Mar 4, 2019
The testimony of Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was supposed to pull back the curtain on the corrupt workings of the Trump empire. But nothing that Cohen revealed in the public hearing before the Congressional Oversight Committee is new. We didn’t need Cohen’s testimony to tell us that Trump is a racist, or that Trump cheated on his taxes, fleeced people who worked for him, regularly used threats and intimidation to get his way, made illegal hush payments, or used political influence to negotiate business deals with foreign governments.
This is so obvious that not even the Republicans in Congress defended Trump against Cohen’s allegations. They limited themselves to merely calling Cohen a liar.
For decades, Trump and those around him had gotten away with breaking laws, operating like gangsters. None of that was a problem for the government, law enforcement or all those politicians now pretending to be outraged. After all, these officials work to serve the interests of Trump and other capitalists, bending the laws in their favor. Crooked tax returns, ripping off people left and right, or taking out full-page virulently racist ads? For them it is business as usual.
But when Trump became president, he went from capitalist to top government official in the service of the capitalist class – something which Trump obviously never could bring himself to do. As president, he still put his own personal enrichment and interests in front of everything, even other U.S. capitalists and the government agencies that are supposed to defend those interests, such as the Pentagon, CIA, FBI and State Department.
When Trump defied those agencies, he crossed the wrong people. Those government agencies, made up of career officials responsible for defending the interests of the capitalist class, have the real power. And they used that power to call Trump to account. Trump has been under investigation ever since, as are all those around him. There are currently 18 investigations into Trump, and even more Congressional investigations are scheduled.
Of course, the Democrats pretend that getting rid of Trump will make all the difference. At the close of the hearing with Cohen, Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, who promises more and more hearings, said that getting rid of Trump will return things back to normal.
No, it won’t.
Changing a few faces at the head of the government changes nothing, even the most disgusting public officials, like Trump and the rest of his gang. Government officials are expendable. They take the heat for what the capitalist class is doing.
And that capitalist class is on the offensive against the working class. It is increasing its profits by increasing the exploitation of the working class. It is cutting jobs, wages and benefits, forcing fewer workers to do more work. And it is getting government officials to cut spending for the needs of the population, for everything like education, health care and the infrastructure, in order to hand ever more money over to the capitalist class, through tax cuts and other giveaways.
Rooting for one side or the other in the Trump soap opera only wastes the workers’ time, time workers should be using to organize our own struggles to defend our own interests against our main enemy: the capitalist class itself.