As the 2024 election comes closer and Donald Trump racks up primary victories, the Democrats call him — and the workers who support him — fascists. They pin their hopes on a deepening assault on constitutional freedoms and use a growing number of legal prosecutions to try and derail his candidacy.
These are a dangerous threat to rights the working class and the unions fought for in blood and need today.
They’re also attempting to kick off the ballot all other candidates they fear will draw even a small number of votes away from Biden, like the “No Labels,” a third capitalist party.
At this point, Trump faces six major trials, both criminal and civil, currently set during the 2024 campaign, as well as a growing number of legal moves claiming he is an “insurrectionist” and should be barred from running. In the face of this, far from shrinking, his ratings have continued to rise.
Underlying Biden’s declining popularity is the crushing impact of today’s capitalist economic and social crisis on workers and their families. Record high inflation has forced more workers to confront unacceptable choices. Do I pay the rent, buy diapers or take out a loan to cover basic necessities?
The bosses at the four biggest banks in the U.S. report workers’ credit card debt rose in 2023 — when Biden claims he “fixed” the economy — and we’re taking longer to pay off the bills. The squeeze on workers’ incomes makes it harder to start families, afford health insurance or pay for care for the elderly.
A Jan. 25 poll shows Trump 6 percentage points ahead of Biden. Weeks earlier the same poll had them tied.
More workers can see that the Democrats’ legal assaults against their main rival for the White House are just one more step in an eight-year-long witch hunt.
Today’s prosecutions follow the baseless Trump/Russia collusion claims contrived by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and dragged out by former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s “investigation”; two failed impeachment trials by House Democrats; the unconstitutional FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate ordered by Democratic Attorney General Merrick Garland; the jailing of hundreds of his supporters on conspiracy, misdemeanor and other ginned-up charges after the Jan. 6, 2021, melee; and highly stage-managed congressional hearings that tried to finger Trump for orchestrating the ruckus.
Trump uses each accusation to bolster his standing as a persecuted outsider who says he’ll stand up for the little guy. In fact he’s a well-heeled real estate mogul and former president standing for one of the imperialist rulers’ two main political parties.
A bigger ‘basket of deplorables’
The editors of the New York Post noted Jan. 25 that Trump’s “2016 victory rested on what his opponent called ‘the deplorables’” — Hillary Clinton’s description of tens of millions of working people the U.S. rulers’ deeply despise and increasingly fear. Today Biden’s policies have “left yet more people behind who make up a bigger ‘basket of deplorables,’” the Post editors say.
The blatant character of the Democrats’ attacks on free speech were evident in Trump’s trial on defamation charges in New York. A federal jury hit him with a colossal $83 million fine Jan. 26 for disputing writer E. Jean Carroll’s claims he raped her in the 1990s.
While Trump is known for his demeaning attitude toward women, a jury in May 2023 found Trump not guilty of rape. It did convict him of sexual abuse.
In the January trial, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, asked him on the stand, “Did you ever instruct anyone to hurt Ms. Carroll?” Trump replied, “No. I just wanted to defend myself, my family and frankly the presidency.” U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan then struck all his remarks from the record except the word “No.” Kaplan did the same again when Trump simply said he believed Carroll was making a “false accusation.”
During her summary arguments, the judge refused Habba’s request to show jurors some exculpatory evidence and then threatened to jail the lawyer.
Assaults on ballot status
In addition to ongoing prosecutions in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., Democrats are launching scurrilous attacks on third parties seeking to get on the ballot. That includes trying to prevent No Labels extending the ballot status they’ve secured in 14 states. The capitalist party was formed in 2009 and, as of yet, has not declared a 2024 presidential ticket.
“No Labels is a direct threat to our democracy and opens a clear path for Donald Trump’s reelection,” complained Thom DeSirant, Utah Democratic Party executive director, in a letter to party officials. “We need to do everything we can to stop this.”
Real estate tycoons Douglas and Jonathan Durst sued No Labels for “unjust enrichment” in New York Jan. 23. The lawsuit says the Dursts had donated $145,000 to the party years ago and claims they were “betrayed” when it took steps to run a presidential campaign.
In December, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled Trump off the ballot there, without any hearing or semblance of due process. She said he was an “insurrectionist,” therefore disqualified from running.
Last year Bellows sent letters to 6,000 voters informing them that when they signed petitions to show support for No Labels ballot status, they had really changed their party registration. Some 800 people then withdrew their support for the No Labels’ right to be on the ballot.
End Citizens United, a group in Arizona that backs Biden, filed complaints with the IRS and the Federal Election Commission demanding officials force No Labels to make the names of its donors public, which would make them open to harassment. A similar legal action is underway in Colorado.
No Labels filed a complaint with the Department of Justice Jan. 11, saying it faced “unlawful harassment and extortion” in its efforts to get ballot status.
The bosses’ two main parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are automatically awarded ballot status. But working-class parties like the Socialist Workers Party face increasingly arduous petitioning requirements and other obstacles, all aimed at restricting the hearing the party gets. You can bet the Democrats will take a hard look at the SWP’s fight to get on the ballot in 2024.