across America in 2015.

To be certain, such a bold light show projection in America’s capital would predictably trigger even further epileptic seizure-like social convulsions among those who view Trump’s promises turning policies as reason enough to escalate their campaign of hostile disrespect of the men and women wearing a badge. Let’s just be candid about this reality: if they didn’t like cops before Trump’s election, well, they truly hate them now.

For theirs is not really an argument advanced in a reasoned discussion about the ‘distrust’ or ‘suspicion’ of police officers that’s pervasive among certain communities in America—but in particular white cops patrolling black neighborhoods—no, theirs is a long-burning historic contempt for Johnny Law in any incarnation and one they rarely feel the need to conceal even in polite company anymore these days. These are the professional gaslighters that take to the airwaves to demand something be done about the carnage—yes, carnage—that continues to unfold across America’s urban war zones like Chicago’s southside, Balitmore and St. Louis, only to decry and deplore the very men and women who our collective social construct deploys in an effort to do just that.

To stop it.

But from Washington to Watts; badmouthing, second-guessing and after the fact but before the trial convicting of cops has become socially acceptable and even financially profitable good sport in certain circles in America today. It’s an obscene betrayal that’s akin to sending our young soldiers to war and then demanding to know why they killed so many of our enemies. It’s disgusting enough that for cops on the beat it must evoke the immortal declaration on the stand of one Col. Nathan R. Jessup a quarter century ago:

“And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall! We use words like ‘honor,’ ‘code,’ ‘loyalty.’ We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post…”

Because America wants him on that wall. America needs him on that wall.

But standing a post among the cop-hating crowd is a non-starter. They’d rather muse fondly from a safe space about the people wearing masks and running down the street that pretend breaking windows and burning cars is a social statement that we can all get behind.

So thus from public meetings to street protests to cable news shows to uptown cocktail soirees to downtown backyard barbeques these connivers can be heard to utter the ultimate qualifier that begins and ends with: “I support the police, but…”

But. But.

But what?

No, they don’t support the police. They don’t support the cops in any iteration an officer might materialize in on our streets; be it racial, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation or any other variant they might find worthwhile denoting during their endless diversification checks. They don’t support the local police, let alone the national body of law enforcement, because they don’t support or believe in the collective ideal that they consider the cops to be defending: America.

It’s just that simple, it’s just that plain as day. Our soldiers defend our nation’s way of life from foreign enemies, and America’s cops defend our day-to-day life from far more likely domestic enemies. While there’s probably not a Commie under your bed anymore, there is every possibility of a thug coming through your back window.

Thus, we have cops.

And the cop-haters hate them for it.

You only have to pay attention long enough to listen but seconds past their always present qualifier of ‘but’ to find out what they really think of police officers. You only have to be conscious long enough to read their signs at their protests or listen to their chants of “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ’em up like bacon!” or “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” or pause for a moment to gaze at their Internet memes that seamlessly morph the LAPD with the Waffen SS to understand where they are coming from and just what they believe and just what they truly desire.

Which is why Trump bathing the White House in a deep blue cop hue will be just another match to their fuse, no matter that it’s the right thing to do.

The good news is that the vast majority of Americans of every stripe, persuasion and general philosophy do indeed support their local police as well as cops everywhere around the nation. Of course, there are different degrees and volumes with which that support is expressed at any given time, but the baseline of that support among the vast majority of Americans; be they black, white, brown or whatever Crayola color you want to pull from the American box, is universal. And it’s consistent.

Americans know who is responding when they dial 911.

It’s our friend, our cousin, our sister, our brother, our neighbor; all wearing a badge, body armor and carrying a gun and doing a duty—not a job, but a duty—that we have charged them with before we went to sleep for the night. We count on it. We rely on it. And we expect it.

As well we should.

But in return, the men and women behind the badge that patrol our nation’s streets deserve all that we have afforded them and so much more—and Trump lighting the White House blue would be a simple, poignant and powerful ‘Thank You.’

And he should do it before one more officer is killed.

To those who smirk at former President Obama for lighting the White House pink for breast cancer awareness or bathing it in rainbow colors in celebration of marriage equality for gay Americans, well, it’s not that he was wrong to do so, at least in this writer’s estimation. Breast cancer was the right cause and marriage equality was the right occasion for a lightshow on the White House. And for the factual record, Obama never bathed the White House in purple in honor of Prince upon the psychedelic rocker’s passing, even if fake photos of it did make for convenient memes meant to enrage certain sectors, a lie which subsequently wormed its way into the collective consciousness anyhow. And in that regard, it’s only surprising there aren’t ‘photos’ circulating of the White House lit up in the red, white and green of Mexico’s national tri-colors with Obama standing in front wearing a sombrero aside a burro and hoisting a margarita on Cinco de Mayo declaring: ‘La gente, viene del sur!’

No, if Obama failed at all in his time in the projection booth on Pennsylvania Avenue (and he’s the one who made the pad a screen) he did so simply in not taking the righteous step at the appropriate time—like after five officers were gunned down in Dallas last year—to shine a light on what he himself rightly said the vast majority of Americans feel toward our police: gratitude.

Gratitude for what they do each day and night but more importantly what they may have to do at any given moment. What we ask them to be prepared to do at any given moment: kill somebody who’s trying to hurt us, or die trying.

Accordingly, Trump should do the right thing and turn the White House blue.

All-American blue. Cop blue.

After all this time, it’s the right thing to do.