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This presentation appears in the February 6, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

What Leadership for
A Time of Crisis?

Here is the keynote of Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential webcast campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, Jan. 25, 2004.

Well, tomorrow night, after the blizzard has struck, under the snowdrifts at Dixville Notch, a couple of characters will come out and pronounce the fate of the nation, or presumably. Sort of like the groundhogs who are supposed to come out on Feb. 2.

But, actually, almost nothing of final significance will have happened on Tuesday. There will be a certain sorting out of the candidates. It will not be very long before the flake, Gen. Wesley Clark, disappears. Obviously, Dean has been buried; they're trying to find a place to put him. The others: Kucinich is not going to go much of any place. He will survive as a political figure, but he will not become a serious Presidential candidate in this process. Edwards will stay in for a while.

But, there are only two candidates for the Democratic side, who have any significance whatsoever, for the voters and citizens of the United States: I'm one of them; the other one is obviously Senator Kerry. You can forget the rest. They will not be around very long. Maybe Edwards will hang around to try for a Vice Presidential shot, or something like that.

But this thing is not—we have not yet begun to see the decisive developments in this campaign.

The most decisive developments are not the actions of the candidates, even though they play a part in the sorting-out process. The most important developments are yet to happen. And there are two major areas of developments which are going to be decisive. One, you have to realize that Dean is not the only lunatic on the landscape. There are others. The President is not a lunatic, he's mentally defective. He's just not there. But, two are Dean and Cheney: Watch them. They're significant.

Dean is a mental case. I knew that some years ago. I watched it, for example, this thing they had, where he'd start talking about guys with pickup trucks and Confederate flags on the back of their pickup trucks. That outburst and a few other things, watching him—this guy is not there. He's better a mental physician's case, than a physician. He's out.

But, the significant thing is, we have such candidates. We have such political figures who come to prominence, who should be discounted as mental cases, like Dean. Look at the degree to which Dean has been boosted, to occupy a certain part of the spectrum. And he was nothing from the beginning, if anybody knew anything.

Then, you have the other one: Cheney, who is clinically insane, and extremely dangerous. He's the Vice President, and the controller of the President, so far, though other forces are struggling to get in the barn, and do something about it.

That's one problem—the insanity in government; corruption in government; incompetence of candidates. But, what's coming is this—at some point soon, we're going to have something that will put poor Senator Kerry to the test: This financial system is going to collapse.

The other side of it, on which Kerry takes a rather correct position, but not a very strong one, is on the question of what's going on in Iraq, on Cheney's war policy. And Kerry has said that he's running for President, but, it's a long time between now and November. A lot of things can happen. And with Cheney on the loose, you don't know what will happen. Something like Sept. 11, 2001 can happen. Cheney and that crowd have that mentality. Do you have a candidacy, on the Democratic side, which will not collapse under such a catastrophe?

Wars can break out, new wars. We have not seen the end of Iraq. We are still operating under this Presidency, under the Bush Presidency, under a policy of Cheney's, called "preventive nuclear warfare." The targets are not only Iraq and Afghanistan. They are Syria; they are Iran; they are North Korea; and they're ultimately China. And a lot of other nations. So, we can have new wars breaking out before November. They can break out, because of Cheney's initiative from here. He's a mental case. Don't say he shouldn't do it, because of this reason; he shouldn't do it because of that reason—he's a mental case! He's not going to be constrained by reality. He's going to be constrained by something inside him, which controls him, and compels him. He's a lunatic! And, he's loose on the streets of politics. He's dangerous.

And he represents a group of people around him, of a similar disposition: They want a war! They want a war, now! The general wisdom around the White House is, don't have a war before November. Wait until after November and have a war. Don't upset the American people with a new war. Postpone it, until after the election. Then unleash it.

That's what we're faced with.

The System Is Bankrupt

But, in the meantime, while this danger of world war piles up, we're on the edge of the greatest financial collapse in modern history. The United States is hopelessly bankrupt. This system is bankrupt.

And you haven't had much discussion of that, in terms of these other candidates, have you? They don't discuss the bankruptcy of the United States. They discuss, "We have a problem." "I have plan!" Everyone has a plan! But, the plan has nothing to do with reality. You have a plan for moving money around. Why are you going to move that money around, if it's gone? How are you going to improve the health-care system, if it is collapsed? Through bankruptcy?

These guys are not yet in the real world. And, until not only the candidates, are confronted by the real world, but until the voters get out of their foolishness, and start saying, "We need to save this nation. We need to save this situation. We don't need to know which candidate uses what toothpaste." We have to have a leadership, now, to rally the nation, before November of this year, to give some leadership from the side of the Democratic Party, which will protect this nation, against being stampeded by some lunacy, coming out of the desperate Bush Administration, or Cheney, in particular.

In other words, we're fighting for the life of the nation and civilization. We're not running a beauty contest. We're not running a competition. We're not running a pollster's racket. We're concerned with the continued existence of civilization.

Because this system is about to go down. Take the United States, for example: 48 of the 50 states of the United States are hopelessly, irremediably bankrupt. That is, they can not meet their current obligations, by raising taxes, because they would sink the economy, in such a way that they would cost the state more in lost tax revenues, than they would get by raising the tax rates. They can not increase the tax rates.

States are bankrupt: Take California. California, now, in the middle of this year, is facing a $15 billion deficit in the state budget. It's facing, beyond that, for the coming year, an additional $15 billion or more deficit. Over $30 billion of deficit. We have similar conditions, sometimes not as radical, but similar conditions across the country.

You're on the verge of a collapse of power. In New England, for example, we're on the verge of a collapse of the generation and distribution of power, in New England. A few plants go, and you don't have power. West Coast—the same kind of thing.

The health-care system is collapsing.

The United States has a trillion-dollar-a-year current account deficit as a nation. We're bankrupt. In the most recent months, the value of the euro has risen from 83¢ to $1.28. The United States dollar is collapsing! And, it's already much overvalued at those collapsed levels.

This is the situation.

All it takes, is a slight fluctuation—and the housing bubble collapses. The mortgage-based securities bubble, tied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, collapses. Shacks which are sitting, especially over the area around Washington, D.C. for example: shacks that are going for $400,000-$600,000 in terms of mortgage value—they consist of shacks, with a shrink-wrap insulation, some plastic exterior, and a few fancy faucets, and they go for a half-million dollars. For people who can't afford them! Even on two incomes, but it's the only income available. Who are these people? They come from other parts of the country, such as Michigan, where the population has collapsed.

You have some of this reflection in New Hampshire. The population has collapsed, because they're moving from areas that used to be agricultural-industrial areas. Those jobs are lost, the factories are lost, the transportation systems are lost, the infrastructure's lost. And they crowd in, those that can, seeking jobs in these areas, around Washington, the West Coast, and elsewhere.

The shacks go up. They dump them on cow pastures, with very little infrastructure. And you see them going up: It's a shack! It's a tarpaper shack, modern-style! And you see the wrapping they put around it—it's shrink-wrap! Then, they cover the thing over with some plastic exterior—and buddy, it's a half-million dollars, for someone who couldn't afford to really go into a mortgage for $150,000. And two or three people in the families.

We've lost our industries. We depend upon sucking the blood of the world. NAFTA was a great catastrophe for the United States, because, what we did, is we shut down our jobs, in the United States, in order to employ cheap labor, at slave-labor rates, in other countries, such as Mexico. Globalization's the same thing: China is producing for us, from its labor which is almost slave-labor, in terms of income, by our standards. We have shut down our character as a productive society.

So, we're at the point, where, at any time, this thing collapses—a sudden, total, financial collapse; bigger than 1929; bigger than 1929-31, when the income of the average American, the total income of the United States, dropped by half, in several years. Now, think of what a drop of that magnitude means for the incomes and standard of living for people in the United States, today.

What're they talking about? What're these guys talking about? Nothing! They "have a plan"—for what? Plan on the war. Well, one says, "I'll get you out of the war, gradually, in Iraq." They have no commitment to reality. They're running, in a sense, a beauty contest, like a bunch of starlets competing for a leading part in a movie someplace. But, they're not addressing the issues, which define the life in the United States.

The Roosevelt Model

So, let me just summarize what our problem is. In a mixed group of people, of various age groups—some of you were there then; some of you weren't there then, and put it all together: What has happened to the United States in the past 40 years? We came out of the Depression under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt, by policies of a type which should be a model for what the government should do now, today. Because we are actually in a depression. It may not have hit with full force, yet, and it will—but, the basic problem is there. The underlying rot is there, and it has to be fixed. The basic precedent, which most Americans either understand, or could understand, from history, is: We got out of the 1929-31 Depression. We got out, because of the policies used by Franklin Roosevelt. Therefore, there can be no reasonable argument, that we should not be considering the examples of what Roosevelt did, now, because we can now show people, this worked. It may have been imperfect, but it worked. It's a starting point of reference, for saving this nation, and the world.

We went through that. We went through the period of recovery. We went through the war. Franklin Roosevelt already had a problem, when he came in. Shortly before he was inaugurated, Hermann Goering had set fire to the Reichstag in Berlin. And setting fire to the Reichstag, created the condition under which Hitler was made a dictator. So, at the time that Franklin Roosevelt was actually inaugurated, World War II was already inevitable. It didn't start later. It started right then: in February of 1933. And, Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in March.

We don't have that threat right now. But, that's what happened. We were led into a recovery, a difficult recovery, because the legacy of Coolidge and Hoover on the mentality of the population was such, that there was great resistance to the necessary measures of recovery. And Roosevelt did make revolutionary steps, institutionally: The protectionist system was developed around him, on the level of the states, the national government. Large-scale projects, like the TVA and so forth, changed the character of the nation, much for the better.

By the time we came out of World War II, we were the most powerful economy in the world, the most powerful nation in the world; practically the only world power. We had achieved levels of productivity, beyond anything previously. Then, unfortunately, Roosevelt died.

In the meantime, the same people in the United States who had put Hitler into power in Europe, together with the British—that is, Brown Brothers Harriman, which is an Anglo-American firm, were the transatlantic forces which financed Hitler's rise to power, in 1933, and which funded Hitler's coup d'état to become the Chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933. And then, toward the end of the next month, Hitler became a dictator.

These were the guys! Harriman, Morgan, and so forth: The same ones that planned to run a military coup, against the President of the United States, against Roosevelt, put Hitler into power. Morgan, Mellon, du Pont, Harriman, so forth. These guys didn't like Hitler for one reason—and Churchill didn't, for one reason: They had liked Hitler as an idea; they liked fascism as an idea. They funded it, they put it into power in Europe. But, they didn't want it running the English-speaking world. Winston Churchill did not want the Nazis running the British Empire. And the bankers in New York, who had supported Hitler, did not want Hitler running both the British Empire and the United States.

So, even though they had been Hitler-lovers, they joined Roosevelt and Churchill, in 1940, at the time that the German troops were about to wipe out the British Expeditionary Force, on the beaches at Dunkirk, at that point, we made a turn. At that point, Roosevelt and others stopped the possibility of a world conquest, by the fascists of continental Europe. But we still had to fight a long war, to bring it to an end.

The Onset of Trumanism

From June of 1944 through early July 1944, we had essentially won the war, in Europe. The breakthrough in Normandy, and the consolidation of that breakthrough, meant that the defeat of Hitler was a matter of a short time, but for fools like General Montgomery, who prolonged the war for at least six months more, by his nonsense. At that point, there was a change in the policy, inside the United States: The right wing, which had earlier supported Hitler, and then turned against him, together with Churchill, and joined Roosevelt to fight World War II, now decided they were going back to the old right-wing business. So, what they did is, they got a Vice President in, who was good at vice, sort of like Cheney's forebear: President Truman. Harry S Truman—there is no period after the S: His mother, when signing the birth certificate in the hospital, couldn't think of what middle name to put for her son. So she decided it would be something that would begin with the letter "S." So, she wrote "Harry S Truman," and she never got around to giving him an actual middle name. There is no period. And there's a lot of things about Harry Truman that fit that picture. There was a lot of things—"missing," shall we say?

Matter of fact, in 1947, I wrote a letter to Dwight Eisenhower, who was then president of Columbia University. A one-page letter, short one-page letter, stating that we had come out of a war, and those who had come out of the war represented a leading edge of the population, had expected that certain implicit promises, for the post-war period, would be kept. And that the Truman Administration had betrayed those promises. And therefore, I suggested that perhaps he, as a military figure who would be recognized by veterans, should run for the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, in order to get Truman out, and as a way of trying to rally veterans, and their families, to seize the future, through the choice of a President who was sympathetic to their cause, but not sympathetic to the far right wing.

Truman was evil. People talk about Joe McCarthy, and McCarthyism. Now, the evil was already there, but it was called "Trumanism." McCarthy was a parody, a cheap imitation of Harry Truman, who was the real killer. Harry Truman bluffed. A policy, then, under Truman, as exemplified by his bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—for no good military reason, with the only two experimental nuclear weapons we had, was typical of Harry. Harry was a hard-core, right-wing war-monger, of the same genre as Vice President Cheney.

We didn't have nuclear weapons in stock at the time: The two weapons we dropped on Japan were experimental weapons—one a uranium bomb; the other, a plutonium bomb. We had no more. We had no production line, to produce a series of these kinds of weapons. We did not have the kind of capability of delivering these weapons against the Soviet Union. But, Harry and Company were bluffing! And they thought that they could bluff China and the Soviet Union. And they played games. And Harry got us into a war: Because one day, the Soviet Union sent the North Korean Army down the Korean Peninsula. And what was left of the Korean Army, which was very little, and what was left of the U.S. forces, were sitting around Busan in the southern tip of Korea, until MacArthur made that flanking operation at Inchon, which some people didn't want to have happen.

And then, a little bit later, while we were in this prolonged war in Korea, as a result of Truman's efforts, the Soviet Union had tested a first thermonuclear weapon—deployable type of thermonuclear weapon. That meant that Harry Truman's dreams, of conquering the world with preventive nuclear warfare, were ended! Because you can not conduct nuclear fission warfare against a thermonuclear fusion power.

So, what we got into, was, we got into a new situation. The world strategic situation was now defined by a conflict, in between the level of so-called conventional warfare, and thermonuclear warfare. That nuclear weapons were simply something in-between conventional warfare and thermonuclear warfare.

And we evolved, over the course of the 1950s, a policy of Mutual and Assured Destruction. We were living under the threat of destruction, as the guarantor of peace, as the guarantor of no-war. So, people would then try to conduct wars, and other operations, at a level where they thought would not trigger the thermonuclear exchange. That's what they did to us.

Now, in this period, Truman was so bad, that the establishment of this country, a large part of it, decided to get rid of what Truman represented. He did not run for re-election. The Democratic Party was not going to be allowed to win the Presidency, because they were so polluted by Trumanism! So, we had eight years of peace, or relative peace, under Eisenhower, who got rid of Joe McCarthy, and cut him down—cut his legs off, of the crowd behind him.

But then, came 1961. Eisenhower was retiring. Kennedy was not ready to cope with the job. He didn't know what he needed to know. He did not have the basis in the U.S. military support, to neutralize the right wing: So we had the Bay of Pigs. And we had the 1962 Missile Crisis. Then, we had things like the assassination of President Kennedy.

And, a terrified Johnson pushed us into an Indo-China War. Again, the same foolishness as under Truman. The United States was convinced, that since the Chinese had indicated that they would not react strongly to a U.S. attack on North Vietnam, people in Washington thought they had a free ride in Indo-China—people like McNamara, who's still an idiot. He's still around, more idiotic than ever before.

Asymmetric Warfare

Yes, China did not intervene—but, the Soviet Union did! The Soviet Union collaborated with the North Vietnamese, to unleash what is called "asymmetric warfare," in Indo-China, against the United States. China at that time, was more or less allied with the United States, against the Soviet Union, because they were opposed to Vietnam. They were afraid the Vietnamese power, would be too much of a power in Southeast Asia, therefore, the Chinese backed the horror-show in Indo-China, in Kampuchea, as a counter to the Vietnamese.

Now, what we're facing now, with the collapse of the Soviet Union: We've got a Russia which is still a nuclear power, a thermonuclear power; China is an emerging thermonuclear power; the United States, in the form of Cheney and Company, what he represents, is threatening China, Russia, and other countries, with a policy of preventive nuclear war, which is Cheney's revival of the policies of Truman, from the late 1940s. What happened in Afghanistan, what happened, especially in Iraq, what is ongoing in Iraq, is the eruption of global asymmetric warfare, enriched by nuclear weapons, and other kinds of special weapons: deep-diving, fast, small submarines; special kinds of weapons; super-systems that will knock out the U.S. missile system, entirely, until they're launched; that sort of thing. So, you're in a period, in which you get, like Vietnam, the populations of the world, in "people's war," fighting against the United States' aggression, but the fight-back includes sophisticated, modern weapons: We're talking about the kind of war, in which several billion people would be wiped out!

This is what Cheney represents! This is what this legacy represents.

What's the other side? This is not necessary. If we stop Cheney, and stop what these guys represent, that will not happen. I can guarantee you, that if I am elected President of the United States, it will not happen. It will never happen. Because I have a number of friends in various countries around this world. They know me and my policies, very well. They know that if I'm President of the United States, certain policies on their part will come into play. And, as President of the United States, I would have very few problems, of a strategic character. Our problems would be largely, reorganizing this planet, around the economic crisis, and related crises we have, to rebuild the economies of this planet.

But, this is what we're up against. This is the reality: the reality of asymmetric war.

Not like the problem with poor Kerry. He says, "Elect me President, and after I've got rid of Bush, and I'm President, then I'll take on these problems, one at a time." That is not going to work! Because, what we're going to face before then, we're going to face many of these problems.

The Role of a Presidential Candidate

Now, being a Presidential candidate, and even a major candidate, as I am at this time—in terms of support, in terms of impact and influence—is not irrelevant to this kind of problem. For, if it's apparent that there are leading candidates, in the United States, in the Democratic Party, who are addressing the population on these kinds of issues, the party not in power can suddenly get a lot of power, to block these kinds of problems. If the party coming into power, challenging power, has an economic policy to save the nation from a depression, when it has become apparent to the American people that we're in a depression, and they're screaming for salvation: I mean the day that people are about to be thrown out of their homes en masse; that whole towns are shut down; the essential services, like pensions and so forth, are shut down; hospitals are shut down; public services are shut down; because of bankruptcy—under those conditions, if a leading party of the United States, through leading candidates of that party, take a consolidated position on dealing with the crisis, government will respond. The government of the United States will respond.

The problem we have now, is the mealy-mouthed character of the candidates! Including Kerry. He does not address these issues. He says, "I'm the good guy. I'm going to try to win things on points. I'm going to do this thing; I'm going to appeal to you on this issue. I'm going to appeal to you on this issue. I have a 'plan' for this. I have a 'plan' for that." It won't work! Because, the issue of the election has not yet been posed to the American people, in a way that they accept this. They do not recognize, that generalized war—including asymmetric war; that a generalized financial collapse of the system, is what the issue is—because, until the people are facing and discussing that issue, we do not have a real political discussion of these problems! That's where we are.

What's the alternative? Just to review it. I've said it before, but it should be said again: That what we have to do, is not merely go back to Franklin Roosevelt's methods. We have to use those methods, because they are a precedent. And, when we tell the American people, and the people of other countries, that we're going to reorganize the financial and monetary system of the world, you can't come up and say, "I came up with a 'plan.' " That will not win the confidence and support of other nations, or our own people. What you have to say, is: "We did it before. And it worked. We have to make some adjustments and changes over what we did before, but it will work." Now you have the authority of precedent. People can study the matter, they can say, "Yes, it did work. We did get out of the Depression. We're in another depression. We've got to think the same way, again."

A Cultural Paradigm-Shift

Now, the other thing they have to face, is this: How did we get into this mess? Here we are going into the 1960s. We're the most powerful nation on the planet; the highest grade of productivity, of any nation on this planet; the greatest economic power, the greatest producer nation of this planet! We produce more, at a higher level of technology than anyone else! And in abundance. We're being held back, we're making mistakes, but nonetheless, we are a nation with that characteristic. We are a nation of farmers; we're a nation of industrial workers; we're a nation of specialists, of various kinds, of useful occupations; a nation that's studying science; a nation that is actually on the way to conquering space—as with the Kennedy space program, crash program on the Moon. We're a power! We're in good shape! We're being mismanaged to a large degree. We're making mistakes, but we are a power! And we can stand on our own feet, as a power.

What happened? Well, with the Missile Crisis, the assassination of Kennedy, the launching of the Indo-China War, we underwent what was called a cultural paradigm-shift.

Now, some of you, in this sampling of the American population, different generations, look at it from that standpoint: We came out of the Depression. We were bums, we were a nation of bums, under Hoover and Coolidge. We were scared by the Depression. We were abused, terrified, humiliated, threatened, by the Depression. Roosevelt saved us, Roosevelt's leadership. We went on, with the war threat looming, we went on to deal with the danger of world conquest by Nazism. That's what we faced, actually, up until certain events in 1940. We still faced war, after that. We led, in saving the world from that horror-show! With all our weakness.

Then we began to turn in a new direction. But we were still a great power! We helped rebuild a lot of the world, with the Bretton Woods system. There was actual improvement. We can be proud of what we accomplished, despite all the nonsense we did.

But, we had this right-wing problem. Do you know how many people, of my generation, finked out at the word "FBI"? Under Truman? Don't wait till Joe McCarthy! This is under Truman! That was the witch-hunt—Truman's witch-hunt. People turned against their friends, and relatives, and neighbors! For fear, that if they didn't, the FBI would get them. They turned into stinking cowards. And they told their children, what to do: "Don't say things that will get our family into trouble! The FBI is listening! It's everywhere!"

And just for a touch of spice, you had the Rosenberg case: "We fried a couple of Jews!" And that's what they said. This was rubbed in! The American people were scared. Our suburban class were scared in the 1950s. The ones that had the defense-related contracts—they were scared. You worked in a shop, that had a defense-related contract—you were scared! Somebody would organize having you run out of your community! Your children would be hounded! We had a witch-hunt in this country! And it continued, even under Eisenhower, though it was much ameliorated, after Eisenhower got in.

Now, we're going along. Thermonuclear weapons, buildup of thermonuclear weapons. Then comes the Bay of Pigs. Eisenhower had already put its name on it: He called it the "military-industrial complex," on the way out. That's a funny name. It's Synarchism, the Synarchist International. A bunch of fascists, inside our system, of which Cheney is representative. And they launched, under the leadership of Allen Dulles, they launched the Bay of Pigs operation—a funny-funny operation, like Cheney runs. Which is supposed to get us into some real stuff. We got out of that.

Then, we had the Missile Crisis. Do you know how terrified people were by the Missile Crisis? For a number of days, when the tension was, that these Soviet missiles were going to come raining down on the United States? And the bunkers were not sufficient to protect you? You'd be cooked inside them, instead of being—otherwise. You'd escape radiation, but get cooked inside. This was on their mind!

Now, who were the people who were frightened? They were people of my generation, who had gone over to being cowards, because of the FBI. But, they were also their children—especially their children, whose parents had worked in sensitive jobs, in defense-related and other high-security employment. They were terrified. They had lived under the nightmare. They'd been seeing movies, about things coming out of radioactivity, like great ants, coming to eat us all—this kind of Hollywood horror movies. They were terrified! This is what kiddie entertainment was! The so-called "science affliction" movies.

And along comes reality: A Missile Crisis! It's about to happen! Nevil Shute: We're On the Beach. It's about to happen! Somebody in Australia'll be the last man alive. This is the kind of ideology.

Then, Kennedy is shot. And, it's an obvious cover-up. But everybody's afraid to say it.

What happened? The young people, who had come from suburbia, the ones who were the most eligible for university positions were the most scared, because they were the most conditioned to this. And they went, and what they did they study? LSD! What you had, is a cultural paradigm-shift, of a change in the character of a generation, from being the children of the society which was the most productive on this planet, to being people trying to escape, from that society, into a refuge in LSD, and the rock-drug-sex counterculture. You bred a generation, entering the universities, who did not believe in technology. Technology must be destroyed! We must go back to the simple life! We must go back to nature! Go back to pre-human civilization.

The cultural paradigm-shift.

Corruption of Both Parties

Now watch, step by step, this process: The Democratic Party is demoralized, it's shot. The Vietnam War has done it.

Biloxi, Mississippi, 1966: Richard Nixon, a burnt-out candidate, went down to have a meeting with the Ku Klux Klan leadership in Biloxi, Mississippi—and, the Southern Strategy was launched.

And later on, the Democratic Party went along with its own Southern Strategy. They didn't call themselves "racists," they called themselves "suburbanites." The upper 20% of the family-income brackets are concerned about what they get, and their security. The lower 80% will just have to take care of themselves. This was Newt Gingrich! This was Al Gore! Who pressured Bill Clinton to capitulate to Gingrich in 1996. So the Democratic Party was shot, too.

So, what we've gone into, is, over a period of 40 years, since the advent of the official entry of the United States into the Vietnam War, we've gone through 40 years of a cultural paradigm-shift, from a productive society, a producer society, into a society which is a bunch of predatory degenerates. That is, we live, not on our own production. We've shut down our industries—even U.S.-manufactured products, are not made in the U.S. They're made in other countries, or assembled in this country, but the parts are made in these other countries.

We've destroyed our infrastructure. We've destroyed our health-care system, by at least 40 to 50%. We've destroyed our infrastructure. Our power generation and distribution network is ready to collapse in many parts of the country. We've destroyed—where are the railroads? We've destroyed it. We've built superhighways, which function as parking lots at commuter time. We are a junk heap; we're a waste heap!

And, we've gone into a pleasure society. What are the two big industries in the United States, today? Gambling! That includes Wall Street—gambling. People think that if Wall Street indexes are showing an uptick, that's good! The economy is improving! What is that economy? That is not the economy! The real economy, the factories, the farms, and so forth are disintegrating! So, where's the growth? The growth is in the gambling casino. What's the name of the gambling casino? It's called Wall Street: It's a gambling casino. Money is poured in, credit is poured in; a purely inflationary bubble is built up; the bubble grows, a parasite, sucking the blood of us all—and people say, "The economy's growing."

What do people depend upon? Entertainment! This is like the Roman Empire in its decadent phase. This is the Roman Empire, under Nero; the Roman Empire under Caligula, under Claudius, and so forth. A society, which has gone from being a producer society, as Italy was earlier, into becoming a slave society. Or, becoming a predatory society, living on what it loots from nations it's conquered or subjugated. And keeping its own people quiet with "bread and circuses." What are the circuses? The Coliseum. The Circus Maximus. Human beings being slaughtered, or slaughtering each other, for entertainment; or being slaughtered by lions, for entertainment. What do you have on television, today? What do you have in movies, today? What do you have in mass spectator sports, today? You have absolute decadence and degeneration! We have become a "bread and circuses" society!

Now, we come along—"we've got to protect our system." What system? You mean this? The bread and circuses society? The animal acts? Done by people, like Dean?

No, we've come to a time, we have to admit that we've been in a long spin, of going from a society that did work—with all its flaws, with all its mistakes, it had a certain essential viability, a society that could be reformed. We've now gone to a society, which is no longer capable of passing reform school. This system will not work! This financial system will not work! This banking system will not work. Can we save the country? Can we save the nation? Of course, we can. By the kinds of methods, or the mentality, which Roosevelt brought to the problem.

But, we have to admit that we made a mistake! We made many mistakes. But the big mistake was, the mistake of the past 40 years: when we went from being a producer society, which was reformable in its errors, as the Civil Rights movement typified that; to a society which is not reformable, in its present form, which has to be replaced, by our going back to where we left off, 40 years ago.

If we understand that, we can survive.

If we don't understand that, if we don't do that: We will not survive!

Time To Face Reality

There's nothing to be frightened about, about the inherent character of the situation. There's nothing to be fixed, that can't be fixed. It may take some patience and time. But if you think in terms of generations, if you think, "Can my grandchildren look forward to a future?" Yes, we can say, "yes." We can make the changes, that ensure that the grandchildren will have a future. We can say, there may be some tough times of getting through the immediate years ahead, in reorganizing the system—but we can do it! We've done it before. We have precedents for it. We find precedents in other parts of the world. We can rebuild this nation. We can put the thing back to where it was, and probably with some improvements. We can ensure that our grandchildren will have a future. And their children after them.

So, there's nothing really to be afraid of, in that sense. There's no horrible thing to run away from. There's something to be faced. And what is to be faced, is to correct the error in ourselves, and in our institutions: by recognizing that what we're seeing, in the dwindling parade of Presidential candidates—what we're seeing is a failed political process. That none of these guys, even those who are better, none of them are capable of being a President of the United States, under these conditions. Normally, you would say, Kerry, under normal conditions—well, fine; he'd probably get us through. Probably no great catastrophe. Probably a kind-hearted guy, in some ways. Not bad. But, is he willing to provide the kind of leadership that crisis demands, the kind of leadership that Roosevelt represented? Is he willing to think that way? Is he willing to put himself on the line, that way?

What Is Real Leadership?

You know, in leadership, as in war or great crisis, or other great crisis, to be a leader, you have to put your life at risk, you have to put everything at risk. Not because you like to put it at risk.

I just gave an address earlier this week, Monday, in Talladega, Alabama. I was invited to be the keynote speaker for a Martin Luther King event there. You will be able to see the event, as it occurred, at least my part in it, which will be out on a DVD this coming week. At which I presented the way I see Martin Luther King, and see him by comparing him to the case of Jeanne d'Arc, who, in a sense, had the same mission, to the conception of Christ, as Mel Gibson couldn't understand that. That the difference was, that Martin was a real leader. And we had very few people in this time, who were leaders. Most of the people around Martin, were not leaders, not real leaders. When he died, they ran. Jesse Jackson ran to Chicago, rubbed some blood on his shirt, got out, and gave a speech, "I just came from the side of Martin." He hadn't even stopped to see Martin's body—he just fled out of there, from the back rooms. The others, who had been leaders—what did they do? They ran off to various foundations, and kooky little this, and kooky that. One by one, they flaked off. No one was there, to pick up the mantle of the kind of leadership that Martin represented.

Why? Because, they were bad people? Well, they became corrupted, because they were frightened and weakened. But they weren't bad people, they were good people. What was wrong? The Hamlet problem: When faced with a question, of putting their life on the line—as a leader—and putting themselves at risk, in a necessary way, because the people needed a leader who was willing to put himself at risk: Martin did. And his "Mountaintop" speech exemplified that.

Take the case of Jeanne d'Arc, which I gave again, down there in Talladega. Jeanne d'Arc was an inspired young woman, who went to the Prince, who was the candidate for King, and said, "God wants you to be a King, to unite France and get the occupying forces out of this country." He said, "What do you want from me?" She said, "I don't want anything from you. God wants you to do this." She stayed on the mission. The Prince sent her out there to lead a battle, hoping that she'd get killed off, and his problem would go away. But, she won the battle. And then, he betrayed her, later. And she was betrayed into the hands of the invaders. And, she was given a chance to escape being burned alive, if she would "back off a bit"—the way a typical Presidential candidate, like Kerry, would back off, when it comes to these kinds of issues.

She didn't back off. And she didn't back off, knowing that the price of not backing off, would mean they were going to burn her alive! And they did.

But, her example, her courage, resulted in the creation of the first modern nation-state in France, under Louis XI. And led to the provocation of the second modern nation-state, England, under Henry VII.

So, modern civilization, as a whole, owes a great deal to Jeanne d'Arc. Without her leadership, under those conditions, we would not have modern civilization—never have it. As opposed to, say, a Hamlet-type, who says, "I'm going to go out and kill, and do all these kinds of things, but I'm not going to risk my agony about what my immortality will be. What happens after death."

And that's what all of these guys are! That's why they're not leaders. They're thinking about what they're going to get out of life. They're conditioned to believe, what they're going to "get," as their advantage, from following a certain policy. They're all trying to get the big cookie, while they're around to eat it. No one is willing to put themselves at risk, for the sake of their fellow man and future generations.

In a time of crisis, a leader has to be willing to take that risk. If he does not, he's a failure. And he will bring a disaster on his people. Martin was a person who did not bring a disaster on his people—a great achievement. But those who followed in his footsteps, who could not make the commitment he made—the ones who said, "Let's be smart. Let's not get killed," that weakness destroyed the Civil Rights movement—inch by inch by inch by inch, till it's disintegrating today. And I've been trying to revive it.

So, that's where we stand. We're now in a situation, where, as I say, the real test of this election campaign has not been begun. Edwards will probably stay around for a while. Obviously Kerry will. Dean is in the process of being dumped; they're trying to find a garbage heap that will suit his tastes. This flake, Wesley Clark, will be gone, very soon. He's an embarrassment to the U.S. military, among other things. And his speeches aren't helping him, one bit. The others will go by the wayside.

It will come down to Kerry and to me.

That would be good, in a sense, because that will pose the question, that I posed to you, today: How do we define the role of leadership, in the United States for a time of crisis, like the present one? What is required, of the people, in selecting a leader? To select a leader, for this kind of condition?

Once this hits, the financial crisis hits, it will become apparent not only to you, but to many people, that this whole election campaign, so far, by the Democratic Party, has been one, gigantic sham! There's no reality to it. There's no blessing of Heaven on any of these candidates, or the whole shebang. There might be some people coming out of this, who are useful people. Kucinich is a useful person, in the Congress. Kerry is of leading potential, though he's not up to the job, right now. It's Kerry and I. And when it comes down to that, at the point that crisis breaks out, then we'll have a real election campaign.

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