September 1, 2023 By Michael Weymouth

Much is being made these days of former President Donald Trump’s mug shot. His admirers claim it is his Churchillian pose of stubborn resistance, with overtones of “don’t tread on me.” Actually the Churchill photo above was shot by portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh. Churchill’s dour expression was a momentary flicker when Karsh yanked Churchill’s cigar out of his mouth.

Frankly Trump’s mug shot bares a much closer resemblance to Malcolm McDowell’s character, Alex, in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, which takes place in a futuristic, dystopian Britain. Alex is a charismatic, anti-social delinquent whose interests include rape, theft and ultra violence. He leads a gang of compliant buddies called “droogs.”

Aside from the resemblance, there is also something about the Alex character that seems to mirror Donald Trump’s sociopath persona. While Alex’s transgressions were many magnitudes more egregious than Donald Trump’s, Webster’s description of a sociopath nevertheless seems to fit Trump to a T: Sociopathy is a mental health condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and societal norms and ignores the rights and feelings of others.

In the CLOCKWORK ORANGE story, Alex undergoes a transformative psychological rehab treatment called the Ludovico Technique, a brutal form of aversion therapy that includes watching non-stop films of extreme violence to the point where he becomes physically sick if he even thinks about committing a violent act. Once released into society, Alex becomes the model citizen, albeit one who goes on to encounter those he had harmed in his former life. You can imagine the payback that follows.

Further similarities are the “droogs” that surround the charismatic Alex before he undergoes his therapy. People often wonder how otherwise smart people seem to latch onto Donald Trump with the same fervor. Think “America’s mayor,” Rudy Giuliani. Perhaps Hillary Clinton would have been better off referring to Trump’s followers as Droogs rather than Deplorables. That would have sent journalists scurrying to figure out what the hell a droog is.

Then there is the title A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (note that I excluded the word “jumpsuit” after the word orange.) A clockwork orange is an apt description for what most assuredly will be an attempt by Trump and his lawyers to run out the clock on the numerous trials he’s being subjected to.

Finally, should Trump be found guilty, when it comes time to sentence him, the judge might well consider sentencing him to his own version of the Ludovico Treatment, which in Donald Trump’s case, would subject him to a year-long, 24/7 exposure to the many lies he has told. If successful, he would never be able to tell another lie for the rest of his life.

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