USA: Trump’s mugshot – more turmoil and instability on the horizon

On August 24, Trump was arrested for the third time in recent months, this time in Atlanta, on felony charges stemming from alleged efforts to manipulate Georgia’s vote count during the 2020 election. He was booked, fingerprinted, and photographed in Fulton County Jail. While the Democrats and their liberal hangers-on lauded the mugshot in celebration of bourgeois “justice,” Trump monetized it. Within 24 hours, his campaign raised $4.18 million in political donations and sales of mugshot merchandise. This broke the campaign’s one-day fundraising record and is well over half of the amount raised since he officially announced his candidacy seven months ago. At the time of writing, the figure is now upwards of $9.4 million.

Trump’s legal problems are so dizzying in scale it is difficult to keep up with them all. The 2024 GOP hopeful faces 91 counts across four different jurisdictions. Three trial dates have already been set. The first is set to begin on the eve of the vital “Super Tuesday” primaries in March. The other two are scheduled before the final state primary elections on June 4. This means 2024 could potentially see a presidential candidate running from behind bars for the first time since Eugene V. Debs’s historic Socialist Party campaign in 1920.

As of now, however, Trump is free on bail. Compare this to the over 400,000 people in the US who are currently held in pretrial detention. 75% of them are accused of minor, nonviolent crimes and 43% are Black. They all have one thing in common: unlike Trump, they can’t afford bail.

During the first Republican presidential debate, the candidates were asked whether they would vote for Trump if he were to win the party’s nomination as a convicted felon. Five out of eight raised their hands, including Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis. Never mind that he has spearheaded the charge to bar former felons from recovering their right to vote—let alone run for president.

The class nature of the courts and “justice” system in this country has never been more clear. No wonder just 14% polled by Gallup say they have a “great deal” of confidence in the criminal justice system. It’s just one more reason why the majority of Americans are fed up with the status quo. Increasingly, they reject both capitalist parties, although for now, they lack a real alternative.

A recent Reuters poll found that 54% in the US disapprove of Joe Biden’s presidency. He reneged on popular campaign promises to codify Roe v. Wade, forgive student loan debts, and ban new fracking on federal lands. Add to this persistent inflation and a looming economic crisis, and it is no wonder millions are disillusioned with him and his flavor of capitalist party. To overcome Biden’s unpopularity, the Democrats are trying to move their political struggle against Trump from the ballot box to the courtroom. Republicans have responded in kind through their campaign to prosecute Biden’s son, Hunter, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continues to flirt with impeachment of the president himself.

Trump Image Gage Skidmore Wikimedia Commons

As of now, Trump is free on bail. Compare this to the over 400,000 people in the US who are currently held in pretrial detention. / Image: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

With each passing day, virtually all of the institutions—built up by the capitalists over centuries to secure and defend their rule—are further discredited. This includes the court system. Even the once venerable Supreme Court is not immune, with public confidence in it plummeting in the wake of its reactionary rollbacks. An estimated 37% of Americans believe that Trump’s indictments for subversion of the 2020 elections are based on an unfair evaluation of the evidence and the law. Meanwhile, Republican Party leaders are split over support for the former President. All of this is a perfect recipe for instability and turmoil heading into 2024.

Despite the fondest hopes of the liberals, neither the capitalist courts nor the Democratic Party can defeat reactionary Trumpism. Only the multi-millioned working class can do that. This class alone has the potential to bring the US economy to a halt. Anyone who doubts this, need look only to the Teamsters at UPS. Had they gone out on strike this month, it would have cost the company an estimated $816 million in just 10 days. Just last year, Biden, Congress, and the union bureaucrats collaborated to prevent a rail strike which would have affected 40% of all commodities transported in the US.

The stifling of working-class initiative by reactionary legislation and craven leadership has had dire results. With growing polarization and no class alternative, some workers have moved rightward to Trumpism and more could follow. This is why it’s vital to capture the militant mood from the recent wave of strikes and near-misses. A new party must emerge to battle the Republicans, Democrats, and the capitalist class they serve. However, not just any party will do. We need a fighting communist party to unite the working class behind a revolutionary socialist program. With such a party, the workers—who create all the wealth of society—will easily sweep away the Bidens and Trumps, take power into their own hands, and transform the world into one worth passing on to future generations.

Originally published at socialistrevolution.org

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