Otto Takes on the Larouchies

Otto, via Daily Kos
posts an account of what happened when the Larouchies set up a table in front of his town post office.

Avoiding a drawn-out argument about the Larouchie’s ‘Obama as Hitler’ poster– their signature statement– Otto set himself up as a counter-recruiter. Proving the old saying, ‘when engaging in a battle of wits make sure your opponent is armed’, Otto got nowhere fast with the Larouche people, who didn’t even know which party their candidate is running on.

Q. What do they get taught in “Camp Larouche?” A. “Dump Obama”

It was pretty obvious what they are taught. They are taught that their bread and butter is going to be senior men. Every time they see a man who is older than 60 walk out of the post office, they immediately accost him.

“Are you ready to dump Obama?”

Maybe they get a bite. Maybe they don’t.

My strategy was to get them to advocate for a candidate. They couldn’t. They simply don’t know anything about the insane man who is earning money off of their ignorance.

If they got a bite on this one, I would let their catch know that Larouche runs as a Democrat, is a former communist, and supports a massive infrastructure project.

If they are going after the Fox News demographic, then I figure it’s fair to argue against their position with something that will resonate with that demographic.

You can read the rest, including what Otto said to the cops after the Larouchies called them, here…
Preventing Crazy From Going Mainstream– Tea Time With the Larouchies

Crazy going mainstream is the story of this generation, but more dangerous when crazy goes undercover. I saw the Larouchies at the health care town halls in Rhode Island, and they were playing up to the Tea Party people big time. Middle aged white people were carrying around the Obama/Hitler magazines as if they thought that image was just fine. So many are ready to cry Nazi every time they get a parking ticket, perhaps the discourse has been polluted beyond saving, and the people really believe that Hitler was infamous for declaring that no one should be denied health care for being poor.

Otto noticed that the Larouchies were tacking right with the older folks, and left with the younger ones. Same can of worms- different branding.

There are many valid disagreements with President Obama’s positions on issues and actions while in office. It’s a widespread sentiment that the country is going in the wrong direction, though no consensus on what the right direction should be. Obama’s electoral victory disappointed many who wanted a President McCain. Free speech, passionate speech– that’s democracy.

But some of what I see on the left-wing sites is so hateful in a personal way, and came on so early, that I suspect chameleons like Lyndon Larouche as a source. Extremes tend to go full circle and meet at the fringes. Not all the left wing anger, even when over the top and personal, is insincere. Some of it, though, is coming from the extreme right and other ideologies, packaged to appeal to lefties and progressives.

Consider the source, do some fact-checking.

At one Town Hall I confronted a young black man who was carrying a stack of magazines with the Hitler/Obama image. Did that man know anything about Black History, or about WWII and the real Hitler whose atrocious regime lives on in the memories of people yet alive? Would the good people of Warwick, who sat in that Town Hall fanning themselves with Larouche’s magazine have signed on as allies of Larouche if they knew anything about the man?

I’m deep in end of life issues and government health care these days, seeing my father through Hospice. The nasty accusations that talking about mortality is the next step to ‘death panels’ is such a destructive lie. Without government health care, my parents, like millions of Americans on Medicare, would face a financial crisis as well as a health crisis. And during the debate, the loudest voices were spreading wild rumors from unclear sources, to the benefit of business as usual.

I will vote for Barack Obama in 2012. Not as a lesser of two evils, but because I think he wants to lead this country in a better direction, in the face of massive opposition from the other party, and with the challenge of two wars and a recession handed down from the last president.

I could be wrong, and good people of all points of view may disagree. But take a lesson from Larouche– an easy example. There are more covert ways to sway opinion, astroturf organizations and trojan horses, blogging trolls who try to pass for what they are not. There’s a certain tone of malice that you get to recognize, a ring to the counterfeit. Speak your conscience, support what you will, but don’t take anything at face value.

Lyndon LaRouche on my Doorstep

A glossy-cover magazine, rolled up with several flyers in a rubber band, landed on my doorstep. Unfortunately, it was raining. Only a political junkie would bother to dry the thing off, but so I am.

How could I resist a headline like, ‘Is the Devil in Your Laptop?’ Such a promising title, such impenetrable writing.

I know the LaRouche people as political chameleons hanging out on the fringes of various political groups I worked with over the years. They were especially active during the 1980’s. They are so extreme that they don’t even fit the left-right spectrum. I don’t know how to describe them, some see them as a political cult. Their magazine, running 64 pages, must have been expensive to print, even if the organization owns a press, which likely they do. They are casting their bread upon the waters in Rhode Island, with this hand-delivered (avoiding the US Postal Service) outreach.

I don’t know who their intended readership would be. I found the contents impossible to understand, and I am pretty well-informed. The organization has a history of slapping lawsuits, and has been linked to violence, so I will refrain from direct quotes from the magazine. Their publications are easy to find, anyway, at one of their many websites. Just to say that the writers have issues with Wikipedia, (see bio here), and bloggers. There were many sexual references, which you would think would be pretty basic, but I couldn’t make sense of them either. They have some occult preoccupations, with rants against witchcraft and references to ‘the noosphere’. And they have harsh words for the British, especially The Beatles.

What concerns me is not the existence of fringe political groups, even those that have a dangerous ideology. That’s freedom of speech. We prefer the consequences of free speech to the consequences of censorship.

But our culture sanctions unpopular speech, and across the board, anyone who wants to be taken seriously tones it down. That means that some very unpopular agendas hide behind bland names and code words. What concerns me is the ease with which such a group can introduce a stealth bill into an uninformed state legislature.

The LaRouche organization is pushing a bill called, ‘The Homeowner and Bank Protection Act’. At a time when many families are thrown into crisis by foreclosure, and banks are feeling the effects of a shaky economy, there is a need and demand for legal protection for homeowners who were caught up in the sub-prime mortgage mess. Communities are suffering as vacant houses bring down property values and empty out neighborhoods. In the midst of all this pain, a bill that protects homeowners and banks sounds good.

According to the LaRouche literature, The Homeowner and Bank Protection Act has already been passed in 34 municipalities, many of them in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island is listed as a state where an HBPA Memorial has been drafted and is pending introduction. The LaRouche people are so slippery with language that I have to question what they mean by ‘memorial’. Is that the same as legislation?

If there is a LaRouche operative lobbying for a bill in our General Assembly, our reps had better read the fine print and check the source before they find themselves supporting a law that they will be unable to defend, and allying themselves with a world-view they do not endorse.