LaRouche’s move­ment forges ahead af­ter founder’s death

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JAMES VARNEY

Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates are tear­ing away at one an­other on the cam­paign trail, but all of them have one thing in com­mon: They don’t have Lyn­don LaRouche to kick around any­more.

The death this year of the peren­nial pres­i­den­tial can­di­date ended a quixotic ca­reer. LaRouche set the record for con­sec­u­tive pres­i­den­tial runs, from 1976 to 2004, and added a ninth bid in 2016 for good mea­sure.

The LaRouche move­ment, as it styled it­self, stuck with him while he mounted his 1992 bid from a prison cell, where he was serv­ing time for a fraud con­vic­tion, and were never dis­suaded by the small smat­ter­ing of votes he col­lected in each race. A break­through was al­ways around the corner.

The ques­tion his fol­low­ers face now is whether his move­ment can sur­vive his death.

Bar­bara Boyd, trea­surer of the Lyn­don LaRouche Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Com­mit­tee, finds the ques­tion silly. For her, and for oth­ers who be­lieve LaRouche’s com­pli­cated and quirky philoso­phies, the an­swer is an un­wa­ver­ing “yes.”

“LaRouche PAC will be ex­tremely ac­tive as we view 2020 as a real turn­ing point in the his­tory of the United States,” she told The Wash­ing­ton Times. “Right now, we are look­ing at a mix of can­di­dates and in­de­pen­dent ex­pen­di­tures, but our pri­mary ac­tiv­ity will be on the pol­icy front — namely, get­ting LaRouche’s ideas im­ple­mented in the U.S.”

For many Amer­i­cans, LaRouche’s seem­ingly per­ma­nent pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tion made him a na­tional ver­sion of the po­lit­i­cal gad­flies who oc­cupy spots in the pol­i­tics of city coun­cils and school boards through­out the coun­try.

“LaRouche and his lit­tle group prac­ti­cally de­fine crack­pot po­lit­i­cal cultism,” said Sean Wi­lentz, an Amer­i­can his­tory pro­fes­sor at Prince­ton Univer­sity.

¨He never had a pop­u­lar fol­low­ing of any sig­nif­i­cance,” Mr. Wi­lentz said while com­par­ing LaRouche with more prom­i­nent pres­i­den­tial as­pi­rants. “He was one of the truly mi­nor sideshows in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. It never amounted to a third party. That said, I would imag­ine that, like other charis­matic fig­ures, LaRouche could have no suc­ces­sors — not that he groomed them.”

LaRouche died in Fe­bru­ary at the age of 96, and thou­sands of peo­ple saw him as a vi­sion­ary. They be­lieved his warn­ings about fi­nan­cial doom just around the corner and pro­moted his solutions of a com­plex re­struc­tur­ing of bank­ing and mone­tary ex­change rates, a sys­tem of ma­glev trains con­nect­ing the world’s big economies and a global project to col­o­nize Mars.

Although LaRouche usu­ally ran for pres­i­dent as a Demo­crat, he and his fol­low­ers have never fit com­fort­ably into the party di­vides in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

But as they sur­vey the mad­house pres­i­den­tial race for the 2020 election, they lean to­ward Pres­i­dent Trump for the most part, Ms. Boyd said.

“The present Demo­cratic Party is a night­mare and not rec­og­niz­able to any­one who seeks a gen­uine eco­nomic re­cov­ery of the phys­i­cal economy of the United States, mod­ern rein­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, mod­ern phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture and space ex­plo­ration,” she told The Times.

Whether Mr. Trump or any other can­di­date would wel­come the fringe sup­port is un­likely, but Ms. Boyd said he de­serves it on balance, es­pe­cially given the Democrats’ hys­te­ria and or­ches­tra­tion of what she and other LaRouche fol­low­ers con­sider a deep state coup at­tempt.

“Pres­i­dent Trump, in our view, has been vic­tim­ized by il­le­gal in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity and law en­force­ment op­er­a­tions which have threat­ened the very foun­da­tions of our re­pub­lic,” she said.

LaRouche sup­port­ers re­main a para­noid lot, and pen­e­trat­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tions he left be­hind can be tricky. In­quiries in­evitably — and quickly — cir­cled back to one per­son: Ms. Boyd, the PAC trea­surer.

Ques­tions sent to ed­i­tors at the Ex­ec­u­tive In­tel­li­gence Re­view, the flag­ship pub­li­ca­tion of the LaRouche move­ment with head­quar­ters in Vir­ginia, drew an an­swer from Ms. Boyd, who is also in Vir­ginia.

Sim­i­larly, within min­utes of phone calls to top LaRouche PAC con­trib­u­tors — an eclec­tic group that in­cludes East Coast ice cream mag­nates, com­puter soft­ware work­ers, mu­si­cians and even a Na­tional Park Ser­vice ranger — Ms. Boyd was on the phone an­grily de­mand­ing to know why some­one wants to talk with her donors.

Ms. Boyd said LaRouch­i­ans do not feel com­fort­able dis­cussing mat­ters with re­porters be­cause they do not think they have been treated fairly. She said she would not per­mit any of the move­ment’s mem­bers or ma­jor donors to speak to The Times.

When asked what she fore­sees as the PAC’s plans through the 2020 election, Ms. Boyd said that is un­cer­tain.

“I don’t know what we’ll do in the fu­ture, but we will prob­a­bly get into some in­de­pen­dent ex­pen­di­tures,” she said. “We’re look­ing at the whole pic­ture, es­pe­cially in the Mid­west. That’s our home­land; that’s tra­di­tion­ally been our stomp­ing ground.”

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