A few weeks ago, as I comfortably scrolled through the news, a certain headline caught my attention—it went along the lines of “Donald Trump is to be arrested.”
To be completely honest, my first reaction was to laugh; it is something of a spectacle to see now from an outside perspective how, frankly, hilarious US politics have become. As an US citizen, I was raised in that political climate and learned to become desensitized to such headlines, for better or for worse. However, this particular headline made me pause for more reasons than just laughter. It was the realization that if this were to go through, it would be the first time an American president would be photographed in handcuffs.
I might have chuckled a bit more.
So, why is this happening?
Great question—for those not following US politics and the daily mishaps, former President Donald Trump might be officially charged through an indictment due to the inquiry that he paid off adult content creator, Stormy Daniels, with a sum of $130,000 to buy her silence in regards to an affair taking place in the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to The New York Times. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen initially paid the sum, which was later reimbursed by the White House.
In the country, Trump is currently the subject of four criminal investigations. Based on his previous behavior, it is not surprising to see him adopt a nonchalant and shameless innocence in front of the media as he prepares for this spectacle of a moment. The historic significance of the decisive moment will be widely publicized: an image of him walking into the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, whether willingly or on a more sinister perpetrator walk, will be on every single screen and news outlet the moment it occurs.
Okay, but what will be the consequences?
In theory, there will be a few major and semi-immediate consequences. First, Trump will be booked like any other American: he will have his mugshot photo and fingerprints taken, have his Miranda Rights read to him, and will be led through all of it with the entourage of his security detail.
Next, there will realistically be riots. Last week, as news broke of the potential arrest, Trump spared no time to call on his supporters to rally in the streets and support him through this further action of wanting him off the ballot for the 2024 presidential elections. His supporters did go out onto the streets, and if he is booked, there will be chaos that the NYPD has already started preparing for since, due to the polarizing nature of US politics, there will be outrage on one side and cries of joy on the other.
To that, there will be the double-edged sword of how the world perceives this dramatic event and how, if at all, international relations will be affected. The US will look like a hot mess, so nothing new on that front. I take US politics very seriously, and I love discussing these nuances with people. Living in Spain and seeing the perspective of non-Americans has taught me that our democracy is pretty limited: we do not truly have the opportunity for variety; it is more of a matter of flipping the same coin and choosing the lesser evil. The US has to learn to do better, and depending on personal political views, one may think that this indictment is the first step to making the US great again.
Lastly, there’s the thought of how the 2024 presidential elections will take place if there is an indictment against Candidate Donald Trump. Realistically, only time will tell if he is charged or if he is able to clear up this accusation before the voting season, which is unlikely if the indictment goes through.
This story is continuously developing, and as spectators, we may prepare with popcorn to enjoy this spectacle. Meanwhile, former President Trump will prepare his best poker face and suit as he prepares for his walk from the seemingly untouchable Trump Tower into one of the places he is most unpopular, Manhattan.
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