the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Aug 15, 2022
On August 8, the F.B.I. executed a search warrant of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Republicans immediately fell all over themselves to denounce the operation, calling it a sign of "tyranny," a “pre-emptive coup” against Trump running in 2024, and something that would only happen in a “banana republic." Right-wing propaganda outlet Breitbart even published the names of the F.B.I. agents involved in the search. All of this lit the fire under some in the far-right, culminating in an attack on the F.B.I. headquarters in Cincinnati that led to the attacker being killed.
Democrats at first debated among themselves—is it worth giving Trump another victim card to play, or does Trump need to be held accountable to “the rule of law?” When the warrant and list of seized materials were released on August 12, they indicated that Trump kept classified documents in his home—maybe related to nuclear weapons? Maybe having some dirt on French President Emmanuel Macron that would be useful to Vladimir Putin? Democrats crowed about Trump’s corruption and violation of the Espionage Act, and celebrated that finally Trump might be held to account.
Whatever the eventual outcome of the search, it seems that a large share of the country’s state apparatus—and behind them, the bourgeoisie—is ready to dump Trump once and for all. This is just the latest step, after the January 6 Committee hearings.
Trump played a useful role for them. The 40-year decline in living standards has discredited the “status quo” in the eyes of much of this country’s population. Trump has been able to channel that discontent in such a way that it pits the working class against itself, reinforcing the racist, anti-immigrant, and misogynist attitudes that the capitalist class has always encouraged to divide the working class.
But at the same time, Trump is a wild card. Not only is he self-serving, openly corrupt, and clearly careless with documents they want to keep secret. He is also willing to direct the population’s anger against the state apparatus itself—the “deep state” or “regime” in Trump’s words.
For the bourgeoisie and its state apparatus, it’s one thing for Trump supporters to shout to “build the wall” against immigrants. It’s another thing for a Trump supporter like Marjorie Taylor Greene to hawk “Defund the F.B.I” hats and shirts!
All this has produced a problem for the Republican Party. Trump has given them a very solid base—but it is a minority base. It remains to be seen if the Republican Party will be able to extricate itself from Trump the man, while keeping the loyalty of the Trump base. So Republicans have been doing verbal flips all over themselves to find some way to defend this obviously corrupt criminal, while maneuvering to see who among them will be able to attract his base.
But while the bourgeoisie, its political parties, and its state apparatus try to find a way to extricate themselves from Trump’s sticky hands, for workers, the problem is much deeper than this one man. Trump is certainly an enemy of the working class. But behind Trump stand legions of Republican politicians fighting over the chance to play the same reactionary, anti-worker game, from Ron DeSantis to Greg Abbot to Marjorie Taylor Greene—and they are not going away, whatever happens to Trump.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party oversaw the conditions that opened the door for Trump’s demagogy—and they continue to do so today. If Biden has an atrocious approval rating, it’s not because workers “can’t see all the good he’s done"—it’s because under his presidency, we face skyrocketing prices, stagnant wages, and continually deteriorating services! The Democrats serve the capitalist class just as much as the Republicans, even if they position themselves to attract a different electoral base. And in this period, the capitalist system cannot offer workers even the crumbs we got 40 years ago. So the “reasonable” Democrats running this atrocious system can only continue to feed the anger of the population—which is largely being directed today by right-wing demagogues like Trump.
There is only one way out of Trump and Trumpism—for the working class to organize itself to fight, to put forth its own interests, its own answers to this crisis. Otherwise, whatever happens to Trump the man, the forces driving the right-wing turn of this country continue to accelerate.