Aug 6, 2017
Trump’s administration has been a train wreck. His poll numbers have plunged. And the spectre of impeachment is hanging over his head. In the middle of this situation, General John Kelly has been appointed Trump’s new chief of staff, charged with bringing order into a chaotic White House.
The level of disruption and dysfunction in the Trump White House is unprecedented. Just six months into the new presidency, the number of firings and resignations, the infighting and information leaks have created a staff at war with itself. Most of the political appointments normally staffed by a president remain unfilled.
This is normally the period when a new administration is at its most powerful. But the Republican Party, with majorities in both houses of Congress and Trump in the White House, hasn’t been able to put together a simple majority to get any significant legislation passed in Congress.
The possibility of impeachment hangs over it all, driven by the hornet’s nest that Trump himself has ripped open. What started out as a simple investigation into Russia’s role in the election has broadened into something much bigger – because Trump can’t leave it alone.
When he urged then-FBI director Comey to let the investigation go; when he fired Comey to stop the investigation; when he bristled about the appointment of a special counsel and threatened to fire his own attorney general and get rid of the counsel; when he continues to refuse to release his tax returns – all of these things make it seem that Trump is hiding something dirty in his finances.
Trump himself has guaranteed that a small investigation that didn’t even involve him at first has now spread, like a cancer, to his family’s financial dealings with Russian oligarchs, quite possibly including money-laundering for Russian gangsters.
With every crazy tweet and proclamation Trump made, he only reinforced the possibility that impeachment proceedings will push on, seeking a way to remove him. The appointment of a general to run the White House is maybe a last- ditch attempt to protect Trump from his own mouth.
The capitalist class that runs this country is okay with corruption. But they’re not okay with a president who flaunts that corruption in full public view. Trump is hardly the only corrupt politician, hardly the only corrupt real estate tycoon, hardly the only liar to occupy the White House. But he doesn’t bother to hide it. And that draws too much attention to the corruption of the whole capitalist system and its government.
So, what does all this mean for working people, for the vast majority of the population?
To the extent that General Kelly gets Trump’s act together to carry out policies, these policies will fundamentally be the same as those carried out by presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton (and Bush and Reagan) before him. Wars in the Middle East – check. Tax breaks for the rich, bailouts for banks and corporations – check. Crackdowns on immigration, deportations, tearing apart families – check. The shredding of social programs; the eroding of public services and schools – check.
All of those presidents, with Congress standing behind them, served the interests of the capitalist class, to the detriment of the population.
Whether Trump goes or stays, capitalist exploitation will remain. Corruption will remain. The drive of capital to maximize profit leads to corruption, including that around Trump.
What needs to be ripped out is not just one politician, not just one corrupt businessman, but the whole capitalist SYSTEM, a system based on hoarding profits for the few at the increasing expense of the many.
This system needs to be replaced, by a system that truly works to meet the needs of human beings. Impeachment won’t bring that about, nor will elections. What is needed is a new communal society, organized for the benefit of everyone. And that can only be built by the working class, when it organizes itself.