Print the page
Increase font size

Posted September 13, 2023

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

The Mugshot Seen Around the World

  • Was this arrest a curse… or a blessing?
  • Did the Dems open a populist Pandora’s Box?
  • Get ready for Trump’s Courthouse Campaign!

Happy Hump Day from overcast Asti!

Once again, my friend and colleague Byron King wrote a wonderful piece on how the next presidential election might be conducted.

The world’s most famous mugshot may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing for Trump’s persecutors… I mean… prosecutors!

Over to Byron!

You’ve seen the mugshot. Now comes the courthouse campaign.


Mugshot from Fulton County, Georgia: former President Donald Trump.NBC News.

Today, we’ll discuss politics.

But don’t click away.

I promise you; this will NOT be more of that blow-dried, talking head blah-blah you see on network or cable TV. Nor will I spout insipid, sanctimonious, law school/barstool drivel like you see in mass-opinion media.

Because this is Paradigm Press, and we’re different. We dissect events to discern what they mean to your wealth, investments, and long-term financial security.

And seriously, with what’s coming next year, you can either make a lot of money or lose a bunch.

It’s up to you, so let’s dig in…

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

First, look again at that mugshot. It’s not what one usually sees from the booking room down at the county jail, right?

Does Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, come across like he thinks he’s “guilty” of anything? That he committed a crime? That he’s under arrest pursuant to a proper bust?

Ha! To ask the question is to answer it.

Clearly, Trump is defiant. In the photo, his eyes burn. He stares right through the lens of the camera operator as if to (slowly) say… “4Q,” if you get my drift.

Immediately after its release, this image exploded into a worldwide host of Trump memes. And as an aside, the jailhouse photographer just redefined his career with this iconic shot. Indeed, the camera guy is the next Ansel Adams.

Then again, Trump is sui generis and fits no standard molds. The show's star arrived in Atlanta in his personal Boeing-757, accompanied to the spectacle by a retinue of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement, including the U.S. Secret Service. The sound and fury were broadcast live to the world while crowds lined the streets.

You can like Donald Trump or not; love him or despise him. Sure, go ahead and believe that Trump’s arrest, booking, and mugshot made a great day for the country and that the bum is finally going down.

Or you can believe that this entire Trump affair is raw, ugly politics, a demented lawfare stunt by America’s homegrown Bolshevik class, and a precursor to the End Days.

Indeed, some might think that America's Deep State has well and truly crossed a modern Rubicon by weaponizing the courts against a former president and ignominiously dragging him inside the walls of some dirty, shithole Georgia jail.

Because there’s no coming back from that, no forgive-and-forget. No, we’re now living through the nadir phase of the Republic, soon to break up like the Soviet Union of 1991. (Hey, got any gold?)

And yet? Well, we’re far past opinion, yours, mine, or anybody else’s. Trump’s odyssey has now settled into a vast arc of its own. History unfolds as we watch a tsunami come right at us, if not a giant asteroid.

Pandora’s Populist Box

Looking back, it’s fair to say that Trump has long held massive political momentum since he glided down the escalator at his eponymous building at 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, in June 2015.

Crisply and efficiently, he mopped the floor with Republican competitors in the primaries and then took on the entitled (“My Turn”) Hillary.

In 2016, Trump campaigned hard, talked the talk, and said what many people wanted to hear: basic things like building a wall, stopping shipping jobs away, ending the long wars, and making NATO pay. 

To America’s long-suffering working class – aka “deplorables” (thank you, Hillary) – nobody else talked like Trump. And obviously, the billionaire real estate mogul and TV star appealed to enough voters to get elected.


Well, America’s ruling class went nuts. College-educated women wore pink hats, and college dropout Antifa goons staged four years of street riots. The federal bureaucracy slow-walked Trump policies between these extremes, while federal judges stymied the administration at every opportunity.

Eventually, Trump exited the White House, and feel free to think of that want you wish.

But now, with this one photo, Trump’s opponents have gone over-the-top insane with their deranged hatred. And they have inadvertently (well, I suspect it’s inadvertently) created a new force of nature.

As in, there was no camera in the Georgia jail; it was a populist’s Pandora’s Box.

Step back for a moment and consider how, in general, Americans have a cultural fascination with crime and criminal justice. Rich and poor, mighty and humble, Americans love lawyer and courtroom TV dramas. Think back to the long-ago days of Perry Mason, Matlock, and LA Law. Or recall public fascination with the OJ Trial, Elizabeth Holmes, Johnny Depp, and many more.

And then along comes Trump and that image, the mugshot seen ‘round the world. That single photo has measurably strengthened the man’s appeal. Trump’s numbers are up. His merchandise is selling like beer on a troop ship.

Meanwhile, now and in the future, with every indictment, every “criminal” count, every press conference by every partisan-hack prosecutor – ah, but on that point, I repeat myself – Trump grows in strength like a Gulf of Mexico hurricane.

In federal and state courts, lawyers sue Trump. Prosecutors file charges. Judges somberly set dates for motions, hearings, and trials; there’s even a televised trial in the Georgia case! (OMG, what was that judge thinking?)

And through it all, there’s the Orange Man, sucking up political energy and spinning whirlwinds inside a growing cyclonic storm above the warm waters offshore Mar a Lago, Florida. Heck, you can probably see it all developing from space.

As it unfolds, Trump is once again about to come ashore as a Category 5 disruptor of American politics. Yes, he’s done that before, but now he will make landfall with even more strength than in 2016 and 2020. Indeed, Trump in 2024 will shake things up in ways we can barely discern.

And on that point, let’s recall some history.

America’s Old Fashioned “Front Porch” Campaigns

In the 19th century, U.S. presidential campaigns were constrained by available methods.

For the first century of the country’s existence, Americans moved about by horse and wagon. Sure, over time, America built a rail system. But it was never easy – and usually hard – to get from one part of the nation to another. 

With travel slow and difficult on the best of days, early U.S. presidential candidates tended not to move around much. In this sense, many early elections unfolded via what people called “front porch” campaigns. Candidates remained at home and did not crisscross the country.

In this early campaign model, supporters, reporters, and other chroniclers would call on the candidate in person and visit face to face. The candidate would speak, standing on the front porch of his abode. And then the message would be relayed out to newspapers across the land.

Well-known front porch campaigns include the election of James Garfield in 1880, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and William McKinley in 1896. They remained at home, campaigned in their easygoing manner, and eventually became president.

But now, in 2023 – 24, we see something old yet new, and there’s no telling how this will play out.

The Looming Courthouse Campaign

Trump’s prosecutors in Florida, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and New York (the list so far) want to take their man to court in 2024, during primary season, campaign season, and even in the weeks leading up to Election Day in 2024.

Of course, it’s obvious why… Because they want to serve the interests of justice, right? And because “No one is above the law,” as the saying goes, yes?

No, just kidding.

Actually, the prosecutors (and apparently, the judges) want Trump to sit in a criminal courtroom throughout the 2024 election cycle. They’ll hammer him with every charge they can hurl: He retained folders filled with presidential-level records! He solicited election-skeptical legal briefs from his lawyers! And he definitely made telephone calls about vote counts! 

Indeed, per those last points, an entirely new form of crime has been charged against numerous of Trump’s alleged accomplices, namely that they committed felonies via what’s known as “the practice of law.” Yes, federal and state prosecutors have actually charged Trump’s past attorneys with felony counts for writing legal memos about election issues.

I won’t belabor any arcane legal points of the charging documents. As promised at the outset, we’ll have no law review articles here. Read up on everything somewhere else at your leisure.

For you and me, dear reader, the takeaway from this is not so much the foundation or nature of the charges against Trump as it is the strange, new campaign forum that his opponents and enemies have created.

Because now, instead of campaigning from his Boeing, flying across the landscape and giving talks in football stadiums and NASCAR raceways, the previous president will be forced to campaign from the steps of a string of courthouses up and down the East Coast, from Miami to New York.

And what a campaign this will be: Trump’s Courthouse Campaign!

With Trump in the dock(s), an entire world of Ahabs now have their massive Orange Whale. And what comes from it will be epic.

No doubt, U.S. and international media will scrupulously cover every step of every case against Trump in every courtroom. Media will flood the zone with micro-analysis of every document filed. Breathless reporters will detail every motion in limine, every hearing, every procedural ruling. We’ll hear about every request for every interlocutory appeal.

How about picking juries? I suspect becoming a Trump juror will be more competitive and selective than gaining admission to Harvard, with the same screening procedures to ensure left-wing bias.

And all of this will happen just in the early phases, the next several months, and before the star of the show even walks onto the stage.

Because when Trump finally makes his appearance? Whoa… The. Show. Must. Go. On. And the courthouse will be a mob scene that rivals a Taylor Swift concert.

Protesters will appear outside. Street theater will be Broadway quality.

All this while media trucks stretch up and down the main drags; indeed, birds in the sky will be fried into crispy chicken nuggets by the Trumpian microwave signals blasting upwards from the satellite dishes.

Do you want a spectacle?

Oh, yes, just strap in because a spectacle it will be, and it won’t end, not for a year. All day, every day, after every courthouse scene, reporters will vie with each other to scoop the results.

We’ll see details of documents suppressed (or not), analysis of restrictions on witness testimony, and broad gag orders from judges who look in the mirror and see themselves as historic figures because, to be sure, these worthies would NEVER want trial-related publicity to taint the jury or outcome, correct? Again,… just kidding.

Legal gladiators on the courthouse steps – certainly those carrying shields marked with the Trump emblem – will approach the maze of microphones and cameras and explain their points, defending their client. While prosecutors will belly up to the reporters and state, declaratively, that “We don’t want to try this case in the media!” (No, of course not…)

Occasionally, at one opportunity or another, the man himself – one Donald J. Trump, former U.S. President – might even say a few words, as he is known sometimes to do. Yes, seriously. He might.

And all of this will happen not once, not twice, or thrice, but… in four trials in the next year, and who knows, maybe more.

Those Trump cases and courtroom dramas will suck every molecule of oxygen out of the political and media system throughout the upcoming election cycle.

War in Ukraine? Tensions with China? Inflation? Energy? Looming recession? Open borders? Crime?

Hey, don’t worry; Trump is on trial.

Getting back to the beginning of this note, you can think whatever you want about Trump, good or bad. But we all still have an economy to deal with out there. Lives to live. Investments to make. All in the context of a country where politics has gone toxic.

We live in bizarre times. Do Trump’s enemies really understand what a broad and powerful platform they have just handed to their nemesis?

Or let’s phrase that question in another way: Every fall in America, the National Football League pretty much owns Sunday. But with Trump and his courthouse platforms, his enemies have given him control over every day of next year.

See you in court, Mr. President.


Trump and Churchill flash “V” for victory signs.UK Daily Mail.

That’s all for now… Thank you for subscribing and reading.

The Democrats’ Dilemma

The Democrats’ Dilemma

Posted July 23, 2024

By Sean Ring

: We know many who jumped on her bandwagon early. But who hasn’t is more interesting.

Harris/Obama 2024?

Posted July 22, 2024

By Sean Ring

What a weekend it’s been. Kackling Kamala chosen to run as the sacrificial lamb in the November turkey shoot.

The EU Has No Credibility

Posted July 19, 2024

By Sean Ring

Ursula von der Leyen wins another term as President of the EU Commission, despite yesterday losing a case for the Covid vaccines.

Training Shiny Young Things

Posted July 18, 2024

By Sean Ring

The kids keep getting younger, but their role in learning the ropes before they get to their desks is crucial to the bank's operations.

These Stocks Made So Much Money!

Posted July 17, 2024

By Sean Ring

Ray Blanco has had a hot hand all year. These are my favorite four picks.

The Trump adVance Continues

Posted July 16, 2024

By Sean Ring

Trump secures nomination and names J.D. Vance as his running mate.