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Trump: Behind the Smoke-Screen of Abuse of Power, Social Destruction

Translated Tuesday 4 July 2017, by Alec Shea

One scandal can hide others. While he is being investigated on suspicion of obstruction of justice related to collusion with Russia, the President has also enriched his personal real estate empire and supported a new law to destroy unions.

Speculation about a possible conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russia, which continues to circulate, has pushed other, more serious issues, into the background. These include the real estate mogul’s conflicts of interest and the anti-social shock policies he plans to implement with the help of the Republican congress.

in the months and years to come, unions in the USA are preparing for a major existentiel crisis. Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters.

The revelations that have filtered out of the office of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is charged with investigating Moscow’s alleged interference in the American elections, naturally draw attention to the idea of a Putin-Trump plot. According to the Washington Post, Mueller is seriously considering the possibility that the President committed a crime by firing the former head of the FBI, James Comey. Trump allegedly asked him to “see your way clear to letting this go” in relation to the investigation into Micheal Flynn, his former National Security Advisor, who resigned for having lied about his relations with the Russian ambassador. The nature of these discussions only provide ground for further suspicion about the existence of the aforementioned conspiracy

Today, it is clear that this investigation might have serious consequences, including the possibility that the President could be removed from office. Focus on this issue specifically, however, could also have the effect of creating a smokescreen for the other peculiarities of Trump’s style of governance. Official investigations into his manifest conflicts of interest have received far less media coverage. Despite placing his son at the head of his real estate empire, the President nevertheless kept all of his shares in the company. When, for example, official guests make the decision to situate themselves in the new Trump International Hotel, a palace only a stone’s throw from the White House, he indisputably derives personal monetary profit.

Faced with the enormity of this scandal, the State of Maryland and the government of Washington D.C have chosen to bring suit against the President. The U.S Constitution bars elected representatives from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office or Title ... from any King, Prince or foreign state” without approval from congress. Washington Attorney General Karl Racine emphatically declared that the President has “not distanced himself adequately from his assets.”

H.R 785, a new threat to labor rights

Another symptom of the mixture between the interests of employers and the government is even more disturbing to the degree that it endangers American trade unions. Two Republican Congressmen have received White House support for a bill that would introduce a national so-called “right to work” law, which aims to destroy trade union funding. H.R 785 would, in the name of free enterprise, recreate legislation that already exists in 28 states at the federal level. The law aims to prevent unions from collecting dues from workers in order to finance collective bargaining . The disappearance of this source of funding would severely harm unionization efforts at a time when the portion of workers who are unionized (10%) is already decreasing dramatically.

With this law, designed to endanger protection for workers, we can also recognize the fingerprints of the ideologues, white supremacists and nationalists of the “Alt-right” who are present in the President’s entourage. As the ILWU dockworkers’ union has pointed out, “right to work” laws were first introduced in the states of the deep south, the home of slavery, where they aimed to counter movements of black workers during the 1960’s. Responding to this offensive, Martin Luther King Jr demanded that people defy “false slogans such as ‘right to work’; it is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”

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