Former US President Donald Trump faces a barrage of charges at both state and federal levels while actively pursuing his 2024 presidential campaign.
The charges stem from accusations related to his tenure as President, including incitement of insurrection, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, campaign finance violations, and other offenses.
Media, Democrats, and Republicans from the establishment seek to link these charges to the 2020 Capitol riots and alleged attempts to undermine the 2020 US presidential election. Supporters of Trump’s populist “MAGA” movement argue that this is a case of political repression, aimed at sabotaging his ongoing campaign.
The actual charges are of limited concern to the average American worker. More important are the timing and intent behind them, and their implications for those who diverge from the political stance of the American ruling class.
The reality is that had Donald Trump not launched a 2024 presidential campaign, the likelihood of him facing most of these charges would be close to zero. Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions’ leaderships are orchestrating a joint effort to discredit Trump and undermine his chances of securing a second nonconcurrent term.
Donald Trump is no friend to the American worker. Yet, despite his anti-Chinese and pro-finance policies that position him as a significant adversary to building a working-class movement, Donald Trump doesn’t exactly align with the American mainstream ruling class either. Populism empowers the masses, irrespective of their varying levels of class consciousness or political inclinations.
Regarding the “MAGA” movement, its political theory is fragmented, decentralized, and flexible, causing “MAGA” supporters to interpret it differently. Nonetheless, they unite behind Trump as a potent political figurehead who rejects the internal maneuvering within mainstream US political institutions. This is in stark contrast to Trump’s past as an integral part of this political elite, being closely associated with the Bush, Clinton, Epstein, and Pelosi families. But his legitimacy today among disenchanted American workers arises from his estrangement from these elites.
The significance of Donald Trump’s downfall for the American workers’ movement lies not in its impact on him, but in its implications for future political dissidents. Similar assaults have targeted anti-establishment movements since 2017, exemplified by the Department of Justice’s demand that the news outlet “RT” register as a “Foreign Agent” in the US, unlike state broadcasters like the BBC that align more with American foreign policy.
Chairman of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, Omali Yeshitela, speaking in 2016
In April 2023, we witnessed an attack on the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, an anti-imperialist Black nationalist organization critical of the US and Ukrainian governments regarding the Russian military’s ongoing Special Military Operation in Ukraine. Their refusal to goose-step along with US foreign policy led to the arrest of three American citizens exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. The State Department alleges that Russia’s foreign intelligence service exploited this right. This prompts us to question what constitutes weaponizing free speech and how the US government aims to curb disliked speech moving forward.
Once again, the stark reality remains: whether Donald Trump is innocent or guilty becomes secondary. While he could be innocent of numerous charges and other relevant charges might remain undisclosed, the crucial consideration is how this will impact your daily life.
When you raise your voice against US funding for the Ukraine war, the crisis of deindustrialization pushing regions into poverty, or even express differing views on matters like gender identity, you might find yourself facing a judge’s gavel—something that might not have occurred two decades ago. Normalizing indictments against dissenting politicians is a trend the American working class must oppose. We should unite around targeted movements to create a united front against political repression.
A movement for the American working class will reemerge only when conditions deteriorate to the point of operating underground or stabilize enough for public expression of dissent without direct state repression. Which direction are we headed? The fallout from Donald Trump’s indictment and the state’s reaction to his 2024 presidential campaign will serve as a litmus test for us all.