Editor’s Note: Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst, is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author and editor of 25 books, including the New York Times best-seller, “Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Lies and Legends About Our Past” (Basic Books). Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.
On Thursday evening, Donald J. Trump had his mug shot taken as he was booked at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta. The sheriff office’s record listed the former president as “White Male 6’ 3” 215 lbs” with “Blond or Strawberry” hair and “blue” eyes.
Trump, who was indicted for the fourth time earlier this month, faces more than a dozen charges under Georgia’s version of the RICO statute — originally used to prosecute organized criminal syndicates — alongside 18 co-defendants for their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Peach State.
In any other moment in American history, the news of a former US president being booked in a jail while trying to win back the White House would be absolutely shocking. The landmark moment would end any candidacy and assure its place in future history textbooks.
But that is not necessarily the reaction we’re seeing today. With Trump facing an array of legal troubles, the latest news is, for many Americans, just another booking, on just another day, in what is just another example of Trump being Trump.