Still, it’s not every Tuesday in April that a former US president faces criminal charges. As every overcaffeinated reporter felt compelled to point out, this was historic, unprecedented, extraordinary and blah blah blah as a local used to say.
The Trump team said they didn’t want a circus, but they set the tone with that odyssey in court. The caravan of cars from Mar-a-Lago to the airport, the private jet emblazoned with the defendant’s name (unusual touch) to LaGuardia, another parade of cars to and from Trump Tower, blue and two blinkers.
It was OJ in reverse, a flight toward justice instead of away from it, all captured on camera for a global audience to marvel at. A real-life former president in real trouble over alleged payments to an actress and others (Trump denies wrongdoing). Have your fingerprints taken. Standing before a judge. Keep your reality shows; this was something else. But what, exactly?
The Trump story is full of surreal but real moments. Win the Republican nomination, beat Hillary Clinton, run again, lose, refuse to accept the result, mob marching on Capitol Hill with fatal consequences, get impeached twice, run for president again.
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The outcry in New York made Richard Nixon’s departure from office look back with admiration. Resigning had been “abominable” to all his instincts, the 37th president told the country in a live televised address, but he had to put America’s interest first.
“As we look to the future,” he added, “the first essential is to begin to heal the wounds of this nation, to put behind us the bitterness and divisions of the recent past.”
Contrast this with Donald Trump’s warning of “death and destruction” on the streets if he were impeached. Making Nixon look dapper: Mark it as another first for Mr. Trump.
Much of Trump’s staying power stems from his flair for reinvention. With that, plus the help of his father’s money and a willingness to sue anyone who got in his way, he worked his way from real estate development to reality. TELEVISION presenter to candidate and beyond. The last role of him is that of victim. poor donald. He tried to make America great again, but the liberal elite wouldn’t let him. They even stole an election from him, and now they’re criminally charging him? What else can he do but fight back on behalf of all the little ones?
It’s a ridiculous narrative that is generating serious revenue for the candidate’s return offer. The day after his indictment, according to his aides, $4 million in donations poured in. court the look offers more opportunities to cash in through merchandising. Victimization is also doing well in the polls.
In the run up to his court appearance, 39% of Americans still had a favorable opinion of their former president. Among Republicans in general he hasn’t been that popular for a long time. A Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows him ahead of his closest rival for the nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by 57% to 31%. Posing as the victim of a skewed legal system and a Democratic “witch hunt,” he has managed to do the seemingly impossible and rally Republicans behind him.
The support goes beyond his die-hard base. Even those who wouldn’t normally give Donald Trump the time have taken a look at the various investigations taking place and the upcoming presidential election, and have decided something stinks here.
So overall, America is where it was: split down the middle and not knowing where it’s headed, save for a presidential contest between two old men.
Times like this make it hard to be optimistic about Americans. policy. Television, that ever-reliable monitor of the national mood, has caught the pessimism and the sense that things are coming to a head. In a recent episode of Succession, the character of Shiv Roy, daughter of media mogul Logan (played by our own Brian Cox) spoke of the upcoming election as a 1933 European moment. Others prefer to refer to 1968 America, that horrible year in which the country seemed determined to fall apart.
For the latest high-stakes move it’s hard to beat mentioning the Civil War. It is remarkable how quickly the idea of a second civil war has taken root and is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Barbara Walter, an academic and author of How Civil Wars Begin and How to End Them, says, “Two years ago, no one was talking about a second American civil war. Today it is common”.
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Past, present and future in relation to Donald Trump recently surfaced in The New Yorker in an interview with Jon Meacham. The Lincoln historian and biographer, and now an occasional adviser to Joe Biden, told the magazine that having a dictatorial figure was nothing new in American history. “What’s new is that many people are willing to suspend their better judgment to support him.”
Those who thought that Donald Trump was gone and would not return lived in a fantasy worldMeacham said. “The story is not over,” he insisted. He, too, had reached 1933 or 1968 for comparison, but was now drawn to the 1850s and the “competing versions of reality” that existed at the time. The story recounts all too painfully how that conflict was finally resolved.
It could have been a dismal office if it weren’t for the glimmer of hope that came with it. Many people, Meacham included, had spent the last eight years thinking that one event or another would end Donald Trump’s political career, only to be proven wrong. He “he Has suspended the ordinary rules of political gravity”. Meacham’s advice? Stop hoping that Trump and Trumpism will just go away, stay tuned and keep voting. The fever only goes down if they lose and keep losing, he says.
But here we are again, the location this time in a courthouse in New York City, and Trump seemed to be defying gravity again, trying to turn what should have been a moment of deep shame into a campaign opportunity. Suddenly, a very long pre-election period seems even longer.