The Spark

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

"A Threat to Democracy"—But Whose Democracy?!

Aug 7, 2023

Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, was indicted on August 1 on four counts stemming from his attempt to have people stop the Congressional certification of the results of the 2020 election on January 6, 2021. He was arraigned on August 3, when he pled “not guilty” to all four charges.

This is the third time Trump has been charged with felonies in the past six months—and by some measures it may be the most serious, since his actions were certainly meant to stop the transfer of the presidency to Joe Biden, winner of the November 2020 election, and they certainly led to a riot at the Capitol Building.

Democrats, and the liberal bourgeois press, say that Trump’s actions were a dangerous threat to “democracy,” nothing less than an attempted coup. They’ve been urging his prosecution in order to “save democracy.”

Trump and the right-wing media outlets have called Trump’s prosecutions a “witch-hunt", purely political, the “real” “threat to democracy". They call his indictments an attack on his supporters, the ordinary people who support him.

In this whole dog-and-pony show, we’re bombarded by messages from both sides about the “threat to democracy” presented by the other side. We’re told that the only way to “save democracy” is to support Trump or his Democratic opponent in 2024.

Which begs the question, “What democracy?” And for whom? Whose democracy is this supposed to be?

Working people have known for a long time that these two parties that talk about democracy do not serve our interests. Nothing fundamental changes. That’s why so many have quit voting.

In this “democratic” system, we are locked into a choice between two major parties, Democratic and Republican, neither of which represents working people. Both truly represent capitalists and the capitalist system.

Both parties sit in both Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of both parties sit as governors, mayors and state legislative representatives. Both parties appoint the millions of functionaries that daily transfer our tax revenue to the big corporations, to cover tax breaks for the rich, the upper class.

Meanwhile, in this so-called democracy, it is a shit-storm for the working class every day as these so-called “representatives” engineer the tearing apart of jobs, hospitals, schools, infrastructure. Who’s truly fixing the damn roads! What about the heat! Have they made any real efforts to stop the climate disasters?

What about the ruinous war in Ukraine? Both parties fund that on-going massacre of both Ukrainians and Russians with almost 100 billion dollars of our tax money, with no discussion!

When railroad workers were on strike, Biden AND Congress forced those workers into an agreement that stopped far short of what they needed. They broke that strike.

Trump and his Republicans talk about standing for the “forgotten people” of the working class. But what he focused on during his presidency was dividing working people: native-born against immigrants, white against black, men against women. His policies benefited the wealthy against all of those working people, even those he said he represented.

Just like every president, Republican or Democrat. And every Senator, and every Congressperson, when push comes to shove.

THIS is the “democracy” they want us to protect, whether for or against Trump.

Working people need a different democracy. One that WE create, one WE control, from top to bottom. One in which OUR needs take center stage. A democracy in which ALL of us could truly be part of making decisions and fixing things, every single day.

A Workers’ Democracy.

To fall into their trap, to care whether Trump gets convicted or exonerated, is to get pulled away from what really matters: our true interests as a class, and building our own political organizations.

These vultures and the capitalists they serve will never willingly give over control to working class representatives with a working-class agenda. The power will have to be taken from them and the corporations by force.

So be it. We need our own working-class party to lead a fight for the majority, not the billionaire minority.