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What Michael Avenatti’s arrest says about the state of politics

Michael Avenatti, porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney, has been arrested on charges of domestic violence. After he posted his $50,000 bail, he made a brief statement, according to ABC news: “I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I have been an advocate for women’s rights my entire career and I’m going to continue to be an advocate. I’m not going to be intimidated from stopping what I’m doing.” Further, Avenatti has also called the statements “bogus” and “completely fabricated.” According to the Guardian, “The victim in the case had visible injuries, according to officer Tony Im, a police spokesman.” Avenatti has hinted at a 2020 presidential run.

To recap the scenario so far: President Donald Trump had sex with a porn star called Stormy Daniels, and then he paid her (and another woman) hush money to keep their affair quiet. According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, new evidence “raises the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws” with that hush money.

Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, sued Trump for defamation when Trump denied the payments. Avenatti then trickled information out to the media and promised to reveal facts that would further humiliate Trump. This catapulted him into the national spotlight.

Once in the national spotlight––which he got by suing the president of the United States on behalf of a porn star––Avenatti began to position himself for a 2020 presidential run.

Now, Avenatti is being investigated for domestic violence.

Let’s all just take a moment to reflect on the episode of Days of Our Lives that is our political climate. It should not come as a surprise, after all Trump did host his own reality show––and he had a pretty sweet cameo in Home Alone Two. The 2016 election season was a media circus, and since the election late-night shows have been a race to bash Trump. It’s easy to believe that the worlds of politics and entertainment are blending more than they ever have before.

But that’s just not the case. We tend to be shortsighted and think that the world now is terrible compared to what it once was, and that our political climate is a total mess, everything is going to the dogs, there’s nothing good on the radio anymore, and you know in my day we had to walk ten miles in the snow to get to school. For better or for worse, politics has always been a spectacle. The Washington Post refers to the Lincoln-Douglas debates:

“Yet the Lincoln-Douglas debates were also a traveling circus. Thousands of spectators, playing hooky from their monotonous farms, flocked to each small-town venue from the surrounding countryside. Bands played. Cannons boomed. The candidates literally led parades to the stage.”

We should also remember that Joe McCarthy was an incredible showman, and that Ronald Reagan was an actor. There’s nothing new in principle happening in current politics. We’re just more focused on it than we have been in the past.

More about politics.

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