|This transcript appears in the February 18, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Speaks for the 80% of
Voters Being Ignored by the `Bozo' Candidates
The following is Lyndon H. LaRouche's opening statement to a webcast
Wilmington, Delaware town meeting attended by 200 people on Feb. 4, the eve of
state's primary election.
There are two things I'd like to start with as observations
on recent developments. First, on the lessons to be learned in general from the
recent New Hampshire primary, both the Republican and Democratic primary; and
secondly, some rumblings which have broken out in the middle of this week, which
portend another great financial crisis, resembling that which struck New York
during August and September of 1998. I'll comment on both to set the stage for
what we have to consider tonight, in terms of the realities of the immediate
The New Hampshire primary
Now, in an election like the New Hampshire primary, if you
have at this stage--if you're accurate within 5% of the total vote, you've got
an unusually accurate count. But if you take that margin of error into account,
certain things are very obvious to us.
First, that on the eve of the election, the polls taken on
behalf of the Republican and Democratic parties indicated a very close race,
with Gore with an advantage on the Democratic side, and Bush and McCain more or
less equal on the Republican side. Now, this poll was based on the core
Democratic and Republican voting machines, not on the general population of New
Hampshire as a whole.
But then, as you know, after the election results were
reported, McCain had clobbered Bush by a landslide, and Gore had a slight
advantage--perhaps. We don't know yet, because the vote isn't fully counted--but
a slight advantage over Senator Bradley.
Now, behind that story, is a very important development: the
independent voters of New Hampshire. First of all, for example, the Democrats
expected 50,000 voters to turn out for the Democratic primary. About 90,000 are
reported to have turned out. So, therefore, what you saw, with the near overturn
of Gore's candidacy by Bradley, was the turnout of independent voters who voted,
on the Democratic side, to block Gore.
On the Republican side, you have an overwhelming turnout of
independent voters to destroy George Bush's candidacy. And people in New
Hampshire were more terrified of the prospect of a George W. Dumb Bush, than
they were of a Gore. They'd rather be covered with Gore than ruled by Bush; that
was sort of the sentiment among the independents.
Now, what that shows, is a national phenomenon which those of
you in Delaware know something about: that the lower 80% of the American public,
which was technically eligible to file to vote, and do vote, is increasingly
unrepresented by both political party machines, and by elected officials,
especially at the highest levels.
Most people in the lower 80% of the family-income brackets,
have been cut off from any really effective representation. In the lower
brackets, you are permitted to choose among the propositions presented to you by
a controlled, or a Wall Street-controlled, or a London-controlled mass media.
You're not allowed to introduce your own agenda!
Then the politicians come out before the news media, they
answer "Aye," "Yes," or "No," or "Maybe," on the questions posed by the news
media, and it's over.
For example, in this situation, we are now faced with the
greatest financial crisis in modern history, certainly in the past hundred
years. We don't know exactly when the bust is going to come. It could come
tomorrow morning or Monday morning, or Tuesday. We don't know. But it's coming
on, and it will hit. And in its present form, it can't be stopped. This
system is going down.
So you have people talking about a big, fat tax bonanza for
the coming years. They're talking about how to cut up this great bonanza, and to
cut taxes for the rich, not for the poor, but for the rich, on the basis of this
tax bonanza. It's never going to happen!
They say that the country is more prosperous than ever
before, but they say we can no longer afford the health care we used to afford,
we can no longer provide the Social Security we used to pay, we can no longer
provide the education we used to guarantee, we can't maintain our public streets
and so forth, and our schools and neighborhoods. A few things, which are mostly
tar paper shacks with Hollywood pretensions of grandeur, are tacked on. Houses
that you wouldn't buy 20 years ago, are being sold for $300-500,000, $600,000
mortgages today, because we don't employ people who know how to build houses. We
employ labor that's very cheap and unskilled. It's cheaper. And the suckers will
buy the houses, because that's what they've got.
So, we're in a mess. But the lower 80% of the population, in
terms of family-income brackets, know this. They just feel the situation is
hopeless, and they have to learn to find alternatives within what the boys on
top will offer as alternatives. They are not in there saying, "This is wrong,
the policy has to change." They're saying, "Please give us some relief from the
horrible things you're doing to us. And maybe if we support this bozo, maybe
this bozo will give us better treatment than the other bozo will, or maybe we
have an in with a friend of this bozo, who will do us a little favor." That's
what we've got.
But what happened in New Hampshire, shows that that is not
the way things are necessarily going to go. When the 80% of the lower income
brackets of the families of America, begin to turn out and vote against
intrinsically corrupt political machines that run the Democratic and Republican
Party from the top, when that happens, you say there's a sign of something
rumbling underneath; when the voters have a chance to express their
Now, there has to be some optimism, otherwise they won't do
it. Despite what they tried to do to me in New Hampshire and my candidacy, we
did break through. I was totally blacked out. You mention to the news
media that I exist, and they'll walk the other way, walk to the other side of
town, and pretend that that day didn't exist when this happened. That's the kind
of treatment I was getting.
But nonetheless, we were busy campaigning. People were
laughing about my ads on radio up there, comparing this collection of clowns to
a bunch of bozos, saying, "What--is the American public so dumb they'll vote for
these bozos, instead of getting a real candidate!? "
And most people agree with that. Most ordinary people agree.
These are bozos! Everybody knows George Bush is the dumbest man in America of
any notability, that Gore lies. They all know it. They all know what these guys
are. But they sit and they say, "What can we do about it?"
So, once the American people, in a time of crisis, get a
smell that maybe there's a little opening to express the truth--as I've said
many times, as you know, most Americans lie. It's considered polite lying.
Company comes, the hosts lie to the company, the company lies to the host, and
they both go away smiling, both knowing they lied, but both very happy to have
had the evening together, eh? That's typical Americans: They go along to get
And they lie about everything, because it's expected of them.
That's how you get along, by lying. But somewhere within you, you smell the
truth. And you may smell at least what is not true, even if you don't know what
the truth is. And that's what happened in New Hampshire.
Rumblings in the financial markets
Now, in the meantime, we had some rumbling. We
haven't gotten to the bottom of it now, but we know it's big. In the derivatives
market and in the bond market, there's a big rumbling going on internationally.
And it's centered on the question of U.S. Treasury bonds.
The big money is running out of the speculative things they
were going into, like derivatives; and they're running in to buy 30-year U.S.
Treasury bonds and similar so-called quality paper. They're running out of the
junk, out of the junk bonds, out of the junk stocks, out of the mutual funds,
out of the other gambling, financial gambling, like the Internet stock bubble.
They're getting scared, at least at the top layers. And something is going on. A
big Tiger Fund, some other fund, some other big fund, is about to go under, or
something like that.
Now, this does not mean that that's the beginning and end of
the problem. In fact, the whole world is collapsing.
Let's just take a quick inventory. I've gone through this
before, but it's a good idea to go through it again.
What's happening in the Americas? As you know, Ecuador is
disintegrating. As you should know, Venezuela is disintegrating. Colombia is
disintegrating. Brazil is ready to explode. Argentina is
All of southern Africa, with a few pockets of exception, is
disintegrating in one of the worst genocides in modern times. In Asia,
Indonesia, one of the largest nations of the world, is disintegrating under IMF
Then look at the pattern since 1998, the summer. When the
crisis broke out, the financial crisis, or the Russian bond crisis, and the Long
Term Capital Management crisis, and the Al Gore crisis--because Al Gore was up
to his neck; he was owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by Long Term Capital
Management--that when this crisis broke out, wars began to break out.
The first war that broke out, was that Al Gore and his
friends, while the President was tied up with this crazy Starr Chamber
proceeding in the summer of 1998, Al Gore and his friends inside the
administration, launched a bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, for which
there was no justified reason. This was a crime. It was done by Al Gore and his
like-thinking people in the administration, behind the back of the President of
the United States, Bill Clinton.
Then, in September, you had a major crisis, when the truth
about the Wall Street crisis and the bailout of Long Term Capital Management,
occurred. Then, although President Clinton had said, in September, in an address
to the New York crowd, that he was thinking about revamping the international
financial system, they came down on him hard. In October, he capitulated to that
Then Al Gore and others began to push for a renewed bombing
of Iraq, for no good reason. The President resisted in November. But, under the
pressure of the impeachment, Al Gore and his friends got it through in
In the meantime, Al Gore had gone to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
and insulted the Prime Minister of Malaysia, in a way which in Mexico would get
you shot. He stormed in, delivered a lying, filthy speech, and stormed out, with
Madeleine Albright behind him, both ways.
Then Al Gore and his friends got the bombing of Iraq started.
Then, the impeachment goes on. In the middle of the impeachment process, while
the President is tied up, the same crowd begins to push for a war in the
Balkans, under British pressure. And Al Gore and his girlfriend, Madeleine
Albright, are pushing with the British for it. So we got an unnecessary,
avoidable war in the Balkans. As a result of that war, the situation in the
Balkans is far worse than it was before the war. The conditions of people in
that area are far worse. It was a mistake.
Now, following that war, there's a spread of war from the
Balkans into Central Asia, and into the North Caucasus region. That is, a group
of terrorists, controlled from London, tied to the Iran-Contra operation of
George Bush and Company back in the 1980s, these terrorists, who used to be on
George Bush's Iran-Contra payroll, were deployed into Central Asia and into
North Caucasus as terrorists from Chechnya, to invade neighboring
All right, this set forth an operation of war, which I've
referred to in earlier, publicized televised reports. At the same time, the same
crew, based out of Pakistan and so forth, the same Iran-Contra mob, directed
from London, deployed terrorists into Kashmir against India and got a near-war
started between India and Pakistan. Following that, you had the overthrow of the
government in Pakistan, and then you have, now, an escalation of an attempt to
get a war started between India and Pakistan, the same kind of
If you look around the world, you see, with these kinds of
problems, you have on the one side, economic and financial crises. On the other
side, you have the spread of war. In between, you have the rumblings that the
whole financial system may come down, and you have a President who is scared to
death and capitulating to the pressures of the people who nearly threw him out
of office, and still want to put him and his wife and child, if possible, in
prison as soon as possible, maybe kill them. That's the kind of problem we
The real issues are being ignored
In this mess, where the whole system's about to come down,
then what do they get? You get the New York crowd steps in, and gives you George
W. Bush, the dumbest man of notability in America, a mass killer. The whole Bush
League--you've got the father, who's crazy, and the sons, who are a pair of
thugs. And both dumb, one dumber than the other.
So they took the dumbest one, George Bush, and they decided
to make him President. Who wants to make George Bush President of the United
States, in the face of the worst crisis the United States has had since the
1930s and World War II? Who would do a thing like that?
Who wants to take the crookedest man in the Democratic Party,
Al Gore, and make him President of the United States under these kinds of
circumstances; a man who wants to start war, who lashes out, who is emotionally
unstable, dangerously, emotionally unstable? Who wants to do that?
Well, the New York crowd wants to do that. The machinery at
the top of the party wants to do that. People who should know better in the
Democratic Party, go along to get along, the way the pressure goes. For example,
about 1,700 people were deployed, under the direction of the National Committee
of the Democratic National Committee, into New Hampshire, to try to organize a
fixed vote among what they thought were going to be 50,000 eligible New
Hampshire voters. Seventeen hundred people, including Federal officials, sent,
under DNC direction, sent in to try to rig the results of the election among
50,000 voters in the state of New Hampshire. And they got a little surprise,
because 90,000 turned out.
Who would do that to us? Who would say, "The American people
are no longer to be trusted with examining the political figures put before them
for the highest office in the nation"? Who is it that, when we have the worst
military, financial, economic crisis in recent history in the past 30 years,
would want to put these kind of bozos into power by rigged ballots? Who says
that under these circumstances, the American people have no right to discuss the
real issues that may determine the fate of themselves, their children, and
Who says that health-care is a problem, simply because of
this or that, when we know the whole system has been destroyed from the
top, by people that nobody is challenging? They're talking about who's going to
give it a little money for this, give them a little money for that. But the
basic thing that was done, is not challenged.
Who is actually talking about what has to be done in
education, to provide our young people an actual education, as opposed to
who's going to give somebody a voucher to pay some shark to give them a bum
education, because parents are terrified of sending their children to a school
where they may get killed? So, they'd rather send them to a place where they get
no education and where they think they're safe--many parents.
These issues are not addressed. They talk about guns in the
street; that's not the problem. It wasn't guns in the street that caused the
problem at the Columbine School in Colorado. It was the programs going on in the
school itself, programs being pushed on the Internet, like Nintendo-type games
programs, which train people to learn to kill by instinct, with no
The children who were involved in this, were subjected to
precisely that kind of training, partly in the school and partly as after-school
entertainment and training. And they went in, not because of the guns. They went
in because they were determined to kill. A gun never, of its own volition,
killed anyone. Somebody had to use it. Guns are dangerous, only when the wrong
person is using it with the wrong motivation.
Who is turning the children in our schools into killers with
Nintendo-type games on the Internet or other means? Why don't we address these
problems? Parents know this is going on, parents are frightened and terrified by
the fact that they know this is going on. They're frightened about what's going
to happen to their schools. They're frightened about what's happening to their
And people are talking: "Should we give vouchers?" Sure, the
citizen wants a voucher, to send their child perhaps to a school where there
won't be a shooting. But it will go there, too. And the real issue about
educating our population is not addressed.
The American people have to take charge
So, what do we require? What we require, is, the American
people are going to have to take charge of their own country, or we're not going
to make it. Because, despite all our weaknesses--and our strength as a nation is
greatly exaggerated--we have the ability to bomb a lot of people, but we really
don't have war-winning quality of military strength any more. So, talking about
the United States going to war, is going into a bloody charade, not winning a
victory over anything. We don't have it. We still have the power of a nation,
however. We are a key nation. We have a history. That history is respected,
although often our present government is not. But our history is respected
around the world, as I can tell you, as I deal with these things in many
But people around the world, wish us to return to the legacy
of our history, our struggle for freedom: the legacy of Lincoln, the legacy of
Roosevelt, which is what the best people in the world think of the United States
as its legacy. They wish we would go back to that, and would use our power as a
nation, to help create the situation, in cooperation with other nations, to
solve some of the problems of the world at large. That's what they
It's what people in Mexico or other parts of Central America
or South America wish. What do they want from the United States? They want the
same thing that the image of Benjamin Franklin evokes to them, the same image of
Lincoln; the image of Franklin Roosevelt, with his Good Neighbor Policy. The
image of Jack Kennedy as President with his policy toward the Americas. They
want that kind of cooperation.
What do people ask of me in Africa, from southern African
countries? They want the same thing. What do people in Europe want from us? The
same thing. What do people in Asia want from us? The same thing.
If we become that again, we have great influence and great
power in bringing nations together in forms of cooperation which are necessary
for the benefit of us all. That's our power. That's what the Presidency really
Now, we, the American people, have to take that power back.
We have a precedent for doing that in this past century, when Franklin
Roosevelt, coming out of a situation in the 1920s where the top income brackets
were just as crazy, or almost as crazy as they are today, in which most of the
people of the United States, as I'm old enough to recall, were poor, were
suffering, were neglected, were what Roosevelt called in his 1932 campaign for
the Presidency, "the Forgotten Man."
Well today, we don't say "forgotten man," we say "forgotten
man and woman." The people in the lower 80% of the family-income brackets in
the United States, are the forgotten men and women of the United States today,
as they were in the time that Roosevelt ran for election in 1932.
And they don't count. You hear it from the politicians, you
hear it from Al Gore. Al Gore says, "We go to the middle in politics." What does
he mean by "the middle"? "The middle" for Al Gore is the upper 20% of the income
brackets. Not the top 2%, but the 18% below the top 2%, the people who rely upon
Wall Street financial windfalls for the credit in which to go so deeply into
debt as they do.
They say they want to keep things the way they are. They
don't want to change. They don't want people in the lower 80% of the population,
threatening their way of life, their "shareholder value" way of life.
And we see in health care, we see in education, we see in
Social Security, we see in tax policy, the effort is to cut, cut, cut the
welfare of the lower 80% of the family-income bracket, the forgotten men and
women of America. Let them suffer to protect the way of life which the upper 20%
believes they have.
It's the same problem. More vicious today than it was when I
was a young fellow, but it's the same problem. And it's the same
Revive Roosevelt's policy
Today, what we have to have, is a revival of Roosevelt's
essential policy. Now, there are many things that Franklin Roosevelt did, I
wouldn't agree with. But that's all right. The point is, he had a central
policy. The policy was, that the foundation of the principle of law on which the
United States was founded and must continue to exist, is the principle of the
General Welfare. This was a new principle of law, first introduced into European
civilization in the 15th century, the latter part, with Louis XI of France and
Henry VII of England after him.
This is the policy that government has no legitimate
authority, except its duty to its responsibility to protect and promote the
General Welfare of all present living persons, and posterity; to develop the
land area, to develop the population, to protect the process of development, for
all of the people.
That's the moral authority and responsibility of government.
That is what's enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution as promotion of the
So, President Roosevelt came to power, fighting for the
General Welfare, using the intrinsic authority of the government under our
Constitution, to defend the General Welfare against Wall Street and people like
that. And also the Supreme Court of the time, which was almost as bad as it is
And that was what Roosevelt's fight was. And about all the
things he did, whether they were good or bad, in particular, the essential
goodness of Roosevelt, is that he was committed to the Constitutional principle
upon which the United States was founded, which we represent in the world, more
than any other nation historically: a commitment to defend all of the people
equally, and their posterity.
We must go back to that. Now, what is the foundation of that?
The foundation of that is the citizen who is willing to rise above greed and
special advantage, and say, "What we want" is the same thing that Martin Luther
King did in leading the civil right movement. He didn't say "We want this for
black people, that for black people." He said, "No, you must have justice for
the African-American. But the way you get that justice, is by fighting for the
same rights for all people. We must make these rights efficiently
And we must fight for the General Welfare in that way. That's
what it is today.
The problem lies inside ourselves
What we have to do, is to get you people, and people like
you, who represent, predominantly, by sheer numbers, the lower 80% of
family-income brackets. You have to cooperate with your neighbor, who may be
African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, labor organizer, or simply
a retired citizen, which is almost an oppressed race these days in the United
States. You have to turn to that neighbor and say, "Let us join together to
fight for the General Welfare." And if we defend the General Welfare, and have a
government that defends the General Welfare, then we can turn to that
government, and present to them our case for our particular issue in the General
Welfare. And if we have that kind of government, that plea will be heard and be
If we mobilize the majority of the American people behind the
idea of coming together around the principle on which the nation was founded,
the principle of the General Welfare, we have the power, despite the mass media,
despite all other kinds of forces, to take this government back again, as
Roosevelt led in taking the government back some years ago.
So the problem lies in ourselves. As I said the other day in
a webcast with some people predominantly in Delaware, that when I look at the
American people, I see them in front of their television sets, instead of in the
streets or instead of in politics. I see them sitting there, in their misery, in
front of television sets. And what do I see?
My mind goes back to the time of the Roman Emperors, and just
before, in the first century B.C., and then under the Emperors later, up through
Diocletian. And what I see, is the Roman proletariat, that is, the lower classes
of these subjects of the Roman Empire, especially in the city of Rome, marching
regularly to get their bread, their dole, their pass-out, their welfare, and
marching into the Colosseum, into the grandstands in the Colosseum, where they,
many of them Christians, would watch the lions eating Christians, for
Now, if you look at what you're seeing nightly on the
television set, whether it's called "movies" or whether it's called the "nightly
news," whatever it is, what you're seeing is an American citizen, usually in the
lower 80% of family-income brackets, frightened and bored, trying to escape from
reality, from the reality of horrible circumstances around them, to try to dull
their minds with games: watching sports games, like World Class Wrestling.
That's a real uplifting moral exercise, eh?
One thing that happened in Minnesota: They got one guy out of
the business and made him governor. Took him off the screen.
But in any case, it's this violence. It's sex and violence,
blood and violence. What is it? How different is television today, from the
average Americans sitting in front of the television set, how different from
that of a proletarian, a Christian, sitting in the grandstand, and watching the
lions eat Christians for entertainment in ancient Rome?
The problem is that you, who represent or typify the lower
80% of the family-income brackets, have withdrawn from the idea of yourself as a
citizen, who has inherently the right and power to shape government, by
organizing yourselves as the majority to march into the polls and select
government, and to select the issues on which this government will be
You instead, are allowing yourself to be entertained, to sit
in front of a television set, to watch election campaigns, exactly as the
Romans watched Christians being eaten by lions. To watch the nightly news
that way, to watch the nightly campaign news that way, to watch entertainment
that way, to watch the talk shows that way.
You're not there. You're a spectator sitting in the
grandstands, until you walk out of the grandstands, and they get you in the
streets, and you say, "We made a mistake in the election."
So the problem here is, we have to put you back in the arena,
where you belong, where you outnumber the enemy, outnumber the opposition.
You've got to organize yourself, take over.
Leadership in the impending crisis
Now, all I can do as a candidate, is I can provide the
catalysis, the lessons, the ideas, the conceptions, and the leadership, to help
you do what you can not do without such leadership: Pull yourselves together
around ideas that work. Force the discussion of ideas that work.
And on the basis of you, not on the basis of the
polls, not on the basis of what the news media tell you, not on the basis of
what the political machines tell you, on the basis of you yourself having the
good sense and guts to meet with your neighbor, who may represent a slightly
different constituency than you associate yourself with, to unite in a common
cause for the General Welfare of all, and to tackle our problems in that
Now, what do we have to do, specifically? We don't know the
date, as I said, we don't know exactly how or when. There are too many political
ifs, ands, or buts as to how the crisis will occur. That the crisis will occur,
is certain. It is already occurring. It's occurring around the world, the
news media just doesn't tell you.
You have the President of the United States saying, "We've
got a bonanza, a multitrillion-dollar bonanza, and we have to carve this bonanza
up to give it back to the taxpayers, give it back to the taxpayer." There is
no bonanza to give back! It doesn't exist, it never will. It's a lie, it's a big
lie. It's the lie that was spread at Davos, at a conference where the
President spoke this past week. It's a lie. It's not true. But the President's
afraid to tell anything but lies. He gets in trouble if he doesn't.
Because he has no support from you. You saw that the time
when the President was in trouble, my wife and I and others, did things
internationally, as well as in the United States, to try to mobilize the
American people, especially the Democratic Party, to stop the impeachment
process against the President. It worked. We stopped it.
But you see, that without that kind of role, from us and
people like us, the President has no base of support. He has no real base
of support in the Democratic National Committee, in the political machines that
run the Democratic Party top-down. There's liars and racists and whatnot that
run the party from the top-down. He has no support from those
He's terrified, that without their support, without their
backing, he doesn't know what's going to happen to him, his wife, and child,
after he leaves office. What if Bush were to become President? Well, don't you
think that Hillary and Bill would end up in prison, maybe killed? Don't you know
What support does the President have from the people? Only
occasionally, when some of us mobilize it. And they try to get us out of the
picture, because without our intervention, I tell you, without our intervention
in August through September of 1998, the President would have been
impeached. The little we did, in getting many Democrats to mobilize and
others to mobilize against that frame-up, saved the President from impeachment.
And without that, it wouldn't have happened.
If you don't have that factor in politics of leadership, the
President can't function. A President can not function up in thin air,
disembodied. The President must have a base of support in the American people,
not in the so-called middle, not in the so-called suburban vote, but among
ordinary American people. And he foolishly has cut himself off from that, under
influence of Al Gore.
Okay, what are we going to have to do? Assuming the President
doesn't make the mistake that Clinton has made in recent times, since 1996, when
he went along with this welfare reform with Gingrich, as demanded by Gore;
assuming that mistake is not made; assuming I'm President, what do we
We're in a crisis. Well, what does Clinton do if he knows
that I've got a chance of winning, and he doesn't have to worry about being
framed up when he goes out of office? What do we do?
We respond to the crisis, when the American people wake up to
the fact that it's here. And instead of saying, "Let's hope it never comes"
(which is what most people are telling themselves now), when they reach the
effect of the Pearl Harbor effect, the day the "bombs" drop on Wall Street, they
say, "It's happened. You can't pretend it didn't happen."
And they turn to Washington, and they say, "Save us! Save
us!" And they turn to their government, and quite rightly say, "Save us!" What
does government do, as Roosevelt did when he announced the bombing of Pearl
Harbor on the 7th and 8th of December 1941; what he did when he first became
President: "There's nothing to fear but fear itself."
Government leadership must take responsibility for assuring
the American people that something will be done, that it can be done, and that
there are understandable solutions to be applied. And there are.
Once the American people, the 80% especially, are assured
that they have a President who will use the powers of the United States
government, with their support, to save them from what they fear, the American
people will know exactly what to do, as they did in World War II, or any other
great crisis of our nation. That kind of leadership.
Now, that's the first rule. Under those conditions, there's
nothing about this financial crisis we can't solve.
A New Bretton Woods System
Go back to 1944. Look at the conditions in 1944, as a group
of people under Franklin Roosevelt's sponsorship, were meeting in Bretton Woods,
a hotel under the shadow of Mount Washington, to form what became the first
postwar international monetary system.
At that time, it was obvious by 1944, that the world's
economic situation was a shambles. It was a hopeless situation. And Roosevelt
acted, together with other governments, to design the principles of a postwar
monetary system, which, with all its faults, worked. It is the system which
enabled Europe to recover, it enabled the United States, through Marshall Plan
aid, to export to Europe, which is how the U.S. economy recovered in the postwar
period; and it enabled Europe to recover, and spread some good in other parts of
the world, though not enough.
It worked through 1958-1959, it continued to work as long as
Kennedy was President. And then, shortly after Kennedy's death, it began to fall
apart. In 1971, it came to an end. . . . And then, with Carter, the whole thing
went down the tube, with his deindustrialization; all the Carter reforms, which
were Trilateral Commission reforms.
And then the Trilateral Commission policies were continued,
under the Reagan administration. And they were continued, in a more exaggerated
form, under Trilateral Commission former member George Bush. And they've been
continued, under inertia, under President Clinton.
The world situation is becoming progressively worse and
worse. That's what our problem is. This system, especially the post-1971
international financial and monetary system, is finished. It's going to break
down, it's doomed. Nothing can save it.
What do we do? The President of the United States goes back
to 1944, turns to you, the American people, and says, "We used to have a system
that worked. It had many faults. Many mistakes were included. But it worked.
Since 1971, we have evolved a new financial system, which does not work.
Now you see the disaster you have as a result. My proposed action, emergency
action today, is to go back to the system that worked as a starting
point, and to cancel the system that didn't."
That's what we mean by a New Bretton Woods System. Now, if
the President of the United States, in the time of a world crisis--I can tell
you, if I were President of the United States today, this would work. I can
assure you. Because people around the world know me, people of relevance. In
France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, India, other countries where I'm
well-known, or Mexico or South American countries where I'm well-known--do you
think, that if I stood up as President of the United States, and said, "I want
to do this, I want you to join me in doing what we did in 1944 at Bretton Woods,
only correcting a few of the mistakes that were made at the same time," do you
think they wouldn't come running? You think we wouldn't get a deal, we wouldn't
get an agreement?
We'd get an instant agreement, and it would succeed. And it
would succeed if you, the American people, were inspired to believe it was going
to succeed. Because with hard work and difficulties, we can accomplish the kinds
of miracles we accomplished in the 1930s and coming out of the Depression; we
can accomplish the kind of economic miracles, which enabled us to win World War
II, and rebuild the postwar economy. We can do it again. And we have the
friends, who are willing to cooperate with us, who desire to cooperate with us,
in other countries, who would help us to make it work.
And all the people in most parts of the world want, is simply
a better world. And we have the means of doing so. We don't have to invent some
totally newfangled idea which nobody's tested to do that. We simply have to
recognize, one thing worked, another didn't. So let's learn our lesson, go back
to what did work, and start from there, to make the improvements and changes
that have to be made.
But scrap this thing. It was a big mistake. When a firm goes
bankrupt, what do you do? You put it into bankruptcy. What do the bankruptcy
judges and others do, if they're not corrupt? (And unfortunately, many are; but
that's another story.) What do you do? You say, "What part of the firm is
viable? What part of the firm or the bank is necessary for the community? We're
going to save the part of the bank or other business which is necessary for the
community. We're going to keep it functioning. We're going to keep the
depositors alive, if it's a bank. And on that basis, then we're going to proceed
to rebuild the viable part of the operation, get it back on its feet, make it
grow again, and we're simply going to write off, in bankruptcy, the part that
can not be salvaged."
And you'd do the same thing with economic policies. We have a
bankrupt system, you have over $300 trillion of worthless assets sitting on top
of the whole system, short-term assets, like derivatives. It has to be just
plain written off! We have to write off--imagine!--we have to write off, by
governments, write off $300 trillion and more of short-term and related
purely speculative financial paper, and get that off the back, sucking the back
off the system. We have to get that off.
And we have to get back to bone, reorganize debts that should
be paid, like government debt. Make sure they're paid in the future, secure the
family savings of families, keep local businesses going, make them grow, build
up some infrastructure, get people out of worthless jobs into jobs that actually
create some wealth, do these things we've learned how to do before. And let
things grow again.
There's no paradise involved here. It's just the chance to
get off a road that leads into the swamp, the sewer, and get back into a way
which means something.
`We come like an angel'
There's one final thing about this: motivation. What makes
people small, is an obsession with personal physical pleasure, or other kinds of
pleasure as such. Entertainment pleasure.
Because, as we know, we're all born, and we're all eventually
going to die. So, if we're smart, we sit down at times, as most parents and
grandparents do, when they think about their grandchildren and what comes after
that. And we say, "What does our mortal life mean? What is there in this
business between being born and dying, that means something of importance about
us? What is worth dying for?" What is so important to your life, that
you'll die for it? The question that many a soldier has had to face. Not whether
the corporal would shoot him, but there were other reasons involved.
Because we as individuals, through the fact that we
contribute something from the past by adopting the best ideas from the past,
using those and passing them on to the future, and adding something useful to
what was given to us to pass on to the future, that we've become a necessary
person in the connection between past and future.
And therefore, we come like an angel. We're born, we
accomplish something, and we pass on. But what we bring with us, in that kind of
life, endures forever.
Now, to be a citizen, is to think like that. To be a
happy citizen, especially, is to think like that, is to accept the
circumstances of mortality, but to use that mortality in such a way that you can
die with a smile on your face, knowing that you came like an angel, you did what
was necessary, what you were there to do, and you moved on. And the world and
humanity are better for your having lived. And therefore, you have a permanent
importance in all eternity. That's what a true citizen thinks.
So, you come to a time like this, a time of great and
dangerous crisis. Think of the mass death in Africa that's going on now. Just
the AIDS alone is enough to horrify you. Think of what's happening in Venezuela,
Colombia, other countries of South America. Think what's happening in various
parts of Asia.
Think of these conditions, and say, "Do we have something to
do?" Of course we have something to do. Don't be pessimistic. We are angels. We
are come to do some good for humanity. And let us be happy with the fact
that we're here to do it. And as long as we're doing what we can do with our
individual lives, we have nothing of which to be ashamed. We have nothing to
fear, in terms of our sense of personal identity. And we have no reason to fear
that we shouldn't be respected by people around us.
We should have a sense of equality: All angels are
equal. Forget the color of skin, forget all this nonsense that is used to
try to divide one from the other--forget it! We all should be angels, in that
sense. And if we can approach this crisis before us with the sense, we are going
to stop being fools, we're not going to sit in front of television sets and
degrade ourselves, acting like proletarians, sitting in this grandstand in the
arena, watching lions eat Christians.
We are at this point, at this point, we are going to take
this terrible world, we are going to get out of these chairs, we're going to get
out from behind that television set in its present form, and we're going to do
something to make this world better, because we have only a few years--decades,
perhaps, but only a few years, left before us. And we're going to do something
with that life of ours, that means something.
And now, instead of trying to find pleasure from cheap
entertainment, we'll take joy from being alive. Thank you.