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The Left Might Regret Using Trump's Mugshot

Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

It has become the snapshot seen all over the world. The image of former President Donald Trump's scowling countenance in his mugshot has taken the media by storm. His visage has dominated on the airwaves and interwebs.

Printed on the front pages of prominent newspapers, spun virally on social media platforms, and emblazoned on the backgrounds of cable news programs, this photo has already sparked debate and speculation about how the iconic picture might influence the upcoming election. While folks on the left are celebrating the spectacle, it remains to be seen if any have truly questioned whether this fiasco might not work in their favor.

Americans on both sides of the political divide would agree that Trump's mugshot is a sort of visual representation of the Fulton County indictment against the former president. People on the left view the photograph as a triumphant moment. After years of being falsely assured that "the walls are closing in" and that Trump would finally pay for wounding their tender sensibilities, they think they have finally defeated their greatest and most terrifying foe.

The New York Daily News took the opportunity to label Trump as the "Enemy of Democracy." The Lincoln Project, ever struggling for a pebble of relevancy, used the moment to sell merchandise.

On the other hand, for those on the right, Trump's mugshot is something more. It is a symbol of a bloated and malevolent government being weaponized by nefarious forces against a political opponent, one that is perceived to stand for the regular everyman. Even more, it is an attack on those who voted for him because they felt politically alienated.

What the left has not yet realized is that this exhibition could very well come back to bite them in their rainbow-colored derrieres. Trump has consistently shown the world how adept he is at taking attacks against him and using them for his own advantage. Indeed, pro-Trump influencers have already begun using the image to rally support for their preferred candidate, just as they did with Hillary Clinton's infamous "deplorables" comment. The photograph provides a concrete and powerful emblem representing what they are up against: A tyrannical government willing to go to any lengths to make sure their voices are ignored and treated like so much rubbish.

For the primary campaign, this development could be pivotal. The prior indictments have already boosted Trump considerably in the polls. The latest charges, accompanied by a stark photo reminder of what the left is doing, could all but seal up the nomination for the former president. After all, who is talking about Wednesday night's debate now?

In the general election, it is worth noting that the mugshot probably won't change the minds of those who already plan to vote against Trump. It will probably not do much to convince those who already dislike him to change their minds. In that area, it won't give him much of an edge.

However, when it comes to independents, it is possible that the former president's mugshot could peel off some of those who are on the fence. Sure, they may not love Trump, but the obvious political weaponization of the justice system just might be enough to get them to turn against Democrats. 

The real impact will be felt among conservatives and Republicans. When it comes to firing up the base, the image could be just what Trump needs to motivate people to come out on his behalf. Those in the conservative camp might galvanize themselves around the picture, and be more willing to campaign and show up to the polls when it comes time to vote.

Of course, it is still too early to tell how the Fulton County indictment will affect Trump's political aspirations. But one thing is clear: That mugshot isn't going away anytime soon and will likely have a profound influence on the rest of the race.

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