From Volume 5, Issue Number 9 of EIR Online, Published Feb. 28, 2006

This Week You Need To Know


Franklin Roosevelt's Legacy

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

February 18, 2006

To play a useful role in history, influential leaders of institutions are those, like President Franklin Roosevelt, who act to prevent, or to prepare for a crisis before it has happened, while it could still be prevented.

Now, the U.S. Democratic Party approaches a new general election, when that party has a pressing need for the immediate circulation of a platform which represents an actually programmatic approach to the crucial policy-decisions with which the presently oncoming world crisis already threatens us.

This crisis is expressed, on the one side, by the failure of the Party, so far, to speak openly, with sufficient clarity, resolution, and force, on the deeper implications of even the obvious issues which are presently under discussion among some of the Party's leading circles. This involves, on the deeper level, the apparent lack of any expressed programmatic comprehension of certain deeper issues which must be brought to the table now, because decision, or lack of policy thinking on these issues will determine the future of all mankind for a very long time to come.

The mistaken recent assumption among some notable Democrats, an assumption which we must now, immediately correct, has been the expressed attitude, in practice, that crucial issues could be postponed until after the coming, November mid-term elections, when a riper form of an already grave crisis will appear. So, in effect, it has been assumed, mistakenly, by some Democrats, as others, that any firm position on crucial issues of long-term policy, would be a matter which were better postponed until that point later in this year, perhaps after the actuality of the presently oncoming economic disaster has become irreparable.

As we should have recognized after the near-fiasco of the Senate hearings on the Alito confirmation, such delays in coming to grips with strategic issues now, would leave the Party, for the moment, as it were a flopping assortment of fish on the beach, fish left behind by the outgoing political tide.

For that reason, for the lack of a program for this occasion, the party's halting efforts fell victim, hopefully only temporarily, to the blight of that same quality of Sophistry which had doomed ancient Athens' plunge into the doom of the Peloponnesian War. That blight is to be recognized as, largely, a symptom of that break of the young-adult, campus-based youth movement of the 68ers, from the then-existing mainstream of the generality defined by the role of agricultural, manufacturing, and science-specialist producers. These 68ers represented, in their most vocal expression, a break within the ranks of the pre-Vietnam War constituency, a break away from the outlook on which the Party's strength had depended since the 1932 election of President Franklin Roosevelt....

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