Will Donald Trump even make it to trial?

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Donald Trump is finished in American public life, but there are still some specific reasons why it’s worth continuing to keep tabs on him. For instance, we’ve continued tracking the multiple criminal cases and a financial squeeze descending on him. Here’s the thing, though.

Trump’s handlers and allies have begun tweeting new photos of him, and insisting that he’s looking great, or in great shape. Check out the latest instance of this:

Trump looks so ghastly in this photo, we would have thought it was photoshopped to make him look bad, if not for the fact that it was posted by one of his own allies. He looks, for lack of a better word, ill. And while any given photograph can be deceiving based on the angle or the lighting, Trump has looked this bad in all of the recent photos posted by his handlers.

What really stands out is that Trump no longer appears to be bothering to wear his trademark orange facial makeup. He’s been refusing to be seen in public without his makeup since long before he first took office, so it’s not as if he’s simply relaxing his standards because he’s no longer in office. In fact, when you consider how much of a narcissist he is, it’s hard to imagine that he’d allow himself to appear without his trademark makeup, unless he’s too far gone to know the difference.

Observers on Twitter have made much out of the bandage on his arm. It’s certainly not uncommon to see people Trump’s age with bandages here and there. That said, several of Trump’s photos over the past six months have revealed either bandages or bruises on his hands and/or arms. It could be nothing, but within the context of how ghastly he’s looking overall, it raises questions.

The revealing part is that multiple Trump handlers have suddenly decided to post these ghastly new images of Trump, while insisting that he looks great. They know how bad he looks in these photos, so they’re certainly not trying to impress the public. Instead they’re surely playing for an audience of one. They presumably just wanted to show their tweets to Trump, in order to convince him that he looks great in his current condition.

This in turn suggests that Trump may have begun expressing some degree of dissatisfaction with his deteriorating appearance, which would mean that he’s not totally gone in the head. But if his handlers are able to convince him that he looks great just by showing him their tweets about how great he looks, that would mean he’s become so suggestible, he truly is fading.

In any case, Donald Trump’s apparently rapidly deteriorating condition won’t magically save him from standing trial; no judge gives a defendant a free pass just for looking ghastly and disheveled. But if Trump really is declining as swiftly as these photos suggest, it does make you wonder if he’ll even live long enough to make it to trial. This matters, because Trump’s trial and conviction can serve as a major healing and teaching moment for the nation.

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