Is Trump so desperate he’d risk getting shot to regain the White House? Without downsides?

How can Trump end up looking like the dumbest, lyingest punk operative who ever escaped from the sneaky Naked City?


Getting bloodied won’t block indictments or convictions—though schedule a hospital or morgue visit.

Trump is playing the martyr/victim” role to the hilt, having squandered all of his other cards. Trump believes that being publicly ‘handcuffed’ for a ‘perp walk’ would be politically advantageous. He opined that getting shot during a media-obsessed, perp walk puts him in the White House. “Only if he survives” comes the instant retort to a wacko attention freak. Who’d take out the criminal clown before the entertainment opens? 

As his fly-by-night campaign sags, why not, per the scheming Trump impresario, make a spectacle of being “unjustly, immorally, illegally” arrested by nefarious left-wing bullies?  But taking a bullet to garner more publicity speaks to lock-him-up insanity, beyond common or political sense. Except for inciters like Trump, who equate violence with control, this empty threat is campaign lunacy. Is this some primitive ritual sacrifice that elevates by magic the very (wounded) object of the practice? Nothing new but Trump can’t distinguish a martyr from a fool, a messiah from a gunshot victim. Any available wood crosses in town? Talk about dying in vain – or on the altar of vanity! That would fit the Trumpian idea of sainthood!

Of course, his legal quasi-brain trust shudders at seeing their client openly perp-walked—let alone serving as target practice for an even greater nutcase (though that will simplify their legal defense contrivances). Per reports, “Trump has rejected [not publicizing the perp work] and told various allies, over the weekend, that he didn’t care if someone shot him—he would become ‘a martyr.’ He later added that if he got shot, he would probably win the presidency in 2024.”  Uh oh, his perfectly desperate gut instinct rears its ugly head.

I see at least two modest problems with taking lead as his yellow brick road to re-election. First, one could get wounded and, while a convict can get elected, that doesn’t wash for corpses. Plus, wounded oldsters with bad immune systems have big recuperation issues (unless the bullet passes through the void between his ears). Really, it’s amazing how death limits one’s range of action, severely reducing lying, demonizing, even spitting vengeance. Or breathing. “President Dead Man” just doesn’t have the right reality T.V. ring—and who answers “yes” on screen at the swearing in? The disheveled ghost of the Greatest Prevaricator?

Electoral morality of criminality? 

Considering the high-denial, low information Trump fanatics, I get how showcasing the arrest and multiple criminal indictments could boost Trump’s lagging visibility, even spur fundraising. That confirms Oscar Wilde’s quip (which DT would favor if he could read), “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Bring on the prosecutions, I mean “persecutions,” so that Trump can again trumpet his absurd, delightfully fake analogy that what “they” (dark, evil forces) do to him exactly parallels what “they” (dark, evil government) do to aggrieved Trumpers. Well, both the deep and shallow state object to idiotic mobs violently invading their hallowed grounds, but otherwise who’s victimizing (or investigating) even inflammatory, loudmouth Trumpers (except fellow criminals)? Or gun nuts not breaking the law? Or religious nuts? Even white supremacist nuts?  Even Putin-lovers who want Ukraine overrun have unimpeded free speech.

Really, how are 99% of Trumpers at all similar to their champion Inciter-in-chief? Are they so rich they too can hire bus loads of mediocre defense lawyers after causing a crime wave—all because they thought they could get away with everything? Do they all “know more than the generals” or deem themselves “stable geniuses”? Do they forever cheat on their taxes or mislead insurance companies?  Did they arrogantly know everything about complex, global pandemics? Have they paid off porn stars to avoid bad publicity, then buried the payola by illegally writing it off as a campaign expense? Did they all get elected president, then fall over themselves to get impeached? Do they dye their hair or complexion a weird orange color? Indisputably, only one deranged law-breaker answers to this buffet of charming personality flaws—our one and only presidential crime boss. In a police line-up, he’s the snarling one with the orange mop.

The greater the crimes, the more electable?

Consider for a rational moment: is an egocentric, reality show perp-walk, or getting shot at—or facing multiple convictions—any sort of real-world path to win the nomination, let get elected? If so, would it then not follow that the more crimes you commit, the more impeachments you make inevitable, the more state secrets you steal, the better your political chances? That’s Trumpist illogic with a vengeance. Now, upside down logic can work as parody, if one’s running as a joke for student body president of your resident prison. But not in modern times after a failed, unpopular presidency when your orbit is failing.

So, what non-Trumpers will vote for a manifestly delusional Trump whose instincts tell him he’d be unbeatable after becoming the most infamous defendant /victim /martyr /loser / and/or criminal mob inciter? What lunacy says this plan makes sense? Hell, a smart sixth grader could fashion better fantasies than that concocted by gut instinct at 3 a.m. after gorging junk food. 

The best news is that Trump’s “latest mock logic/get attention all the time” re-election strategy is out in the open.  No more will we struggle with the Great Trump Paradox of figuring out whether he’s the world’s greatest, self-made billionaire success story who alone can fix everything—or whether he’s the world’s greatest, self-made, most pathetic, most bullied, innocent victim in western history. Hey, clarity of pitch is important in national campaigns. 

Trump has never been subtle: if his “perfectly” shaped, fat gut goes for something, he goes full in, whether racist supremacy, revering dictators, or demonizing critics as “enemies.” For always Trumpers he’s that one of a kind, full-bodied, genuine asshole, the guy who tells it like it is. Trump’s election lie, “I was robbed,” parallels his core pitch to his grievance gang, positing they’re (also) robbed blind by every institution that paranoia tells them they must become Democrats, a fate worse than death. “They’ll take away our opiates and junk food, then force us to wear masks, get vaccinated and do forced abortions.” Oppression, thy name is majority government. What else would make morons risk their liberty (with lawbreaking) just to match Trump’s reckless, avoidable criminality that jeopardizes his liberty—and treasure. If your chump hero is a criminal, then knee-jerk followers have no choice: “Criminals R us.” 

Do bad things really victimize good people?

When Trump’s worst protest lackeys are sitting in a cold jail cell, they’ll have to time to ponder the great mystery of how Mr. Power Savvy, knowing everything about money and influence, legalisms and dirty politics, plus war-making, disease control, tariffs, and foreign policy, ends up the sitting duck for four heavyweight prosecutors loaded for bear? How can Trump, whose bragging claimed intimacy with the treacherous, shadow world, end up facing monumental personal and financial calamity? That tracks another mystery, “When did the great political genius first lose his marbles, every orange one, and turn into the great modern loser who can’t get out of his own way?” How can Trump end up looking like the dumbest, lyingest punk operative who ever escaped from the sneaky Naked City?  

And, finally, how can a financial know-it-all squander over $400 million inherited from his indulgent (misguided) father for legal machinations to keep him at large?  It’s a final mystery, but the show is well underway. Getting shot would be too easy a way out. Let the Olympic games of jurisprudence begin (emphasizing the prudence part), and let the exposed, rancid pieces fall where they may. The Trump peak has peaked and the final question is whether the decline will be rapid or slow.  


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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.