Is anyone really surprised that Donald Trump continues to change the nature of US politics? Or should we say… do the unpresidented.
What happened: Within minutes of his mugshot being released from Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail, the former US President had posted the image to his website with a statement saying he “was ARRESTED despite having committed NO CRIME” at the “notoriously violent” jail.
- An event that would ruin most politicians was immediately turned into fuel for his campaign. Mugs and T-shirts that read “Never Surrender” are already being sold.
- With this, Trump is defying the rules of politics. With every indictment (he’s racked up four so far) his campaign contributions spike, and his supporters grow more loyal.
Why it matters: Trump’s ability to “suck up all available media oxygen,” as one Guardian analysis put it, is likely to secure him the Republican nomination. As his opponents took the stage for the first primary debate on Thursday, news outlets kept their attention on Trump.
- Between his upcoming and possibly televised legal trial and a Twitter (now X) comeback, it will be nearly impossible for even his strongest rivals to break through.
- Even in this lil’ Canadian newsletter, where you know we like to stay away from US politics (and plan to keep it that way), we can’t escape the virality of The Mugshot.
Bottom line: In Canada, the non-stop coverage of US politics can make it feel like you’re trapped in an endless election cycle—and, to be clear, we definitely are. But as the 2024 election draws nearer, consider this your fair warning for what’s coming up next.—SB