|This article appears in the March 7, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Becoming the Issue
by EIR Staff
In the Democratic Party
Lyndon LaRouche, who is seeking the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination, returned on Feb. 23-25 to the state of Arkansas, where he garnered more than 22% of the vote in the last Democratic Presidential primary. It was the Gore machine's suicidal response to LaRouche's strong showing in Arkansas tha political insiders say ultimately cost Gore, and the Democratic Party, the Presidency. If the dramatic events that unfolded during LaRouche's weekend swing through the state are any indication, not much has changed. LaRouche's support has not only not diminished, but has grown in both depth and breadth, and the Washington, D.C.-centered Democratic Party establishment, with its lingering ties to the Gore-Lieberman organized-crime-linked machine, seems to have learned little from its past fatal errors.
The Democratic Party is beginning to fissure on the issue of Lyndon LaRouche, as his Jan. 28th State of the Union speech on the war and the economy is circulating to thousands of Democratic National Committee (DNC) members, delegates and labor and Black Caucus leaders. The candidate is being interviewed and invited by local and state Democratic leaders while the DNC continues its suicidal campaign to ban LaRouche and his influence from the Party. At the DNC's Winter meeting Feb. 22-23, even as LaRouche headed to Arkansas to speak, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe attempted to use police and security officers ban LaRouche Youth Movement organizers from the entire hotel where the meeting was held, even though they were the majority of the young Democratic campaigners seeking to attend the meeting. The attacks on LaRouche and his youth movement at the DNC meeting are making LaRouche the issue the issue and are amplifying his effect.
The candidate's Presidential campaign committee, LaRouche in 2004, having mailed his State of the Union and his open letter to the DNC, to all DNC members and delegates to the 2000 Democratic Party National Convention, is now sending them out to more than 3500 Democratic state legislators around the country.
An Omen for the Presidency
On Sunday morning, Feb. 23, the Rev. Dr. Henry "Hank" Wilkins, IV, who also serves in the Arkansas State Senate and chairs the Legislative Black Caucus, welcomed the Presidential candidate at the historic Saint James United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff. Mr. LaRouche was the guest of honor at a service delivered largely by the congregation's youthful members, and was treated to a series of both musical and spiritual offerings by the youth, prior to Dr. Wilkins' inspiring and uplifting sermon. LaRouche briefly addressed those gathered, telling them, "I take you all into my heart," before proceeding to a welcoming reception where members of the congregation warmly reciprocated. The parishioners told Mr. LaRouche that since former President and Arkansas native Bill Clinton always took the time to visit Saint James, they took this visit not only as a symbol of LaRouche's good will, but as an omen that he would soon take the Presidency.
Many members of the congregation returned to the Pine Bluff Convention Center that evening, where LaRouche joined State Sen. Hank Wilkins, Rep. Calvin Johnson, Rep. Booker Clemmons and Pine Bluff City Councilman John Foster in a town meeting attended by a broad collection of elected officials, labor, civic, and community leaders and political activists. LaRouche listened carefully as the meeting participants detailed the depth of the impact of the social and economic crises they faced, and as they demanded solutions from the elected officials with whom he shared the podium. When LaRouche's turn finally came to speak, he told them in the bluntest terms that he had both bad news and good news for them.
LaRouche didn't mince words in telling his audience that their problems were the result of a global collapse caused by decades of bad policies. He told them that right now, the economy is hopelessly bankrupt and that no less than 46 out of 50 states are in what he called "an impossible situation." But, he stressed, it is a situation that can be fixed. LaRouche detailed a clear pathway out of the crisis, relying heavily on lessons learned from the experiences and leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He said the problem we face right now, is that our nation is led by "idiots influenced by criminals," who are ignoring the economic catastrophe in favor of fixating on an insane drive toward war.
The Pine Bluff Commercial daily, under the headline "U.S. Economy Doomed," reported that "LaRouche spoke to at least 50 who turned out on a dreary, rainy evening to hear a self-described blunt, truthful, successful forecaster tell them the leading banks and federal reserve system in the United States are bankrupt.... 'We need growth,' LaRouche said, 'and we're all suffering, all over the world. Right now, we can get by, but by the 2004 election, we have to change this country. The problem is this obsession with war. There's a lunatic in Washington, influenced by criminals, who wants an unnecessary war in Iraq.
" 'Where's the news about the economy,' he asked, "and what are they doing about it in Washington? Believe me, potential resources to help the states exist with long-term credit from the federal government, but the feds don't want to admit we're in a depression. We've already looted the world and now everything is collapsing,' he said. If the government does not re-regulate, LaRouche said, as in Franklin Roosevelt's day, the economy will not survive.... 'You cannot balance the budget,' he said, 'and Roosevelt faced this, but he was committed to the needs of general welfare. He took emergency measures and we need to do that now. America has problemshealth care, transportation, waterand a national education crisis. We're testing, not teaching.' "
'It's As Bad As I Tell You'
LaRouche held the rapt attention of his audience in Pine Bluff as he promised them that "the situation is as bad as I tell you, and the options are as good as I promised," provided the American people follow his leadership.
During the question period that followed, LaRouche had the opportunity to go into greater detail as to the cause of the current crisis, as well as to give people a more in-depth understanding of what would be necessary to find a safe pathway out. He ripped into the corruption of the leadership of both parties, and their ties to organized crime figure Mark Rich, whose rigged pardon was a set-up to destroy President Bill Clinton's influence as Clinton left the Presidency.
LaRouche also addressed the deeper issues imbedded in America's institutions, addressing the immortality of the human soul and the fight for our posterity. The audience was swept up in a discussion that began with Book 2 of Plato's Republic, and traveled ahead to the life of Jeanne D'Arc and the tragedy of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Many in the audience compared LaRouche's remarks to the famous "walk through world history" in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's address to the Memphis sanitation workers, the night before he was brutally assassinated in April 1968.
On Monday, LaRouche traveled to Little Rock, where he addressed the Legislative Black Caucus, despite the fact that state Democratic Party officials, fresh from the DNC Winter Meetings in Washington, engaged in a frantic last-minute attempt to stop him from doing so. (At the DNC meetings, Arkansas state chairman Ron Oliver, who preaches an "all-inclusive Democratic Party," had threatened to have the LaRouche youth arrested to keep them out.)
The Times Record of Fort Smith reported from Little Rock that "Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche told black lawmakers Monday that improving transportation infrastructure, such as the railway system and the air transportation industry, is key to rebuilding the U.S. economy. LaRouche, a guest of Rep. Hank Wilkins, IV (D-Pine Bluff), at the Legislative Black Caucus, said the United States and Europe are in a 'terminal general financial crisis' that is not being addressed because of homeland security concerns and a pending war in Iraq. To correct the sagging economy, he suggested pumping money into infrastructure projects, like Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Depression. He said states could pool their resources and borrow money from the government for such projects.
" 'Much of this has to be done at the state level,' " the newspaper quoted the candidate. " 'That is, many of the programs which are required to bring the level of the tax revenue base of the state up to a durably manageable level will require large-scale basic economic infrastructure programs as a leading feature. This means transportation, this means water management, this means generation and distribution of power, this means health care, which is a disaster now, and it means areas of education.' LaRouche got 22 percent of the vote in the 2000 Democratic state primary, won by Vice President Al Gore. Despite qualifying for the state ballot in Arkansas as a Democrat, LaRouche was not recognized by the national Democratic Party.
LaRouche Was Key in Arkansas in 2000
Following his address to the Black Caucus, LaRouche was officially introduced to both the Arkansas State Senate and House of Representatives, where he was greeted by warm applause. Following a series of private meetings, LaRouche continued his dialogue with Arkansas' political elite in a reception that turned into a 2-hour in-depth discussion of his policies for the nation.
LaRouche's hosts were delighted with the way their constituents responded to his visit, and angered by the strong-arm tactics of the party bureaucracy. In the 2000 Arkansas Democratic Primary, at the insistence of the Gore-Lieberman apparatus, Party officials behaved in a similar manner when they discounted the votes of 53,150 Arkansas Democrats who voted for Mr. LaRouche. Later, during the general election, Gore lost the state of Arkansas by almost precisely that number of votes. Had that not occurred, Gore would have had sufficient electoral votes, despite the loss in Florida, which had been considered a swing state in any case, to win the Presidency.
A further sign of LaRouche's powerful influence in the crisis is the announced program of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), who chairs the House Progressive Caucus and is weighing a Presidential bid. Kucinich's website says, "I see a newly rebuilt America. I see a new horizon where America provides a means to have massive public works to rebuild our cities, our water systems, our public transportation systems, our schools, our parks, our public energy systems. Nearly $150 billion is needed over 20 years to repair and provide for adequate wastewater treatment systems. Another $120 billion is needed for drinking water systems. We need a new financial mechanism to get money to cities and states to begin rebuilding and to put America back to work. The Federal government can give cities and states loans for infrastructure programs to be repaid over a period of 30 years, at zero interest.... A Federal Bank for Infrastructure Maintenance would administer a program of lending $50 billion per year to state and local governments."