Discover more from The Good in Us by Mary L. Trump
Except when you do
Donald Trump used his position in the White House, and the power that went along with it, to incite an insurrection, attempt to steal an American election, and do his best to destroy American democracy. As we saw this evening as evidenced by the absurd motorcades and the wall-to-wall coverage, he continues to benefit from the position he once held, to our eternal shame, and benefit from having been allowed to wield that power.
If nothing else, I hope we can finally dispense with the nonsensical notion that everyone is treated equally under the law.
It is, however, important to note that, though bookended by the over-the-top coverage and the grotesque display of privilege*, inside the Fulton County jail, Donald was treated like any other criminal defendant: he surrendered, he submitted, he was in custody (in other words, until the process was completed, he could not have left even if he wanted to); he had a mugshot taken (about which more in a minute); he got fingerprinted; and (presumably) like everybody else who has ever been arrested there, he had the opportunity to lie about his height and weight.
As Joyce Vance said recently, when prosecutors before Fani Willis allowed Donald to avoid participating in the typical booking process, they handed him an opportunity to choreograph the spectacle in such a way that the only thing spectators saw was his power and privilege. This left him in total control of conveying the sense that he was somehow special and above the law despite the fact that he was being indicted.
The Fulton County indictment has taken him down a few pegs. And, despite the fact that Donald has likely practiced his mugshot face in the mirror for the last two weeks, he missed the mark by several light years. He was going for tough; he was going for slightly menacing righteous indignation. What he gave us was barely controlled raged (a rage that seems literally to have turned his eyes red) fueled by his inability to make any of this stop. Most crucially, we also the mark left when, despite his best efforts, his all-encompassing sense of humiliation and abject terror start seeping up from his unconscious.
We are a long way out from justice. And, in the grand scheme of things, today was the smallest of victories. But it matters that Donald finally had to submit to the rule of law. And, for what it’s worth, this was the worst day he has ever lived through—and it’s all downhill for him from there.
*Seriously, who was paying for all of those motorcycles and SUVs; who was paying for the massive number of law enforcement officers needed to shut down the entire route from Bedminster to the airport in New jersey and then from the airport in Atlanta to the Fulton County jail and back again?