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

Trump Guilty:
Does It Change Anything Real?

Jun 3, 2024

Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, has been found guilty of 34 felonies stemming from his plot to pay off a porn star to bury a story that would hurt his electoral chances in 2016. Trump is the first former president to ever be convicted of a crime.

That’s somewhat of an accident of history—does anyone remember Richard Nixon, who was in danger of prosecution until Gerald Ford pardoned him as soon as Ford took office? But still, it holds up as something that has never happened before in American history.

Different political people have responded to the verdict in different ways, depending of course on which side of the Democrat-Republican divide they stand.

Republicans standing with Trump (and Trump himself, of course) decry the verdict as a travesty of justice. Trump has made gestures to black Americans, saying they should know what he’s going through with a rigged system, acknowledging how the justice system has been used against black people in America every day.

But Trump himself has been a loud participant in that rigged system. When the Central Park Five were charged with the crime of rape against a jogger in 1989, Trump took out full-page ads calling for their executions. Even after they were all exonerated, Trump doubled down on his call, saying they still deserved the death penalty. And this is the guy who now tries to say he’s the victim of a rigged system!

Biden is no better. He has spoken loudly about the ‘Rule of Law,’ even in regard to the ‘Laws of War,’ which supposedly protect innocent civilians in conflict. But when videos get published of Palestinians waving the white flag, getting shot down in cold blood, Biden and his administration have nothing to say.

In truth, Republicans say that Trump’s conviction shows how rotten the system is—but only as far as their presidential candidate is concerned. Democrats say that the conviction shows that the system works—but only insofar as the conviction of their opponent is concerned. They say nothing about how the system has attacked black and working-class defendants just trying to live their lives.

Working people have nothing to gain from Trump’s conviction, or from Biden’s candidacy. We can only depend on our own forces.