Trump: mug shot as campaign booster?
Glaring into the camera with a grim expression on his face — the mug shot of Donald Trump taken in a jail in Georgia has quickly become a symbol of his comeback as 2024 presidential candidate. T-shirts printed with the shot have already brought in over 7 million dollars for his campaign. Commentators criticise the US Republicans’ populism and attitude to the law.
Immune to incriminations
Journalist Alan Friedman deplores Trump’s continuing popularity in La Stampa:
“The mug shot will go down in history as an iconic symbol. The worst president the US has ever had, the only one to be accused of serious crimes, but a man whose popularity in the Republican party seems immune to all incriminations. ... Trump will become the Republican nominee, he will campaign while he is on trial, and in November 2024 he could beat Biden. It’s crazy, but it’s also reality.”
Other Republicans no better
Trump’s Republican Party rivals also have no respect for the judicial system, La Libre Belgique notes with a shake of the head:
“Such a man should act as a deterrent. And yet those who want to prevent his return to the White House can come up with nothing better than swearing allegiance to him again. In the first televised debate on Wednesday, all but two of the contenders for the Republican nomination said they would support Donald Trump if he became the party’s presidential candidate — even if he were found guilty and convicted. ... Saying such a thing is not only pathetic but also scandalous because it spurns court rulings in advance. It is astounding that potential future tenants of the White House can disregard their country’s justice system in such a way.”
The US needs two functioning parties
As the election campaign of the candidates begins among the Republicans, democracy is in danger, analyses Dagens Nyheter:
“For more than a decade, the mumbo-jumbo doctrine has prevailed in [the Republicans’] economic policy. Populists had taken to the stage even before Trump. But it was still politicians like Mitt Romney who had the final say. Now conspiracy theorists, Putin supporters and coup plotters make the decisions. US democracy is based on the existence of two functioning parties. ... To survive in the long term, the Republicans must free themselves from the grip of Trumpism.”