Thu 26th June 2008, 10:10pm
QUOTE(Somey @ Thu 26th June 2008, 1:02am)
While I obviously don't like Phylis Schlafly's politics (and I'm sure I wouldn't much like her personally either), I wasn't trying to be disrespectful. The fact is, she's a far more influential and legitimate political target for a not-so-self-respecting left-wing polemicist than someone like Lyndon Larouche, since Larouche isn't likely to influence undecided (and mostly elderly, I should think) voters in key US "swing states" to vote against Barack Obama, or for that matter, me. (Did I mention that I'm running for President?)
It seems like Chipper's primary motivation for going after Larouche has been to tar others with the "Larouche-ist" brush, mostly by cherry-picking and conflating various statements that are critical of some identity-group (which really isn't hard, since Larouche criticizes LOTS of people, including some that Chip himself criticizes). I doubt that he really cares much about Larouche's direct impact on US politics, nor should he - it just isn't that significant, even if LL had a concrete proposal for a manned Mars mission before anybody else did. (Outside of sci-fi circles, at least.)
OTOH, Phylis Schlafly has followers who not only vote for Republicans, but try to get other people to do so as well, who might not otherwise. So she's clearly more the sort of person Chip Berlet should be concentrating on, assuming he wants to make a real contribution to a general liberal resurgence.
Somey, I've got to beg to differ with your characterization of electoral politics. To begin with, no one should assume that Chip "wants to make a real contribution to a general liberal resurgence." Chip wants to get regular checks from the Ford Foundation, which doesn't give a rat's ass about liberal vs. conservative. The Ford Foundation represents folks who became wealthy and intend to remain wealthy through untrammeled financial speculation. Their strategy has been to exert a controlling interest over both
parties, and they tend to remain aloof from the "wedge issues" like abortion, gun control, and so forth, which are the main ways that you can tell the two parties apart. On issues of importance to the oligarchy, such as deregulation, privatization, globalization, and so on, the two parties tend to march in lock-step.
Regarding LaRouche, he makes no statements "critical of some identity-group," although he does, as you say, "criticize LOTS of people." Chip's tactic is to say that if you criticize a person, you are implicitly criticizing any identity-group that person may belong to or associate with. That is to say, Chip's tactic is precisely the sort of thing that BLP should ruthlessly eliminate from Wikipedia.
LaRouche is less likely to influence elderly voters than he is to influence voters in the 18-25 year old group, which where his support is most notable these days. However, it's not as simple as you make it out to be. The threat that LaRouche poses comes from his insistence that the Democratic Party return to the FDR paradigm, of taking on the speculators, the ones FDR called the "economic royalists." Since the typical lower-income American is facing circumstances in the weeks ahead where he will be unable to afford gasoline or food, due to speculators like George Soros (who just bought a humongous chunk of ConAgra during the past 24 hours,) LaRouche's calls for intervention against the speculators are apt to strike a responsive chord -- Hillary Clinton already adopted his proposals for a freeze on mortgage rates and a ban on foreclosures, and consequently, she was stabbed in the back by the Wall Street tools like Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi. LaRouche youth activists are everywhere at every Democratic Party function, and I'm sure that this is making the Wall Streeters very anxious.
However, I don't think they will rely on Chip to deal with the problem this time. He's a burnt-out has-been, who must resort to Wikipedia now to get anyone to pay attention to him.