On the Campaign Trailby Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Democratic Candidate LaRouche's indictment of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for having annulled the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in order to try to exclude him from the Party's leadership, is the opening speech of a DVD which his campaign is putting into wide circulation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt brought the "forgotten man" of the Great Depression into the Democratic Party in his 1932 campaign, to be able to rebuild the shattered American economy over the bitter opposition of Wall Street financial powers. The DNC has now abandoned the black and other minority constituencies of FDR's legacy, the lower 80% of todays household income brackets. LaRouche uniquely spoke to these constituencies' urgent necessities—and to the mission of the nation's youth in this crisis—in a string of campaign events, interviews, and youth educationals from Kentucky to Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Alabama in early May; these events are highlighted in this EIR Feature.
I'm speaking to you on Monday, May 17, the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. This past Saturday, I was in Montgomery, Alabama for two meetings of civil rights groups, who were screening candidates for their support, for the coming primary election in that state.
Naturally, the subject of Brown v. Board of Education was one of the themes discussed during those events. But also mentioned was the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which President Johnson supported, and pushed through the Congress, on the basis of the incident which happened in Selma, on the road toward Montgomery that year. A dear friend of mine, Amelia Boynton Robinson, was clubbed, almost to death, in crossing that bridge in this protest in behalf of voting rights.
The scenes of that, as broadcast on national television, alarmed the nation, and induced the enactment of the Voting Rights bill that year.
What the people there did not seem to remember, is: The Voting Rights Act was annulled recently, on the initiative of the Democratic Party. This has several implications.
Why Democrats Annulled Voting Rights Act
First of all, the motive for repealing the Voting Rights Act—which they did in effect—was to eliminate me from politics. Many people thought I was too much of a danger to the kind of politics they were pushing, and wanted me shut up, and out of the picture, so they could go their own way. This was the accommodation of the Democratic Party to the initiatives of Newt Gingrich at that time. And the Democratic Party, back in 1996, had capitulated. I was a threat to that capitulation, and therefore, steps were taken to eliminate me.
What they did, is they went to this action, which we took to Federal Court, because they had violated—the way they excluded me—they had violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. What happened, before a three-judge panel in the Fourth Circuit in Washington, D.C., was that the Democratic Party shifted from trying to defend its actions against me, which were illegal under the Voting Rights Act, and instead moved to change the law, to nullify the Voting Rights Act. The argument was made, that the Democratic Party was a club, and this club, like a private proprietorship, could operate on shareholder values.
Now shareholder values was the argument, in essence, which was used to exclude voters of African descent in past times—and others. The same thing was raised again now. It was then called slaveholder values, once. It's now called shareholder values. And therefore, what happened is, the Democratic Party has overturned—as far as its affairs are concerned—has overturned the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and has done that persistently.
The Democratic Party, which uses all kinds of lying phrases to try to cover what it did to me, is actually, therefore, a racist organization.
Now this, of course, affects the rights of citizens of African descent. But it also affects most of the people in the lower 80% of family-income brackets, because the upper 20%, who are trying to control the party—both parties, in fact—do not want the lower 80% to have an effective voice in national politics.
We're now in the greatest financial crisis since 1929-33. The present one, which is coming on fast, is worse than that, as you will soon experience this. The inflation which is now going on, the collapse of the markets careening in from Europe and Japan, means that we are in trouble. Oil per barrel is over $41 now: Probably it will go much higher. This means a crash.
Now, in the times of a crash, when banking systems go out, the question is: who is going to pay for the collapse of the financial system? Will it be the speculators, the financial speculators? Or will it be the people?
That was the issue back in 1929-33, when Hoover went to defend the bankers against the people. Franklin Roosevelt went for the people, and was elected for his support of the "forgotten man."
The deprival of the rights of citizens of African descent, is a threat to all people in the lower 80% of family-income brackets, whatever their attributed skin color, or background. These are the people who are threatened; and the Democratic Party is, in a sense—in that specific sense—racist, because the leadership of the Democratic Party knows what it has done. It has overturned the Voting Rights Act of 1965, on its initiative, and has attempted to enforce that.
Economic Collapse Accelerating
It is also wounded by the way the campaign has been run by most of the candidates: To address the concerns of the upper 20% of the family-income brackets, and to ignore, or to push aside—as Gingrich set the pace for this—to set aside the rights of the lower 80%.
That's the kind of situation we face, globally. As I just said this morning, today's news report from Europe indicates an acceleration in the rate of the collapse of the present international monetary-financial system. This situation is relatively hopeless. I can't guarantee you, or tell you, exactly what day the official crash will come; but it's coming, and it's coming soon. What we need at this time, from the United States, is the kind of response to a crash that should have been taken by Hoover in 1929, or something thereabouts, but was taken by Franklin Roosevelt, in March of 1933.
We have to move to put this bankrupt, mismanaged financial system under reorganization, under financial receivership. We must keep the banks functioning, other institutions essential to our nation, functioning. We must keep the doors open. But the banks must be taken into receivership, and similar financial companies taken into receivership, by the Federal government, in order to protect the people, and to protect the nation.
In the same way as Roosevelt did back in 1933 and thereafter, we must resort to the Federal ability to manage the economy, to manage the currency, to create a fund of capital investment, initially for large-scale infrastructure projects, to get enough people employed, enough businesses activated, to bring the level of activity and income of the households and the states up to the point that the states can manage their budgets, and meet their obligations.
At the same time, we must bring the nation as a whole, up above the breakeven point, where we're building our way out of the crisis. This means large-scale infrastructure; it means employment in power generation and distribution of power; it means employment in water projects, of which we need many; it means employment in mass transportation. It means also aid to education, especially to rebuilding our shattered healthcare system—which again, the HMO bill has devastated. It means also providing credit to banks which may be bankrupt themselves, but must still function as institutions for managing credit in local regions. To make sure that funds are available, credit is available, to businesses of merit in local areas, to build up private employment in the environment created by expansion of employment, in the building up of basic economic infrastructure.
That is what has to be done. So far, because the leadership of both parties—that is, the campaign leadership—has completely ducked the issues, we're now plunging into a great depression. And neither Kerry, for example, nor, of course, George Bush, has the slightest idea, or intention, of doing what is needed to get us through this kind of mess. They don't understand the problem, as I do.
Therefore, don't believe what the Democratic Party says. They've acted as racists; they should cut it out and reform themselves. They should understand that they must go back to becoming what Roosevelt represented, the party which represented the interests of the forgotten man; which builds the country, and thinks about all of the people, not just some of the people.
That is the policy you must adopt. We must do it now.