Lyndon LaRouche has got America's attention now!
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The LaRouche upset in Illinois could also hurt Democratic Sen. Alan J. Dixon, who is up for reelection, and thereby damage national Democratic prospects for seizing control of the Senate in November. The Democratic National Committee (DNC), which had high hopes for Mr. Stevenson to win the governorship in Illinois, is scrambling to confine the fallout to one state.Skip to next paragraph
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In Washington, the DNC has launched a 50-state alert against the LaRouche forces. Terry Michael, press secretary for the DNC, said:
``We told them to examine all primary election filings for all offices and to alert legitimate Democratic candidates and voters when they discover LaRouche supporters or other extremists on the ticket.''
Packets of information about LaRouche are being rushed to party offices across the country this week. In some states, including California, stunned party officials realized that some LaRouche candidates were running unopposed for the party's nominations for Congress. Write-in campaigns for regular Democrats are being hastily organized.
Klenetsky, interviewed by phone at LaRouche's headquarters in Leesburg, Va., says there are 135 LaRouche candidates running this year for the US House of Representatives. Fifteen others are running for the US Senate, and seven for governorships. The rest of the 750 LaRouche candidates are seeking lesser positions. Almost all of them are running as Democrats. About 20 are running as Republicans, he estimates.
All this activity signals a high-water mark for LaRouche, a man who has been responsible for such works as ``Hitler: Runaway British Agent'' and bumper stickers like ``Feed Jane Fonda to the Whales.''
Born to Quaker parents, LaRouche got his political start in the 1940s, when he was a member of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. At the time he took the name Lyn Marcus, after Lenin and Marx. In the 1960s he was the leader of a group within the radical, antiwar Students for a Democratic Society, which led a student strike at Columbia University.
Klenetsky says LaRouche's left-wing ties were the result of his concerns about the spread of right-wing McCarthyism in the United States. Analysts say that after the 1960s, LaRouche began to move toward the right (a conclusion denied by LaRouche supporters, who say his policies have been consistent).
Last week's LaRouche victories in Illinois have caused particular uneasiness because no one is certain why they happened.
The victories, however, are expected to cause voters in Illinois, and perhaps elsewhere, to look more seriously at LaRouche proposals. His organization's candidates are championing at least five key issues. They include:
Opposition to the Gramm-Rudman balanced-budget law. Klenetsky calls it ``unconstitutional.'' The law takes defense and general welfare categories out of the hands of the President and Congress, where the Constitution puts them and holds other areas, such as interest on the debt, sacrosanct, says Klenetsky. This is a law written by international bankers and a surrender of national sovereignty, LaRouche forces charge.
Support for SDI, including advocacy of fusion power and laser research. A strategic defense plan is essential to counter growing Soviet military power, Klenetsky says. He adds: ``The Soviets have more than 10,000 scientists who have been working on this project since the end of the 1960s.''
Opposition to ``decoupling'' with Europe. A number of leading defense thinkers, LaRouche charges, are trying to split the US from its European allies by pulling American troops out of Europe. ``The Soviets are also for this,'' Klenetsky notes.
Support for a major war on drugs. LaRouche candidate Janice Hart in Illinois says it's time to roll out the tanks in an all-out effort against drug pushers, drug smugglers, and also banks that are laundering drug money. Communists are using drugs as a ``weapon against the West,'' Klenetsky says. LaRouche forces claim drugs have become a $400 million-to-$800 million-a-year business which could not survive without complicity from major US banks.
Drastic action against the disease AIDS. LaRouche would require universal testing for AIDS, and quarantine those who have it. ``There is a cover-up on the AIDS issue,'' says Klenetsky.
The immediate concern of old-line Democrats is that LaRouche men and women on their tickets around the country could wreak havoc on the party's carefully laid nationwide plans for the 1986 elections.
The seriousness of the situation was shown this week by Illinois Sen. Paul Simon, himself a Democrat. The senator said he told Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for governor: ``I cannot vote for you if you're on a ticket with two neo-Nazis.''