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LaRouche Movement Small but Determined

by David Myszewski
Senior Staff Writer

“The president is a moron. The president is not in control of anything.”

So says Harley Schlanger, Lyndon LaRouche’s western state spokesman. Lyndon LaRouche, a presidential candidate in every presidential election year since 1976, has been highly critical of the Bush administration.

Mr. LaRouche believes that Mr. Bush’s economic policies have hurt the dollar on the world currency market and vastly increased the federal deficit.

Like the other Democratic candidates, he strongly disagrees with the preemptive war in Iraq. He is known for the so-called “Children of Satan” pamphlets, which outlined his disagreements with current policy and attempted to link University of Chicago philosopher Leo Strauss to what one of his supporters, Jeffrey Steinberg, calls “the neo-conservative war party.”

In short, as one member of the LaRouche Youth Movement put it, “We think the neo-cons are Nazis.”

Although the LaRouche campaign has had very little success--one of the few highlights at the polls was in 2000, when LaRouche won 22% of the vote in the Arkansas primary--he still maintains that the “worst honest question” he has been asked is, “Why don’t you just quit?”

The answer can be found in his approach to the campaign. The “purpose of the campaign,” says Mr. Schlanger, “is to change the policies of the United States,” and he claims that the campaign has been successful in that regard.

He gives the LaRouche campaign some of the credit for the emphasis placed on Cheney’s ties to Halliburton and wrongdoings currently under investigation that may have occurred while he was CEO of Halliburton.

Says Mr. Schlanger, “Cheney is still lying. Cheney is still saying there are weapons of mass destruction.”

LaRouche is critical of the education system, saying “Today’s teachers have not necessarily intended to educate or test their students in a manner suited to human beings.”

The Associated Press reported that LaRouche accuses Queen Elizabeth II of dealing drugs on a large scale.

Perhaps one of the most visible elements of the LaRouche campaign is the use of interruptions during venues in which other Democratic candidates are speaking, including both nationally televised events, like the Congressional Black Caucus debate, and local events, such as John Kerry’s speech on campus in December.

Officially, the policy of the campaign is, “We don’t interrupt speeches,” according to Mr. Schlanger. Any disturbances come during the question and answer periods rather than the speeches, generally where the format is such that questions are screened prior to them being asked, since “a lot of people feel constrained by that.”

Mr. LaRouche is trying to establish an entire worldwide movement around his core beliefs. Mr. Schlanger says that they are targeting young people because they look for “people who have not already made compromise, are not locked in, and have the capacity to meet certain judgments.”

Mr. LaRouche has run for president in every presidential election year since 1976, and as a Democrat every election year since 1980 (in 1976 he ran for the Labor party). Even his 5-year stay behind bars on a fraud conviction did not stop him from running in 1992.

During LaRouche’s many runs at the presidential nomination, he has continually warned about different types of collapses that he believes are imminent. Mr. Schlanger said that LaRouche has been right in at least one instance--in 2000, when LaRouche warned that the dot-com bubble was on the verge of collapsing.

Mr. LaRouche was the keynote speaker at the ICLC/Schiller Institute President’s Day Conference on February 14, which he predicted, in an open letter to the Democratic National Committee, will be “the most important political address to have been given anywhere in the world, by anyone, in more than a century to date.”