People have said a great many things about Lyndon LaRouche over the years.
To be fair, he has shared more than a bit about his own views -- and why not? At 94, he has a lifetime of experience in traversing the maze of politics, economics, science, and cultural pursuits that makes our world go 'round.
While LaRouche's claim to fame is principally of a fiscal nature -- his LaRouche-Reimann Method is perhaps the most accurate economic forecasting model yet devised -- the man has delved into so many different facets of the human experience that one can legitimately elevate him to polymath status.
Whether one should read his views on classical music or space technology, it is a wonder that a single fellow is capable of holding so much knowledge about such a diverse array of topics. Even in the case that his views are found to be disagreeable, it must be admitted that he knows his stuff.
The child of an independent-minded New England Quaker family who served in World War II, LaRouche was imbued with a deep sense of purpose from a young age. Having interviewed the man on several occasions and reviewed his biography, it seems clear to me that, for the immense complexity of his life's work, the overarching goal is raising the bar of civilization so as many people as possible enjoy a more-than-decent standard of living.
Of course, certain voices will point out that he ran into a financial snafu with the federal government, for which he did some jail time, or that the LaRouche organization is run with military-like efficiency -- something starkly unusual for civilian politics.
I say that nobody is perfect. I also say that, given his age and multitude of life lessons, he should be deemed a living historical monument. Special emphasis is due the word 'living' as LaRouche's movement is arguably stronger than ever, thanks to the Internet, and the finely-tuned publishing empire he built ensures that his views will remain in circulation for quite awhile.
LaRouche spoke with me about several timely issues. Some of our conversation is included below.
Joseph Ford Cotto: A few years ago, certain political forecasters claimed that the future of America's center-right belongs to libertarians. Since the 2012 presidential election, protectionism has surged in both major parties. Now, in the age of Trump, libertarianism's once-ascendant nature seems a distant memory. Would you say that right-libertarian politics have any serious potential under Trump?
Lyndon LaRouche: The point is the support for Trump's .... presidency, that is the key. Right wing libertarian politics per se are not important. It is Trump and his role which is important. It is a new, improved practice. Trump has promised to invest $1 trillion in urgently needed infrastructure and promised the implementation of a 21st century Glass Steagall Act. If he implements his infrastructure promise he will need that reform to finance it.
Cotto: More than anything else, why are protectionist economics transforming the American conservative movement?
LaRouche: Trump!! Trump's method. Trump's way of dealing with the people. Protection, the issue is to make the economy work with real measures as I just mentioned. It is a buoying up on Trump's efforts. It is not that the Alt Right are no longer important, but is the question of bringing together a more novel way, not doing the same old thing.
Ronald Reagan conservatives would surely find something interesting in Donald Trump. Absolutely! We had a president who was taken out of action [the attempt on Reagan's life] but he came back in. It was not a simple thing because I was one of the victims of that thing. What was done to him was that. Reagan survived the attack on him. He had a long period, extended period, an inability to function but he got back into that function and he tried to build up more and more what he had as his intent, and I had been one of the key figures of his administration.
But we're talking about Trump. Really we're talking about Trump on the basis that he is now the new leader for the United States. He has promised to build up the American economy again, and there are great precedents of American presidents using the American System of Economy as it was developed by Alexander Hamilton, explicitly in contrast to the British System of Free Trade. That is the system that worked in the past, and it will work again. Now, what Trump has done by his success, here, is to build up the possibility of a revival of the U.S. economy.