Inside the New Democratic Majority
by Debra Hanania-Freeman
The new U.S. Congress that will take the oath of office on Jan. 4 is of a decidedly different character than any of its recent predecessors. The difference lies not only in the fact that the Democrats will be the majority party for the first time in 12 years, but also in who makes up that new Democratic majority, and how they were elected.
It is no secret that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean did not see the midterm elections as a priority. Yes, it sounds crazy, but Dean's argument was that the priority was to build up the party's infrastructure and staff in all 50 states. Maybe Howard Dean really did us all a favor. It is undoubtedly true, as leading Democratic strategist James Carville insists, that with more competent leadership at the helm of the national party apparatus, the Democratic majority would be some 20-30 members stronger than it is currently.
But, it is also true that because Dean didn't see the midterm election as a priority, the DNC did not, for the most part, go out to recruit candidates. As such, the freshman Democrats are not acolytes of the Cult of the DNC; many of them are not even professional politicians in the usual sense, but are a product of the American people's deep and growing discontent with the policies of the Bush-Cheney Administration. A lot of them didn't necessarily expect to win against longtime, seemingly entrenched Republican incumbents. But, they ran anyway, because they thought they had to do something to stop the destruction wrought by this Administration's policies.
In the aftermath of the Democrats' overwhelming victory, there are a lot of people very willing to take the credit, with Howard Dean pushing his way to the front of the pack. A related grouping, with ties to both Dean and the international financiers' "inside man" Felix Rohatyn, are churning out a mass of disinformation, the intent of which is to foment a fight inside the Democratic Caucus. This crowd argues that the freshmen Democrats are "class warriors" who have come to Washington to take on the old "Clintonistas" and to smash "Rubinomics." Accordingly, they've spawned a group of economists mostly out of the AFL-CIO-dominated Economic Policy Institute, who present themselves as "economic populists," in opposition to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.
Preposterous as their analysis may be, the problem is that, if not dealt with early and decisively, they could set off a diversion that detracts from the immediate issues that this Congress must address in the face of the presently onrushing collapse of the global financial system and the U.S. economy. Not surprisingly, a closer investigation reveals that the money behind these so-called class warriors is none other than billionaire George Soros! But, that is part of another story.
The Crucial Youth Vote
Carville presented a more competent, and more honest, analysis at the American Democracy Conference in Washington, D.C. recently. "The thing that reaches out and slaps you across the face," he said, "is the 18-30 year olds. I think we we won them about 61 to 39. Way, way better than we did in any other age group. If you're a political party, you'd rather have [that age group] because they tend to be around longer."
Several nonpartisan post-election studies show that the critical margin of victory came as a result of a sudden surge in turnout of young voters in the last few weeks of the national campaign. What accounted for the surge? Professional strategists in both parties recognize that, in ways they still haven't quite figured out, the avalanche of young voters was set off by a relatively small, but elite group of members of Lyndon LaRouche's youth movement (LYM), who spent the six weeks prior to the election in a bold campaign, largely centered on college campuses, distributing about 750,000 LaRouche PAC pamphlets exposing the scandalous evidence of Lynne Cheney's efforts to suppress academic freedom at U.S. colleges and universities.
The mass effect catalyzed by the LYM resulted in the largest turnout of young voters—some 10 million or more—in over 20 years. And, although the increase in young voters was indeed six times higher in youth-dense districts where an actual effort was made to register young voters and bring them out to the polls, the pattern of increase runs as strongly in the West as in the East, the Midwest, and the South—a clear indication that the effect was truly a mass national phenomenon. In Wyoming and Arizona, where Republicans won election for the House and Senate, the Democrats would have won by 16 and 15 percentage points, respectively, if the elections had been conducted only among under-30s. In Montana, where Democrat Jon Tester won by 1 percentage point—fewer than 3,000 votes—his margin among under-30s, who were 17% of the electorate, was 12 full points.
The Nov. 7 elections constituted a proof-of-principle of what LaRouche has described as the "New Politics." The question everyone is asking, he writes, is "how did this group turn the tide in sufficient key places to set off an avalanche for victory among a crucial, much larger stratum of voters in the 18-35 age range?" LaRouche provides an in-depth answer to that question, along with the kind of strategic and conceptual guidance that Washington so urgently requires in this time of great crisis for our nation and the world.