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PSL Statement – On Trump’s Guilty Verdict

Former president Donald Trump has been convicted by a jury in New York City of 34 felony charges. The case involves an effort by Trump and his cohorts to pay “hush money” to a person who alleges that she had a sexual encounter with Donald Trump while he was married.

The case must be understood in the context of the fierce factional wars being conducted by different groupings within the U.S. capitalist class and between the two ruling class parties. While the Democratic Party politicians and prosecutors have sought a criminal conviction of the former president, Trump and his team have conducted an equally venomous campaign against the Democratic Party. Most noteworthy was the effort by Trump to overturn the election result in 2020 that gave Joe Biden a victory in the electoral college. It remains to be seen what effect this conviction and the other legal proceedings will have on the trajectory of the 2024 election. 

The lurid details of the case confirm once again that Donald Trump is sexist, sleazy and predatory, which we’ve all known since the Access Hollywood tape and before. But in that he reflects all the sleaziness of his class – the billionaire landlords in particular who spout empty moral talk and religiosity when speaking in public but are complete hypocrites in their private affairs, using money and power to silence anyone who gets in their way. The same politicians who use empty moral rhetoric to take away women’s rights or who can quote the bible when it’s time to run for office act in the most heinous ways in their private lives. But of course none of this is new and none of this is unique to Donald Trump – the capitalist class is full of crooks of this type. 

It is noteworthy that U.S. capitalist politicians have been either indicted or impeached for second or third-rate offenses rather than for the terrible crimes they have committed as the leaders of the imperialist state. 

Richard Nixon was responsible for the deaths of more than a million people in southeast Asia during the war he waged in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He later resigned rather than be impeached, but not for the terrible war crimes committed in southeast Asia but for covering up a burglary operation by Republican operatives against the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for lying about having sexual relations with a White House intern in the oval office, but not for the unprovoked bombing war directed against the government in Yugoslavia. Donald Trump was impeached twice and the first impeachment proceeding was initiated by the Democrats because they alleged that Trump slowed down advanced weapons shipments to Ukraine. 

Trump bombed Syria, supported atrocious aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza, carried out assassinations, and illegally seized the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. in an effort to topple the democratically-elected government in Venezuela. The Democratic Party establishment supported and did not oppose Trump in his pursuit of these criminal endeavors. 

Working class political organizations, socialists and people opposing imperialism should avoid tying their political fortunes or efforts to either of the ruling class factions. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are led by a clique of criminal imperialists who are conducting endless wars and subversion against independent, progressive governments and political movements. The PSL encourages all socialists to retain an orientation and outlook that is completely independent from the ruling class and stands in opposition to the system of capitalism and imperialism which is nothing other than a form of organized crime on behalf of billionaires. 

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