New LaRouche PAC Aims
To Mobilize the Lower-Income 80% To Act
Lyndon LaRouche held a press conference and webcast from Boston on July 30, the morning following Sen. John Kerry's acceptance of the Democratic nomination, to announce the launching of a new political action committee. This is his opening statement, introduced by spokeswoman Debra Freeman. Subheads have been added to the transcript. Audio archives of the full webcast are also available:
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Debra Freeman: Good morning, my name is Debra Freeman; I serve as national spokeswoman for Lyndon LaRouche. As people know, during the course of this week's Democratic Convention here in Boston, the LaRouche Youth Movement has circulated over 50,000 copies of Mr. LaRouche's A Real Democratic Platform for November 2004. That Platform has been well-received by Democrats across the nation; and more and more of them agree that it actually is the basis for an offensive to victory for Democratic candidates across the United States in November.
To that end, Mr. LaRouche has an announcement to make today; and without further ado, because he speaks very well for himself—ladies and gentlemen, Lyndon LaRouche.
Lyndon LaRouche: Thank you. Now, obviously, we have a situation in which the nominee, Kerry, must occupy the White House by election in November. 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 when you look at the alternatives, you realize that Kerry is a decent person, with, for all ordinary purposes, a credible background, and credible commitments; but he just needs some touching up on a lot of very important issues which he does not yet, presently, understand. But apart from those particular differences—which is our responsibility, and mine in particular, to set forth the alternative to some of the more weak points in his address last night, particularly the latter 30 minutes of it—we've got to get him elected. Because the alternative is unthinkable.
Now, what we're going to do is this. The problem with the Democratic Party machine in general, is that they might be able to get 40-plus percent of the vote in November; but they do not have the ability, in actuality, to win the election; particularly after the Republican machine will go after, now—trying to split off minority group votes and other groups by special kinds of actions, of either putting them into the Nader camp, or telling them to drop out of the election, or moving into something which complements the Nader camp. So there will be a draw-down of what the Democratic Party would count on as its core vote during this period.
So we're talking about the 40% range, as the likely range of a pro-Kerry vote for November. That is what must be changed.
Now, the weakness in the Democratic Party's policies so far, apart from its policies in general—its policies for the nation, and foreign policy—is that the lower 80% of the family-income brackets in the United States are not considered, efficiently, by the Democratic Party. Maybe in some local situations, local candidates, local organizations, yes; but on the national basis, from the top—from the DNC; especially from the DLC—there is no efficient consideration of the well-being of the lower 80% of the family-income brackets.
The Future Leaders of the Nation
There is also, in the same range, a hostility toward an efficient expression of the young-adult/youth age group; that is, people essentially between 18-25. Now, for anybody who's a serious politician, the youth generation in the intervals of 18-25 is the future of the nation. And when the future of the nation is what is in question as it is now, how do you stand on providing for the future of the nation, as represented by those who, in the next quarter-century, should be the leaders of the nation? The inheritors of power in the private and public sectors?
As we saw in the streets of Boston, for example: We saw that an efficient expression of the 18-25 generation—I mean efficient; not just beating on bongo drums or something, but an efficient expression, organized efficiently, by people who know how to organize and manage themselves in action. Now this was demonstrated, the importance of this was demonstrated at this Convention. One of the most significant aspects, if it was a side-aspect of the Convention, was the effect of the youth deployment of 100-plus people, especially, upon the proceedings of the Convention, and on the Boston area as a whole.
This, as many leaders of the Democratic Party have expressed, has changed the situation for them in the Democratic Party, and in respect to the national campaign.
Focus Regions for Turnout, Campaigns
So therefore, what we're going to do is this. We have to move the lower 80% of the population of the country to turn out a substantial increase in their voter participation in the coming election at all levels. We will be able to do that by concentrating, first of all, on the natural leadership of such a movement, which will be recognized by the adult generation, in terms of the young-adult generation of the 18-25 interval. So therefore, our deployment around a youth movement, in the way the Youth Movement was deployed here in Boston for this Convention, is the model of action which I shall direct nationwide, for the coming period, the coming three months, going into the national election.
And by doing that, and by concentrating especially on those spots where we can be most efficient: Now, there are two things that we can do to select those spots. One, find out where the spots are; that's number one. There are 22 states in which there are locations in which swing votes can determine the outcome of the election in that state. And a number of the states will determine the outcome for the national election. That's where we concentrate.
But we also concentrate, within that, in a very special way. We concentrate in that on areas where we have candidates we can support, because they have the quality to carry the ball; and where we can be the factor that enables them to win their local campaigns, state campaigns in particular.
To give you an example: You have an area from Missouri, down the Mississippi River, into western Kentucky, western Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and spilling into Texas. That is a zone in which we have a tremendous potential. It's an area in which a very large percentile of the national population of Americans of African descent are concentrated; which has a civil rights tradition from those areas. That is a natural area for us, where many people who have been leaders in that area have been kicked, since 1996, by the Democratic Party's accommodation to Newt Gingrich. And you find that many people who are part of the Black Caucus in the Congress and on the state level, were kicked out, one way or the other, with complicity of the Republican Party, over that period. But they're still there; they're somewhat demoralized. We're going to move again, as the case of Cynthia McKinney's re-election—re-winning the post that was stolen from her—typifies. We're going to move back to where what was the Black Congressional Caucus and its representatives, are going to become an effective part of what will be the composition of power in the Congress under the new government, and also on the state level.
So that's one area we have very good access to. Arkansas, Louisiana, the touching areas of western Tennessee, western Kentucky, Mississippi—we've got good people there—Alabama, very strong base; and we've got a recurring base now emerging because of Cynthia McKinney's election in Georgia.
We've got a situation in California. We have tremendous credentials in California because we fought against Schwarzenegger, and the way we did it—we demonstrated what we can do. We've got to pick this up on the Eastern Coast of the United States, and in the Northeast.
We're going to have to build, now, with the Kerry nomination—it's the time to build up a very significant organization around the greater Boston area. And what we did here during the Convention is going to be part of that.
The Magic of (Classical) Music
One of the key parts of this, throughout, is going to be the continued emphasis upon the musical program. Because, as you've seen, music has magic. The Classical Bach tradition has magic. What is it?
It's a way of organizing people in a human way, which no other form of music can do; because it's based upon a principle of counterpoint, which is not merely a technological feature of a certain type of composition and performance. Or because it's based on bel canto, which is the natural singing voice capability of the human voice, when we're not trying to imitate a chimpanzee. So that when you perform music—the combination of Classical compositions, choral compositions, plus the Classical form of the American Negro Spiritual, which was given a Classical form by people in the Brahms tradition in the United States at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th; the famous Negro Spiritual of today, which many of you have been involved in. And it's done in that way: There are certain special features to it which are different than you find in the European form of composition. And these were recognized by the people who developed the American Negro Spiritual in this polished form. But it's the same principle, and those of you who've gone through it, know it.
So therefore, that's what we're going to do. We're going to organize. Take the Youth Movement, which is the core of the future of the United States—you few hundreds are the core of the future of this nation—and we're going to organize in that way, with that state of mind; with that outreach; and we're going to invoke the magic of music, to arouse people to a better sense of themselves. They will not understand it immediately, but they will love it, as they did in Boston: "Hey, that's good! I don't know what it is, but it's good!" That is the way you do it. Because there are deep principles which have to be understood, of course; but these deep principles, which are part of the human heritage which emerged in this period from the Renaissance on, into the form of Bach, and so forth; these principles contain the secret of human social relations; to a real understanding of counterpoint.
And the reason we—some couple of years ago, I prescribed the development of "Jesu, meine Freude," working it through to really understand it, and perform it from a bel canto mode—was because it's one of the simplest and most efficient ways of expressing the way in which counterpoint, properly performed, enables people to touch the souls of other people. And that's what we intend to do.
So we're going to do that.
A New Orientation for the United States
Now, the practical aspect of this, is that we have to complete the job where Kerry left off. (I'm putting aside the last 30 minutes of his speech.) The first part was really a fairly excellent job. There were some cute tricks in there, like reference to PT-109 and things like that, which I understood and recognized immediately. But apart from the cute tricks: The essential thing that he said, in terms of commitment, in the first part of his address; what he was making as a commitment of himself to perform as President; it's something you can work with. The tail-end, about the balanced budget, and pay-as-you-go, that nonsense you can push aside. It's not going to work anyway. So he'll give it up automatically, because it's not going to work. A depression comes along: You're not going to go on pay-as-you-go balanced budget. That doesn't work.
What we're going to do also, is we are going to build an impetus among the people we're organizing, to turn out the vote, some of whom are already committed to vote, especially among leaders of existing Democratic Party constituencies, who are still viable. To give them a picture of what the reality is we have to deal with; and to build a programmatic base within the combination bringing Kerry to victory in the election. A base which then becomes the basis for a new orientation of the United States, adequate to the crisis we're going to get into.
The Platform which I have issued will be the basis for this deployment, because it represents the programmatic outline of the real issues, issues which include those which Kerry would presently acknowledge, and issues which he has to be awakened to, at the same time.
So that will be our message; that will be our national, international message.
Too Much Respect for Ignorance
The other aspect of this, which we emphasize in the Platform, is what is lacking in American politics today. There is too much respect for ignorance.
Now ignorance never helped anybody, including ignorant people. And the problem we have in the United States is an education crisis. And education in the United States today is so bad, that we call George Bush "the education President." It's the name of a disease!
And therefore, we have to bring the American people up, in terms of level of education; which, again, we're doing with the Youth Movement, by concentrating on the principled questions that have to be mastered, as opposed to just a lot of details, "memorize and pass the examination." That's the difference.
So the educational aspect: Now, the key aspect of the Platform which is to be emphasized, is my method—which is not unique to me, but it seems almost unique to me, because of the poor state of education among our so-called educated classes today. Nobody knows history.
The problem of the United States, especially over the past 40 years, but even longer, has been a descent into Sophistry; that is, in which comment and interpretations of popular opinion, manipulations of phrases, this sort of thing, spin-doctoring, has become the standard of argument. So people don't argue on the basis of a search for truth, or the discovery of truth; they simply take superficial emotional reactions, and react to those. And politics is largely based on these bite-sized issues.
We see an American population in which the lower 80%, in particular, sees itself, not as citizens; they see themselves as underlings, as under-dogs begging from the powers that be. They go into an election, not trying to change the government; they go into an election trying to get some demand, some single issue or collection of single issues, from the government. It's like pigs begging for scraps at mealtime. They are not trying to represent themselves as being responsible for government. They don't think, of themselves as being responsible for government. They think of themselves as receiving something which they think they would like, like that extra piece of cake, from government. And they will fight one another over these pieces of cake, and ignore the things that will determine the future of their lives, and the lives of their families and communities.
A Real Economic Map of the United States
You look at the situation of the United States today. We're going to—among other things—draw a map of the United States in great detail. An economic map. We'll go back to 1926, approximately, which is the high point of the development of railroads in the United States, which is a symbol or representation of the development of the territory of this nation. We're going to trace the condition of the American people: by county; by 100-square-mile areas; by 100-family areas; from 1926 to the present time. We're going to measure this in terms of healthcare, like hospitals; in terms of power production; in terms of standard of living, consumption; all these kinds of things. And show exactly how the United States went down from 1926-33; especially under Hoover between 1929-33; how it rose gradually at an accelerating rate under Roosevelt; how we shaped world history under Roosevelt, in defeating Hitler and rebuilding the postwar world in large degree.
And then, from 1964-66 on, we have gone in the reverse direction. And you look at the country. You see area after area: Farmbelt, destroyed; power production, vanished; education, collapsed; medical care, collapsing since the middle of the 1970s. And so forth and so on.
You see a country that is being destroyed which people are talking about prosperity and improvement of conditions of life. In fact, when you look at the physical reality, per county, across the entirety of the United States; look at the standard of living; the capital investment; the infrastructure; per county, across the United States. You see a nation which has been physically destroyed, in which those who consider themselves wealthy are in the upper 20% of family-income brackets, and more and more concentrated in a few areas.
And the wealth these people represent is largely not real wealth; it's debt. People have a house: "Ah, they have a house!" Look at the mortgage, buddy! Look at the appreciation; look at the bubble, the housing bubble. We're at the point where the collapse in the housing bubble is going to transform millions of American so-called homeowners into either squatters, or homeless people. And it will happen very rapidly. We're on the edge of that happening.
Look at the number of homeless people already in the United States. Look at these conditions. We have, in the United States, based on debt—our unpaid debt to foreigners; our unpaid debt accumulated inside the banking system—we are a nation of debtors who are enjoying, in part, the wealth-effect of being able to go into debt, to get the food to eat! We call ourselves wealthy.
These facts—the physical facts, the physical reality of the condition of the United States—has to be brought to the consciousness of people, who see this, but they look at it if they didn't see it. They say, "But we see, the report is that the economy is getting better." Look at the reality: The economy is getting worse. Why do they believe the economy is getting better, when they themselves are physically suffering from the deterioration of these conditions?
History, and Immortality—in a Practical Way
Now, what we're going to do to get the voter out, the average voter out, is to show those facts, county by county. Not in money terms! Yes, we'll deal with the money terms. But the thing is to focus people's attention away from looking at money, which is the great fraud of these times; and to look at the physical conditions of life, and the rate of change of the physical conditions of life of ordinary people in ordinary counties across the entirety of this nation. And be able to point to them: This is what is happening to you physically.
Do you want to change this? It's about to get worse. Do you want to prevent that? Well, get out and vote. If you vote with us, to get John Kerry President, John Kerry will not let this go unnoticed; and he will know that his constituency is, in large degree, what we have helped to bring into an election victory. And that's the way we're going to do it.
My method is to get people to think in terms of immortality, in a practical way. In terms of history. And none of these guys talk about history. They talk about their Romantic fairy-tale version of history. But what is real history?
Real history is the struggle of the human race to get out of a long period in which most human beings, in European civilization in particular, were treated as human cattle. History is the 15th-Century Renaissance, which for the first time in all known existence, created a political institution of society, a cultural standard, in which all the people in a nation were considered as protected by a commitment to the General Welfare, of all the people, and their posterity.
Modern history is a struggle against reactionary forces, like the Hapsburgs and the Venetians, who plunged Europe into religious war between 1511 and 1648—sort of the Ashcrofts of that period—in order to try to destroy this civilization, this modern European civilization. History is the struggle—especially as represented by the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648—to set, for the first time, a civilized standard of conduct among nations, of cooperative relations among nations; a standard which was embodied in the creation of this republic.
That's history. History is the struggle of the United States to exist, despite the fact that the powers of Europe were all against us, from the beginning of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789.
We are a unique republic; the only nation on this planet which has a Constitution, historically determined, which is committed to the principles of modern civilization. Other nations have been influenced by our examples. The best develoments in Europe came out of the United States, especially after Lincoln's victory, after 1876, when it was demonstrated to the world, that the United States was not only a powerful nation—could no longer be crushed by invasion by British forces—but the United States was a model of the most successful economy and social system existing on this planet today.
That convinced many Europeans to make reforms, from about 1876 on, in their systems. The improvements in European systems since that time, have all been results of the impact of the best features of the American Revolution. The best features of Europe in the postwar period have been the impact of the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt's reforms upon the political systems of Europe.
So we represent history. We represent the history, in particular, of extended European civilization since the times of ancient Greece. We represent the struggle of ideas, to liberate people, to create a society which is based on justice, equal justice for all people, for the General Welfare, and their posterity. We represent the struggle, the leadership of the struggle, to bring about a system, a community of sovereign nation-states among the nations of this planet; the thing which Roosevelt fought for, and that Truman voted against, and that we tend to vote against ever since. We represent history. We represent history in terms of the struggle; the long struggle for lifting humanity from the status in which most people were treated as human cattle, either hunted or herded human cattle; into a society in which the dignity of the individual, as a creature made in the image of the Creator, would become the standard of politics.
What LaRouche Stands For
That's what we must represent. Not merely "good things." We're not a buffet. We're not a smorgasbord, in which you can buy this or that, and pick it up at the table. We have to represent—We're all going to die, sooner or later. And when we die, we have to ask the question: What was that all about? Does it mean that your life meant something for humanity? That it meant something which expressed honor toward the struggles of your predecessors? Did it represent a legacy of good for your posterity, those who come after you, to build upon?
It is only that kind of attitude, and that kind of historical conception of who you are, who we are, that will give you the intellectual and moral strength, in a time of crisis as severe as that which is occurring now, to lead this nation out of a crisis.
More important: As you survey the world today, as I do, with certain special advantages: There is no nation on this planet which, if the United States were to fail in the mission I define—if the United States were to fail, there is no hope for humanity to avoid a prolonged, new dark age. Because there is no nation on this planet which is capable, for historical reasons, of providing the kind of leadership that we can provide, in the image of what Franklin Roosevelt did during his term in office.
And that's what I stand for. If we build on those kinds of principles, and can awaken in the American people—or at least, a lot of them—a sense of what this nation is; what the purpose of existence of the United States is; we can create a new constituency from among those who are poor; from among those are desperately poor, called youth, 18-25 years of age! We can create a new constituency which people like Kerry and company will have to recognize as the basis for the future of this nation.
And I'm sure John Kerry, as he expressed in his address, and in the preliminaries to his address with his old friends from the Vietnam era, and with Max Cleland—anyone who's reached that age has to have a question mark in front of their eyes. The question mark is immortality. Not what is going to be waiting to be donated to them on the other side of death, but immortality in the sense that they have done something, that's good, and which will be continued by the coming generation.
We have to instill a sense of that, where the message will be well received. And I think the virtue of John Kerry and his circle, despite all the shortcomings I may detect in his current policies and practices; that his susceptibility to the sense of leaving a legacy for the coming generations—as, his daughters, for example—a legacy by which he can say he has done well; is the thing that will move that circle around Kerry, to accept what we have to propose. Thank you.