Our Strategy for
A Landslide Victory
by Harley Schlanger
LaRouche PAC spokesman Harley Schlanger delivered the following remarks as part of a panel on "The War Plan for November" on Sept. 5, 2004, at the Labor Day Conference of the Schiller Institute and the International Caucus of Labor Committees, in Reston, Virginia. Audio and video archives of the panel are available.
Lyndon LaRouche: Now, by an act of magic over power telecommunications, we will now bring you Harley Schlanger.
Harley Schlanger: All right, so what is this battle plan for November, which will bring not only a defeat for the Cheney-Bush crowd, the neo-conservatives, put Kerry in the White House, and create, also, a Democratic House and Senate? You have to start with a question: Is it a statement of hyperbole, or misplaced hubris, to say, as Debra just did, that John Kerry can only win the 2004 election by adopting the strategy presented by Lyndon LaRouche at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, when he initiated the LaRouche PAC?
The answer is, no. It's not an exaggeration.
But, to understand why this is true, we need a very quick history lesson, which will have been aided by the presentation we had this morning on economics, on what will take us beyond the domain of popular opinion and sense-certainty, into the human world of real politics. This is the world that was described yesterday by Lyndon LaRouche, in which reality is defined by the following certainties:
First, the certainty of the onrush of global financial disintegration.
Secondly, the danger of pre-emptive nuclear war, resulting from the synarchist financiers behind Cheney and the neo-conservatives, who are acting to save their bankrupt system.
Thirdly, the confused and ignorant reaction of many voters, who vote against their true interests.
And fourth, and most importantly, the demoralization of many among lower 80% of the income brackets, who simply choose not to vote.
By getting people to face the first two of these certainties, the collapse of the economy and the danger of permanent warfare, and by giving them an alternative, we can get them to change the second two certainties, so that we can win a landslide victory in November.
But first, let's look briefly at the wacky world of the nation's largest group of dangerous and deranged empiricists: the pollsters and pundits (Figure 1). This is what you see if you turn on CNN, or turn on Fox, or virtually anything else. This shows the orientation of the pundits and pollsters.
What we have up there, is a map of the so-called "red" and "blue" states. You may not know it, but you live in either a "red" or a "blue" state, depending on whether it's a hard-core Democratic state or a hard-core Republican state. Now, on this map, you have the discussion of the nation being split down the middle, either 46%, or 48%, with perhaps 4%, 5% of the undecided. This is what Debra described earlier, as the "likely voters."
And what Karl Rove, who's the "brains" behind Bush, so to speak—a relative term—and Bob Shrum, who hopefully is now being pushed aside; what they do is look for the hot-button issues, that will bring out their hard-core voters. For Rove, it's been described to me, by someone in Kentucky, as basically: abortion, God, and gun-control. If you're on the right side of that, you'll get the Republican votes. And for the Democrats, much of what they've done has been anti-Bush.
Now, then the campaign boils down, if you listen to the pundits, over and over and over, what will the eight undecided voters in Marietta, Ohio do? The eight undecided voters, who are being dissected, and trisected, and put under a microscope. How do we turn them around, so Ohio will go to the Democratic or Republican Party? In other words, how do we keep reality out of the election? They use vague, fuzzy images—Bush at Ground Zero, in New York City. Kerry on his boat. They leave out these questions about who is lying. (And by the way, you know, if Dick Cheney's lips are moving, he's either cursing, or lying. Or, possibly both!)
But, the Democrats are ignoring the real problem, which is, what defines the so-called "battleground states," the states that are too close to call, the "white" states on the map? What characterizes that, is a lack of voters. Lack of voter participation.
Figure 2 is a graph of the turnout of registered voters in Presidential elections, 1960-2000. In 1960, during the Kennedy-Nixon election, 63.06% of registered voters voted. It fell to 61.9%, to 60.84%. By '72, it was down to 55%. By '84, 53%. In the '88 election, which gave us the first Bush, only 50% of registered voters voted. You had a slight spurt with that crazy guy who kept talking about the crazy aunt in the attic, Ross Perot, in '92: It went up to 55%. But, in '96, 49%, and in the year 2000, only 51% of registered voters voted.
Now, of course, 50% of potential voters, are not even registered! So, it's 50% of 50% that vote, that's 25%. And it's split down the middle at 12.5%, so no wonder the election was determined in 2000, by a 5 to 4 vote on the Supreme Court! With either Scalia or Rehnquist, or perhaps Clarence Thomas, casting the winning vote.
Now, you might ask yourself, why, in the aftermath of the Voting Rights Act, the vote did not go up? Why was there no jump? Now, that's beyond the scope of this discussion, but one of the things to look at today, is something Lyn mentioned yesterday: the Republican voter suppression campaign. But, it's also both parties suppressing the vote. If you can convince people that it's going to be determined by something outside their control, if at most they have one vote, they can't influence anybody, it doesn't matter who gets elected; and then, on top of that, you do what the Republicans are doing right now, which is to spread money into the black churches, to tell ministers, "Don't bring in the Democrats." This is what Bush did to get elected in 1994, in Texas. Suppress the black vote that otherwise would have gone to Ann Richards. If you do that, and suppress the vote enough, and bore the voters, and demoralize them, by showing candidates who don't talk about anything relevant to their future, then you can lower the vote to a manageable percentage. And Karl Rove, the brains behind Bush, thinks that's how they are going to win.
This is added on top of the post-industrial degeneration of the country.
The Battleground States
So, let's just go back to that first map for a moment. I just want to point out a couple of things on this. The battleground states are divided into four general groupings. First, you have the post-industrial area of the Great Lakes. This includes states such as Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. These are states that, as we saw in the morning presentation, were the core of the original build-up of the U.S. industrial manufacturing belt, as well as the highest agricultural sector, in terms of productivity in the country. And an area that was built up by infrastructure, along the Great Lakes, such projects as the Erie Canal, in an early development in the United States.
If you follow this area, from Buffalo, New York, to Erie, Pennsylvania, down through Pittsburgh; and then, from Pittsburgh through the Ohio steel belt, up to Cleveland, across to Toledo, to Detroit, to Chicago and Milwaukee, you get part of the key industrial area of the United States. Most of those states are now battleground states—states where there's high unemployment, where there's a loss of manufacturing jobs. These are states which should be Democratic states, and they will be Democratic states because of what we do.
The second grouping, if you look again on that same map: You start in Pittsburgh. Go down the Ohio River. Pittsburgh is where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet and form the Ohio River. You go down through the area bordering Ohio and Kentucky, Indiana and Kentucky, on to Missouri; you link up there with the Mississippi River. The Missouri River coming in from the West, the Tennessee River—again, these were areas that were built up, largely, through the early industrial development of this country, and then restored during the period of Franklin Roosevelt. This is a second belt of battleground states, which, again, are states that can be won, provided the LaRouche Youth Movement is able to get in there.
Just an example: We're deploying in Louisville. There were 100,000 Democrats, registered Democrats, who did not vote in 2000. And, as a result, a neo-con Republican was elected to the Congress, and the state went over to the Republican Party. It's a state we can win.
Now, the third general area is a couple of key border states: New Mexico, Arizona, you can throw Nevada in there. This is an area affected by drought, affected by the need for the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) and industrial build-up: which is addressed by the bi-national border development program, drafted by Lyndon LaRouche, for water and economic development on the border.
And the fourth area, is the Northwest—Washington state and Oregon. Again, we saw this morning, how Washington has been victimized by the destruction unleashed with the post-industrial economy.
Now, I might add a couple of additional campaigns that are specific areas. One, which you can see from up here, "Save the Congress, Without DeLay" [holds up a bumper sticker]. This is something we're going to do without DeLay. We're already doing it—and for the first time, Tom DeLay has actually opened campaign offices in Texas.
Duncan Hunter in California, a Republican obstructionist. The Democratic candidate running against him, is out either surfboarding, or doing his legal business most of the time. That doesn't matter to the LaRouche Youth Movement: We're going to go and win that district. And he will be the beneficiary, but he's going to know that he won that district because of us.
LaRouche Youth Movement on the March
So, we're going to address this, by launching a campaign from pivot points. Let me have the third chart (Figure 3), a very neat thing that John Hoefle drew up for us. This is the LaRouche Youth Movement on the march. What Lyn describes as the "lines of march," where it shows arrows going from Pittsburgh up to the Great Lakes area. From Pittsburgh through the Ohio Valley. There's another one from a pivot point in Houston, going east—Louisiana, and possibly up to Arkansas. From Washington state and Seattle, going down into Oregon. From Northern California into Nevada, and from Southern California into New Mexico, Arizona.
The pivot points will be cities such as Detroit, the former industrial center, auto center of the world, where we have a group of LaRouche Youth, who are organizing in Michigan and in Ohio. The second pivot point: Louisville. Where we'll be going either east, up the Ohio River to Cincinnati, or west, hitting Kentucky, going into Missouri. The third pivot point is Houston, and the fourth, broad pivot point is the whole West Coast, which for me, is one giant pivot point.
Now, additionally, we have a special operation in Boston, where we decided, after the great success at the Democratic Convention, that, in addition to the Democrats who came there, there were a lot of young people in Boston. You couldn't walk down the street without tripping over three or four of them. And so, we now have a team of LaRouche Youth in Boston, which is going to be a special recruitment center.
They call themselves there, "the Athens of the United States." Well, we're going to turn it into a real Athens: We're on the street, challenging the "Hawvawd" students to double the square, including can they double Harvard Square! Double the cube. And, we're doing something which will be one of the themes of our campaign, which is called "Bach the Vote."
Now, how is this going to work? The strategy is clear, going into these areas. Let me just give you a brief picture, historically, how this will work, and then we'll turn this over to Lyn.
The biggest problem we have, is the lack of bold ideas among the candidates. And we, in Los Angeles, recently had a Democratic Party official come in. And he said, "Well, there are bold ideas, it's just that no one wants to present them, because they'll piss people off." That's never stopped Lyndon LaRouche. You have to understand the history of the United States, to know, that's the only way you can move the American people to go after their popular opinion, to go after their laziness!
This nation was forged, in battle, against the British Empire, as Lyn has always stressed, going back to 1763! The handfuls of great Presidents that we've had, always acted on the principles embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution, the idea of inalienable rights, of national sovereignty, of general welfare, and of posterity. The handful of Presidents, such as George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Lincoln, McKinley (who was a Lincoln Republican): These were people who always operated from this standpoint. Franklin Roosevelt, who understood, in particular, the idea of the forgotten man, as he spoke in his April 7, 1932 radio address on the campaign trail, where he said, during the height of the Depression, "These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized, but the indispensable units of economic power that build from the bottom up, not from the top down, that put their faith once more, in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid."
That's the approach, the "forgotten man" approach, the so-called "unlikely voter." The people who may live in white states, or red states, or blue states. In fact, I don't really believe there are states that are even red states—how can people support Cheney and Bush? It's just the lack of an alternative.
Now, we addressed this problem in the population with the Children of Satan III pamphlet, and for those who aren't familiar with the series, we now have the three Children of Satan reports in one book, that's available to you at this conference, or you can contact us over the web. But, the rock-drug-sex counterculture, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which launched the destruction of cognition in the United States, to convince people, there's no future, that that's the "natural condition" of man—existentialist insanity; that you can't make a difference, that all life is about, is pleasure and entertainment.
How FDR Fought the Oligarchy
Now, what we face today, in dealing with the so-called "apathetic" or "unlikely voters," is not new. Listen to these words: "The stress of business competition in this hectic 20th Century of ours, the even more feverish pursuit of pleasure to compensate for our strenuous business days, these so occupy the time and thought of our average tax-payer, as to leave no inclination, either to study or assist in the conduct of the community in which he lives." Those were words of Franklin Roosevelt's second inaugural address as Governor of New York, in 1928.
Roosevelt was campaigning for Governor, in the midst of the 1920s "prosperity" so-called! The Coolidge-Hoover speculative bubble. And what did Roosevelt call for? Regulation of utilities; limits on speculation; extension of the social welfare net. This was Roosevelt's theme, and Roosevelt also pissed a lot of people off!
In a speech he gave during his campaign in 1936, he said, "In the beginning of the New Deal, we had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage of their own affairs." Remember Enron? "And we now know that government by organized money, is just as dangerous, as government by organized mob."
So, Franklin Roosevelt knew what he was fighting.
Now, let me just add one note on Franklin Roosevelt: To listen to the people in the Democratic Leadership (or Democratic Losership) Council, who are trying to wipe FDR out of the memory of Democrats, as well as such gas-bags as Rush Limbaugh, and the whole crew of Fox Television reporters, FDR was a horrible socialist—he's the one who put "guv'mint on our backs." He's the one who destroyed the free enterprise system, and he never should have come near the White House, they say.
Well, maybe I missed something—but, FDR unpopular? Didn't he win four terms as President? Has that been taken out of the history books? Didn't he get us out of a Depression, caused by Cheney-type policies? Didn't he guide the world to victory, in a war against the synarchist fascist networks that we face today?
So, Lyndon LaRouche has intervened in this campaign, with bold ideas, that have been validated by history: the idea of a Super-TVA. You take the programs, the infrastructure programs, the re-industrialization programs, that we saw in the presentation this morning, from the four corners of the country, to rebuild the industrial areas of the Great Lakes. You want to win those battleground states? Go in there, with LaRouche's Platform, which talks about reindustrialization. You want to win the states in the Ohio Valley? Go in there with the program of rebuilding the locks and dams, revitalizing the TVA, building the canals that have not been built. This is the kind of boldness that will transform the country.
But, at the same time, as Debra was talking about what the LaRouche Youth Movement has done and what it represents: It's not just the deployment of forces in this battle that makes the difference. It's the adoption of the Classical method, which has been at the core of everything Lyndon LaRouche has done. His economic policy, his policy of development, will never occur, unless we change the way people think, to give them the courage to fight against popular opinion, to fight against the idiocy of "going along to get along." This is what the Classical method employed by the LYM, the "Bach the Vote," to mobilize the youth who have been convinced they have no future, and to awaken the Boomers, to recognize that being a human is more than a collection of sense-perceptions. Besides, as Boomers age, we're beginning to realize, our senses are becoming dulled. You know, they're dulled by age—you can't see as well, you have trouble hearing, and this also is enhanced by the effects of the rock-drug-sex counterculture. And I won't go there, for the moment.
So, we're going to mobilize. And, as Lyn has said, this is going to be a fierce battle. But, it is one which Lyndon LaRouche does not intend to lose. We're going to fight in our own way: We're going to build a movement. I was discussing with a Democrat the other day, who said, "Well, we really could use some people in here." And I said, "We're coming in. But we're not going to do what you want us to do. We're going to do, what we do best." And they said, "Well, how is that going to help me?" And I said to this person, "How many new voters have you activated? How many people are going door-to-door, pulling people out of their stupor from television, by singing, and bringing people out to the porch to have a discussion?"
Whether we're in northwest Louisiana, central Kentucky, Cleveland, Ohio, or Pittsburgh—when the youth movement comes out and sings, people suddenly come to their porches. And what was previously a dead zone, becomes an area of debate, of deliberation, of Socratic dialogue. Oftentimes capped with a discussion of Archytas and the doubling of the cube.
Now, we're going to fight that way, because that's the only way to awaken the true humanity of the population. We've seen it, as Debra elaborated, in California, in the Schwarzenegger campaign, where we had a slogan, "One Imported Austrian Dictator Was Already Too Much!" Now, we see in California, the effects of bringing in the second imported Austrian dictator: slashing health care, destroying public education, lying, lying, lying! He lied in his Republican Convention address! He said, he remembers seeing tanks in the streets of Austria as a youth, growing up. What movie was that in, Arnie? It didn't happen! He said, he fled from "socialist Austria," when an historian pointed out, Austria was run by a right-wing nationalist, free enterprise government, when Arnie was there! He fled for the steroids and the fame!
And we told the truth in that campaign. We said, the issue is Enron, it's the corruption of fascists, like George Shultz. And Democrats, at first, were freaked out! "You can't call him an Austrian dictator! You can't say he's a fascist." We said, "Well, he himself said he admires Hitler." "Yes! Yes! But that was a few years ago!"
No. We tell the truth. We don't go with popular opinion. If we've learned anything from Lyndon LaRouche, it's if something is a popular idea, find out what's wrong with it, and help free the person who believes in it! So, we did this with the Schwarzenegger campaign, where we made deregulation the issue. We did it with the Street campaign (for Mayor of Philadelphia), where we made Ashcroft the issue. We did it, at Boston, when we made the issue, the need for a real Democratic Party platform if we're going to win in November 2004.
And so, now, spearheaded by the LaRouche Youth Movement, we've clarified the lines of march, the marching of our forces into key states, where we don't need to go door-to-door to every house in Ohio, to find those eight still-undecided voters. We're going to catalyze an earthquake, which will bring in thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, of unlikely voters. In the same way that the Civil Rights Movement fought, to get the vote, we're going to empower people once again, to use the vote, and not just for themselves, but to go out into their neighborhood, and bring people out.
So, it's our way: the bold, Classical method, that's already forced the shake-up in the Kerry campaign. So, what's left for you, is to join us in this march to victory in November. A victory, not only by freeing the nation of the grip of Cheney and the neo-conservative fascists; to free the nation of Tom DeLay, and the legacy of Newt "Robespierre" Gingrich in the House, and "Mr. HMO" Bill Frist in the Senate.
But, to free the people of the stupefication and degeneration of 40 years of post-industrial society: That's what the LaRouche movement is going to do, to march to victory, this November.