The mugshot of President Donald Trump has rallied the opposition behind him. And it will give the former president a mandate, should he win the election, to sweep away the rot in our government, without compromise.
Now that Democrats have shown how far they will go, Republicans will feel it necessary to prevent them from ever doing it again.
Note the half-hearted attempts by celebrities and talking heads to claim that Trump is getting what he deserves. They know the Georgia indictment is a joke — that a thousand Democratic politicians, including the prosecutor herself, could just as easily be indicted for the non-crime of claiming that elections have been stolen.
Democrats relished the idea of this moment — for years — before it happened. Yet now that it is a reality, what they should really fear is what Republicans will do in response.
Big changes will be made, and justifiably so. Secret archives will be opened. Mass pardons will be offered. Whole government departments will be dismantled or relocated. There will be no kangaroo courts — none of the perversions Democrats have committed — but the Democrats behind the “Russia collusion” hoax, including Hillary Clinton, should call their lawyers.
There will be no mercy for those who have attacked the rights and values of our constitution and then claimed to be acting in defense of democracy — a democracy they abhor when it provides leaders that do not serve their own corrupt interests.
The indictments of Donald Trump, capped by this final, vindictive effort at humiliation, are an attack on the rule of law and the foundation of our society. On social media, people mentioned the attack on Fort Sumter that launched the Civil War. And the analogy is valid, because there, too, the rebels held the advantage until the nation could regroup, and respond decisively.
Speaking personally, as a Republican voter who is broadly supportive of Trump and his policies, but who might have preferred an alternative, the persecution of Trump suggests there really is no alternative. A vote for Trump is the only way to protest what is going on, and perhaps to overcome it.
And it no longer matters whether this is all part of a clever Democratic plan to ensure that Republican voters nominate a supposedly “unelectable” candidate. It doesn’t even really matter if Trump loses this election. Few Republicans will consider that result credible. And the fight will continue, long after Trump, until the immense wrong of this moment — of six years of torment — has been remedied.
I was fearful of what a Trump mugshot might feel like. Not because of what might mean for the next election, but what it might mean for the country. I feared a sense of degradation. I feared that Democrats would not stop with Trump: the fact that the Georgia indictment — like the parallel federal indictment — criminalizes political speech really does mean they are coming for all of us.
But I found, to my surprise, once I saw the mugshot, that I felt excited, almost elated. Trump’s glowering face did not show pain or shame. It did not even show anger. It was a look of righteous indignation, the glare of a man who may be a prisoner now, but is actually in control. It was the expression he wore a thousand times on episodes of “The Apprentice.” It was how he looked when he said, “You’re Fired.”
They will all be fired, if he wins. And half the country is prepared to do whatever it takes to give him the chance.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.