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[Analyse] The image of Donald Trump has scratched the city that made him an icon.

[Analyse] The image of Donald Trump has scratched the city that made him an icon.

This is the beginning of a new era we’ve been waiting for for so long: Trump has finally hit a wall. He’s now responsible for his crimes and he’s going to have to answer for them,” projected Lisa Estienne, a Democratic activist who met Tuesday at the foot city courthouse where the former president was arrested and formally charged with document fraud by the Manhattan justice.

For decades, New York has helped brighten Trump’s messaging and empire as a horrible mobster from Queens, who has become a powerful, almost token figure in the city’s real estate development. But since Tuesday, the city, through its Manhattan jurisdiction above all else, has filed its first charge against the seemingly indomitable former reality TV star turned spin-off politician turned leader of the right. An American extremist with authoritarian and anti-democratic leanings. A change of habit and course, less flattering to the majority of New Yorkers, more liberal, more progressive, more Democratic, who emphasized their detachment of personality. The breakup that came on Tuesday to celebrate again.

Lisa Estienne continues Trump’s longtime love affair with New York, because we knew before the rest of the country that his lies would eventually catch up with him. »

“In 2016, they got divorced,” adds Bill Gabriel, 62, a construction worker from Long Island, who took time off on Tuesday specifically to attend Donald Trump’s appearance in New York Criminal Court. His picture collapsed here on the day of his inauguration [en janvier 2017]When thousands of women took to the streets of the city to denounce the arrival of this impostor, racist and misogynist, to the White House. Yes, he still has vocal supporters. But you have to see this indictment as the first in a series that ends with him being overpowered. At least that’s what I hope for. »

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political actions?

In the days before the populist surrender to 15H On the Manhattan criminal court floor to comply with his fingerprint and formal appearance before Judge Juan Merchan, nearly 60% of Americans agreed with the former president’s indictment, according to a CNN poll. But in the largest majority (76%), these same Americans also seem convinced that the legal proceedings initiated against a populist are tainted, more or less, by politics than by a genuine sense of justice.

This is not necessarily good news for his critics, many in New York, who are waiting to see him fall, believes political scientist Timothy Hagel, who joined him. duty at the University of Iowa. “The legal theories behind the indictment give the impression that this is a politically motivated move,” he said. And for now, that will mostly stir up sentiment around Trump, rather than the other way around. »

In the days following the former president’s impeachment trial last Thursday, campaign officials said they had collected at least $4 million in donations from activists seeking to support their candidate in the face of the news. Even worse, when a Manhattan court issued its warrant for the populist’s arrest, a YouGov investigation confirmed Donald Trump’s lead over his potential opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 57% voting intentions to 31%, in light of the upcoming Republican primary. This is 10 points more than the previous month.

unstable balance

“The emergence of Donald Trump helps him as much as it hurts him,” he sums up in an interview with Mark Jones, a specialist in American politics at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Yes, it provides him another avenue to mobilize his base of supporters against what he calls political oppression. This is also the message he has tried. Her delivery from Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, during the conference he gave following his court appearance in New York. He adds: “It reinforces his core populist message that he is fighting for ‘the people’ against ‘the elite’, and that when justice attacks Trump, it also threatens all his supporters.” .

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But that position also weakens him in the run-up to the general election, as Trump then risks losing a rematch against Joe Biden, no doubt by a larger margin than in 2020, Mr. Jones continues. And it helps undermine GOP efforts to retain with a majority in the House of Representatives, strengthening and controlling the US Senate. »

The equation must have been complicated for the Republicans, who now face a ride to power in 2016, but their recent accusations and grim populist imagery set a historic precedent.

Monster horror movie

“Trump may be accused of trying to manipulate the results of the Georgia election,” Alan Lichtman, a historian of American politics at American University in Washington, said in an interview. Hence it appears that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith has strong evidence against Donald Trump in illegally keeping classified documents at his private home in Mar-a-Lago and obstructing justice, a case that could sway even its most unqualified supporters, “less inclined to allow themselves to be persuaded not to.” The importance of a national security issue, adds the academic.

For David Niven, a political scientist who specializes in communications at the University of Cincinnati, Donald Trump remains in spite of everything, in the current storm, in the same position as “a horror movie monster that won’t go away anytime soon,” he says. “When you think he’s dead, he ends up coming back, doing a lot of damage, even if he doesn’t win in the end.”

And Mark Jones adds that he is not the only one who loses. “By promoting his image of the oppressed, Donald Trump continues to exacerbate political polarization in the United States,” he said. And after the charges brought against him this week, if he wins the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, it will cause more damage to the American political system and democracy.

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This report was funded by the support of Transat International Press Fund-duty.

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