|This article appears in the May 23, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
To Debate on FDR
by Nancy Spannaus
Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche, currently the frontrunner in the Democratic race according to leading measures of broad financial support, issued a debate challenge to his nine opponents on May 11, by offering to host a webcast devoted to the topic: "Is the precedent of FDR's response to Hoover's 1929-33 Depression, still relevant for today's crisis? Why, or why not?"
LaRouche's offer threatens to upset the game being played by the organized-crime-linked Democratic Leadership Council crowd which controls the Democratic National Committee. By demanding the exclusion of LaRouche from their debates, and simultaneously seeking to muzzle or discredit those Democrats who oppose the chicken-hawk imperial policies that have seized the Presidency, the Democratic Party "leaders" have deprived the country of any meaningful opposition voice. But there are clear indications that many Democratic leaders, beset by the horrible realities of the economic crisis which the party is refusing to address, are moving toward revolt against the DLC/DNC clampdown, and the LaRouche debate challenge may provide just the opportunity they require to do so.
Leadership in Action
LaRouche's challenge comes in the context of the undeniable fact that he is outstripping all the other Democratic Presidential pre-candidates in both the number of contributions from those who've given over $200 to his campaign, and the amount of money raised by contributors giving less than $200. One million leaflets documenting this reality have hit the United States, in addition to broad circulation of the "shocker" on the Internet. While the news that LaRouche has raised over $3.7 million in all, putting him ahead of DLC darling Joe Lieberman and "anti-war" candidate Howard Dean, has succeeded in piercing the total press blackout on LaRouche, the DNC is still determined to prevent LaRouche from being included in any events, or even public discussion of the race.
As LaRouche has emphasized, however, the Democratic officials are only proving how foolish they are by such antics. The LaRouche campaign, led by a youth movement which is deploying a couple hundred young people around the country daily, and is growing fast, is going out to organize the public, and to change U.S. policy now, regardless of official sanction. LaRouche's attacks on the source of the chicken-hawks' imperial policy, as the Nazi political philosopher Leo Strauss, have already shaken up, and emboldened, opposition to Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al. within the Democratic and Republican parties. Increasingly, those who want an alternative to depression and war are realizing they have to turn to the potent political force on the scene, the LaRouche force.
One reflection of LaRouche's influence has come from the increased attention being paid to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democrat whose tradition LaRouche represents, and carries forward today. Time magazine, for example, put FDR on its May 19 cover, headlined "How To Build a Better Democrat," advising Democrats to change what author Joe Klein called "the mingy, defensive, consultant-driven style of recent campaigns."
Equally interesting was the statement put out by the Democratic Leadership Council, after its May 14 "strategy session" in Washington, D.C. In general, the session seems to have been devoted to pumping up the rhetoric for the campaigns of DLC favorites, Joe Lieberman and Bob Graham, and attacking Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt for appealing to what they called "activist elites," on issues like health care.
But, in the course of this attack, the DLC's CEO (that's what he calls himself) Al From, and President Bruce Reed felt compelled to claim the "real tradition" of the Democratic Party represented by FDR. But FDR would hardly recognize himself! Ignoring the central thrust of FDR's Presidency in reviving government policies to promote the general welfare, against the free-enterprise pirates who had dominated the Coolidge-Hoover Administrations, From and Reed characterize FDR's platform as one for "reciprocal trade agreements," "drastic reduction of government expenditures," and building the best Army, Navy, Air Force, and merchant marine in the world. They don't want you to think about the TVA, Social Security, or public works.
There is no question but that the DLC is being forced to fight on the turf defined by LaRouche.
Emboldening the Fighters
Most importantly, LaRouche's leadership and activity are bringing certain Democrats out of the woodwork, to begin to fight against the Bush Administration's chicken-hawk policies, and against the chicken-hawk influence in the Democratic Party as well.
As several other articles in this issue indicate, there are signs of a coherent form of fight-back by Democrats in the Congress, for the first time in two years, against the crazier aspects of the imperial policy, including Rumsfeld's attempted anti-Constitutional coup at the Pentagon. Acting as a group, these Democrats are reaching out to like-minded Republicans, and beginning to win some crucial victories.
Additionally, some Democratic leaders are continuing to come forward to demand that state parties buck the DNC, and include LaRouche in their events. At the time of the South Carolina "debate," 20 local Democratic office-holders and labor officials, joined with 14 prominent national Democratic leaders to insist that LaRouche be included. Now, on the eve of the May 17 Ohio Democratic event, to which all the candidates but LaRouche were invited, 20 top Ohio Democratic office-holders and labor officials have come forward, with the same demand. Sixteen national Democratic figures also signed the open letter to Ohio Democratic Party Chair Dennis White, including former Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.
Regardless of the outcome, you can be sure LaRouche will be everywhere, in the form of his debate challenge and attack on Rumsfeld. Democratic officialdom spurns him at their own peril.