|This article appears in the August 6, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Launches Drive
by Jeffrey Steinberg and Nancy Spannaus
for Democrats To Win in November
Just hours after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, former Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche held a July 30 press conference at the city's historic John Hancock Center, to announce the formation of "LaRouche PAC," a political action committee dedicated to assuring the crushing defeat of the Bush-Cheney Republican ticket in November.
"Obviously, we have a situation in which the nominee, Kerry, must occupy the White House by election in November," LaRouche began. "There are many problems involved, so far, with the Kerry team, which is not actually ready to deal with the many of the problems which are going to hit the United States during this period. But ... we've got to get him elected. Because the alternative is unthinkable."
LaRouche has made it clear, in a series of public addresses and press interviews over recent weeks, that the only way that the Democratic Party can defeat the GOP ticket is by returning to the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and by truthfully addressing the pressing issues of the daythe systemic global financial and economic breakdown, and the danger of perpetual war embedded in the Cheney-Bush doctrine of preventive nuclear war, and in the genocidal March 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. See the full text of his July 30 statement, outlining his perspective as to how this can be done.
Even before the Convention was gavelled to a close, with the nomination of John Kerry and John Edwards, LaRouche had thrown down the gauntlet on the FDR issue by releasing "A Real Democratic Party Platform for November 2004." In and around the Boston Convention, a contingent of over 100 LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) organizers distributed 50,000 copies of the document, saturating the city, and drawing an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from Party activists at every level.
Now, LaRouche's new PAC intends to use the Platform as a mass circulation item throughout the country, in conjunction with more youth deployments, in order to win the election for Kerry by bringing the "forgotten men and women" into the fray.
The presence of the LaRouche Youth Movement everywhere in Boston created a highly visible counterpoint to the "official" convention, which many delegates did not hesitate to call a "clown show." The youth criss-crossed the city, including the subways and various forums and seminars, in order to engage delegates and others in a Socratic dialogue on the principles upon which a winning Democratic campaign could be waged. Nearly everywhere they went, they introduced themselves with presentations of Classical music, both J.S. Bach and Classical Spirituals, in order to bring beauty, and a happy reflective mood to their audiences. Most striking, including to the media commentators usually shrill about LaRouche, was their serenade at the doors of the Fleet Center on the first night of the Convention, which all the delegates had to file through in order to enter.
LaRouche's own personal presence in Boston for the Convention combined with the youth envelopment, to force to the surface a raging battle within the Party, a battle that has been under way since the start of the campaign. The former candidate had many meetings with delegates and others in the Party, as it became more obvious with their organizing that LaRouche and LYM were the most viable force for victory among the Democrats. Increasingly, as the Convention unfolded, more and more leading circles within the Party were forced to come to grips with the fact that the Democratic ticket cannot hope to win in November unless LaRouche and his youth movement are brought, upfront, into the Party mobilization.
The 'Unlikely' Majority
The dilemma facing the Kerry-Edwards ticket, and the reason the LaRouche issue is now front and center within the Democratic Party, was best expressed by pollster John Zogby, who spoke with a LaRouche campaign representative after a public forum on July 27, sponsored by the Arab American Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union. Zogby expressed concern that Kerry-Edwards could lose the November election to the Republican incumbents. He reported that 47% of "likely voters" will vote Democratic because they hate Bush and Cheney, but that an equal number of voters, including fundamentalists and neo-conservatives, will vote for the GOP slate. "There are few voters who remain undecided," he lamented. But the LaRouche campaign representative pointed out that the polls reflect a very small percentage of eligible voters, because "likely voters" make up under 50%, and they do not include any voters between the ages of 18-25, who have not been eligible to vote in the past four Federal elections.
It is the youth vote and the "unlikely" votersmade up predominantly of people in the lower 80% of family-income bracketswho will be particularly targetted by the LaRouche PAC effort. This is the heart of the "FDR Coalition" of the "forgotten men and women" of America, who must be mobilized, to assure not just a defeat of Bush-Cheney in November, but a landslide victory mandate for the kind of national and global economic recovery agenda spelled out in the LaRouche Platform.
The McAuliffe Factor
The LaRouche Youth Movement intervention in Boston began on Saturday, July 24, with the mass circulation of literature to the Young Democrats' Convention, and in various press conferences and meetings around the city. Given the fact that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Homeland Security had colluded to try to lock the LYM out of Boston, by engineering the cancellation of two hotel rooms which the LaRouche Campaign had been negotiating for, the LYM had reason to expect there would be a clampdown.
Then, at the opening press conference of the Convention by DNC head Terry McAuliffe, on Sunday morning, July 25, LYM leader Matt Ogden confronted McAuliffe on his collusion with Homeland Security on the attempted exclusion. The DNC chair first claimed he was not aware of the exclusion attempt. "Two weeks ago you told me that you wanted to keep Cheney in his seat as Vice President, even though Cheney's lies in support of the Iraq War have been exposed as indictable offenses," Ogden said, pressing the point. "Why do you want to keep Cheney in?"
Caught in a tight spot, McAuliffe replied: "I think it was Cheney who is responsible for cancelling your rooms." McAuliffe's accusation was immediately publicized in a press release by the LaRouche campaign. While no press picked up the story, McAuliffe was conspicuously unable, or unwilling, to suppress LYM activity for the rest of the week.
On Sunday afternoon, the LYM held a press conference on the exclusion attempt, which was addressed by five Democratic elected officials, and which heard messages of support from former Senator and Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, and from students and other concerned citizens in Asia. Joining the LYM were three Democratic state representatives: Rep. Harold James of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rep. Joe Towns of Memphis, Tennessee, and Rep. Perry Clark of Louisville, Kentucky. Also joining in the condemnation of the exclusion were former State Rep. Billy McKinney of Atlanta, Georgia, and Cleveland City Councilman Robert White. (A substantial portion of this event is reproduced in a transcript in this package.)
Then, on Sunday evening, candidate LaRouche himself addressed a meeting of his youth movement, local supporters, and some delegates, in which he put forward his perspective toward winning the election, and then answered questions from the youth for approximately two hours. We include his opening statement here; the dialogue can be found on www.larouchein2004.com, which is also accessible through www.larouchepac.com.
Breaking a Controlled Environment
LaRouche had announced his intention to break up what was intended to be a tightly controlledand contrivedConvention, by placing it, and the more than 4,000 delegates attending it, in an environment controlled by political reality. The LYM was the vehicle for creating this reality-based environment, with more than 100 energetic organizers essentially "surrounding" the Convention-goers; much to the chagrin of the corrupted Party leadership, there was little they could do to prevent the LYM operation.
Squads of LYM organizers were everywhere the delegates were, from the moment that they went down to their caucus breakfasts in the hotels, to their travels in subway and buses to the Fleet Center, and as they entered the Fleet Center itself. There were also LYM members on the floor of the Convention, organizing and demanding that the Party address reality.
These were not your "usual" organizing deploymentsat least for the Democrats. They were boisterous mini-rallies, with Classical choral singing used as a weapon to crack through the delegates' cynicism and fear, and biting humor evoking laughter even from those who would claim to be opposed to LaRouche.
The point was that this overall deployment was relentless in demanding that the delegates act with their minds to save the Party and the nation. And it produced lively debate and discussionsomething that was all but ruled out of order by the Party officials who scripted the Boston affair. Delegates who probably had no intention of ever talking to a "LaRouchie" could not resist the force and power of these young people, talking, thinking, and taking literature for further thought.
From the very start of the Convention, the unspoken LaRouche agenda dominated the proceedings. The heavily scripted scenes at the Fleet Center angered and frustrated many delegates, who gravitated to the dozens of parallel events around town, which focussed on the bankruptcy of the Bush-Cheney policies, the opposition to the Iraq War, and the dangers of domestic fascism personified by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Indicative of the flight from reality at the Fleet Center was the fact that John Kerry's poll numbers fell as the Convention was unfolding, and the TV ratings of the evening prime-time segments were the lowest in U.S. election history.
'The Guns of August'
The launching of LaRouche PAC at the Boston press conference July 30 signalled the start of a month of mobilization on the part of the LaRouche PAC. Already, regional town hall meetings throughout the country are being planned, to present the Platform, and mobilize the "forgotten men and women" to defeat Bush-Cheney by taking back the Democratic Party from the control of what Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), back in the mid-1990s, called "a second Republican Party." LaRouche PAC spokesmen also announced plans to publish and widely distribute a book, featuring the full texts of the three "Children of Satan" documents, which were earlier circulated by the LaRouche in 2004 Presidential campaign. The 3 million-plus copies of those campaign reports created the conditions for the defeat of Cheney and the neo-cons, by exposing them as outright fascists committed to the destruction of the United States as a Constitutional republic.
As the Convention closed, Kerry had the nomination, but LaRouche and his LYM had the conscience of the Party. The battle will continue.