Campaign Is Creating
an Uproar in France
by our European bureau
March 11—When Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade, the well-known French co-thinker of Lyndon LaRouche, arrived at the Constitutional Council in Paris to register his candidacy on the morning of March 8, it was a huge media event; over 20 reporters and camera crews were there to film his entry, and deluge him with questions. At the press conference he gave on his way out, he announced that the batch of sponsorships for his Presidential candidacy he had just delivered, brought the total number to 538. Since then, hundreds of articles have appeared covering his Presidential bid, and numerous interviews have been aired.
The threshold for gaining a place on the French Presidential ballot, whose first round of elections occurs on April 22, is 500 valid signatures of local elected officials, and Cheminade is one of the few "minor candidates" to have succeeded so far. As of March 12, Cheminade had submitted 560 signatures, and that number may grow by the March 19 deadline. France's most influential press agency, Agence France Presse (AFP), was the first to announce the news, announcing in its release that:
"the candidate proposes the 'use of public productive credit, as during the Thirty Glorious Years [of post-war growth] in order to rebuild our economy by financing great infrastructure projects, fundamental research, public services, and skilled jobs.'
"He also proposes 'a strict separation between deposit banks, and investment banks and insurance companies,' and a return to national currencies, with the euro remaining as 'a common reference for major projects involving several countries.' "
This part of the release immediately made the rounds of the other media in their on-line editions, and Cheminade is now clearly identified with these issues. The candidate is also directing public attention to the danger of a Third World War, a threat being avoided by most media and candidates, with the exception of former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.
A New de Gaulle
"I'm in the spirit of June 1940," Cheminade told the packed press conference (which actually took place on the sidewalk outside the building), hearkening back to the time when Charles de Gaulle flew to London to rally his countrymen to the resistance against the fascist occupation of France. As can be seen in the video statement he prepared for the conference of the Schiller Institute (see below), Cheminade is raising the standard of France from the best of its history, and demanding that it fulfill its role as a leading nation in the creation of a new, just economic order, based on an international Glass-Steagall standard and cooperation among nation-states for great development projects. No longer can the French people tolerate a government, like that of Nicolas Sarkozy, which is behaving as a vile servant of the British Empire.
Some of the media coverage is extremely nasty, filled with innuendo, if not outright slanders, especially in the state-run channels. But at least part of the "powers that be" in France, who are very worried by the breakdown of the financial system overall, and in particular in the Eurozone, and by the danger of war, apparently want Cheminade's warnings to go out ... at least for now.
Most interviewers would rather stick to banal "anecdotes" avoiding the "heavy ideas" with which Cheminade is defying the entire political elite, but Cheminade should have the chance to present them, once the list of qualified candidates is announced, and the official campaign begins on March 20. From then on until April 8 , the major media must give all candidates equal time, although with more advantageous time slots for the major candidates, and from April 8 to 21, equal time slots, to present their programs, to all candidates. This represents an unprecedented opening for all of LaRouche's allies worldwide.
Until now, the greatest buzz created was the interview Cheminade gave to well-known attack dog Pascale Clark of France Inter on her early morning primetime radio show March 9, when she asked the candidate why Lyndon LaRouche compared Obama to Hitler. Calmly and precisely, Cheminade went on to explain why Obama deserves the moustache: his health policy of social triage, his unconstitutional assassination of U.S. citizens, the drone attacks, and the war drive.
Interestingly enough, the release AFP put out on that intervention, which quoted Cheminade's reply in full and without commenting on it, was also picked up by hundreds of websites.
A 'Tour de France'
Now, in the coming six weeks until the first round of the Presidential election, the political landscape of France will be turned upside down by the Cheminade campaign, mobilizing the citizenry to defend the republic against the "oligarchy of incompetents" and alerting them to the danger of war. During that time, Cheminade's campaign team of 15-20 young adults will be criss-crossing the nation, bringing Cheminade's message to every nook and cranny.
That team began its nationwide effort with phone calls to some 25,000 mayors across the country, back in October 2010. In the intervening time, the team has met with more than 2,000 of them, and the vast majority of those met have been reading the materials put out by Cheminade.
As one member of the campaign team put it in a letter to supporters the day Cheminade filed his signatures:
"Now, 43 years after the death of Charles de Gaulle, a true leader can start a true dialogue with the soul of the country. Whereas politicians after de Gaulle's presidencies were without character and abandoned the long legacy of a certain idea of France and humanity embodied by de Gaulle himself, Charles de Gaulle's action continues to live now in the Jacques Cheminade's candidacy. He, while others quit, 'picked up the hilt of the broken sword.'
"And in the eyes of mayors whom we met with again over the last weeks to fill out the official forms of their signature, we, the young adults we are, our responsibility. Mayors make common cause with us, inspired by a better future, our responsibility, as de Gaulle did in 1958 by putting the new Constitution on the table."
With that sense of historic mission, Cheminade and his campaign are determined to press through this crucial Presidential campaign, and make a revolution in thinking—and perhaps much more.