Wednesday, January 11, delegations of LaRouche PAC organizers went to Congress, demanding implementation of LaRouche’s Four Laws for Economic Recovery. A majority of the meetings were held with senior staff or members of Congress themselves.
The character of the discussion was wide-ranging and subjective. As in the earlier forays, the Four Laws, starting with immediate restoration of Glass-Steagall, and the need to collaborate with the New Silk Road process, were a core focus. But the real edge in the meetings came from identifying the concrete examples of shifting to the New Paradigm which we have put in motion. We spoke about our recent events –the circulation of the Glass-Steagall petition to all who are sane –Sanders supporters, Tea Party, Democrats, Indepedents, Tea Party groups, by a group of Sanders supporters, the Schiller Institute’s Tear Drop Memorial event in New Jersey meant to put U.S. Russian relations on a completely different footing. The participation of Schiller Institute choir director John Sigerson in several meetings made a profound impression. At noon-time we held a rally, with a big banner proclaiming Hamilton and LaRouche -- Glass Steagall Now!, creating an important street presence in front of the House office buildings at the crossing to the Capitol itself. The delegations joined in happily, handing out the Hamiltonian, singing Happy Birthday, Alexander (it being Hamilton's 260th birthday), and striking up animated conversations among themselves as well as the passers-by, then retiring to the House cafeteria for lunch and continued discussion. Several of the delegations got the Hamiltonian into a wide range of offices, beyond those where we had meetings, and we made arrangements to deploy briefly to the nearby Capital South metro station to hand out further Hamiltonians.
On the VA delegation: The group of 3 activists and one member arrived at the House office buildings early Weds. to find the area saturated -- starting with the security desk at the entrance -- with the in-house news rags, such as Politico and The Hill, not to mention a screaming headline in the Washington Post, all trumpeting the supposed new secret, nefarious Trump ties to Russia. Our lead item for distribution was the new Hamiltonian, with an equally bold headline: "Russia-U.S. Alliance for Mankind! The Next Step is Glass-Steagall! What a delicious clash of the two paradigms!
Two back-to-back meetings in the afternoon involving John Sigerson were the most singular and effective of the day. The first was in the office of a Mountain State Republican congressman. The meeting, like most, had been set up at the initiative of LaRouche stalwarts and activists in various parts of the country, in this case, just the day before. The office had said the Congressman, himself, would greet us, which he did. We gave him a copy of our Vision of Hamilton book, which he excitedly grabbed. One of my heroes. (An aside -- everyone we met said he or she knew and admired Hamilton, yet none said anything which showed any conception of the true Hamilton). He then passed us to his chief-of-staff. After a few preliminaries to indicate what we wanted to cover, John gave an impassioned presentation of the importance and character of our two tributes to the loss of the Alexandrov Ensemble, in front of the Russian consulate and at the Tear-Drop Memorial. John stressed that the quality of relations between nations and the conception of mankind we are bringing forth, was the same as the intention of the Glass-Steagall fight. The staffer remained mute. It was not clear if he even knew of the incident which wiped out the Ensemble. We then moved on to the vast exciting world of the China-led New Silk Road initiatives, vs. the self-imposed economic suicide course we are following in the U.S. The staffer pounced on a reference to Chinese activity in Africa, to denounce Chinese high-handedness and exploitation and from there it was a slugfest against all common Washington presumptions. As the meeting was breaking up, however, the staffer and John remained talking for a moment. He was telling John that the office had in previous days been discussing the Alexandrov disaster, commenting, what if we found out the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had been wiped out? So underneath it all, a flicker of humanity.
The second meeting formed a stark contrast. This was with the Legislative Director of a southern state Republican congressman. Again John shaped the discussion from the top. But in this case, the staffer responded with great emotion that this was extremely important and valuable, and indeed shows the direction we need. The subsequent transition to the Four Laws and the Ohio Glass/Steagall petition had greater depth because of the impact of John's report, and the meeting as a whole was extremely fruitful. The most interesting thing he said at the end, was that Trump's economic plans are not yet defined. We have to help define them.
In all his meetings, John asked the staffers if they sang, and would want to be part of a Congressional chorus? Most were aware there is currently a Christmas-season Choir, but no on-going chorus. All staffers insisted they couldn't sing a note, but were obviously startled and intrigued by the idea. John assured him we can help with our Bel Canto methods. Everybody can sing.
The Ohio petition initiative was an important element in all the meetings, but was especially important in a quick, tense meeting with the chief of staff of a West Coast liberal Dem. Hearing of Trump's endorsement of restoring Glass-Steagall at the end of the campaign, she initially harrumphed and dismissed it as another empty Trump piece of rhetoric. But when we said, 'But don't we need Glass-Steagall? Isn't your Congressman a co-sponsor of Glass-Steagall? Isn't this the way to force the issue? How can we fail to wage a total fight on this on principle? This changes all the political terrain, as nothing else does. This is what the Sanders people in Ohio figured out.' This registered, and she made sure she had the Hamiltonian with the petition in it in her hand as hurried to her next meeting, while her staff gathered up the rest of the material.
In a meeting with a top staffer for an upper Midwest Republican Congressman. Among the points which seemed to grab the staffer was our outline of the difference between a Hamiltonian design for a National Bank, and the Wall Street rip-off proposals currently pushed by some in Trump circles. Among balance-the-budget Republicans particularly, the idea of not capitalizing the bank by adding to federal debt, but have owners of existing debt trade it in for shares in the bank, was an entrance point to more serious reflection on Hamilton-LaRouche principles.
A final, quite lengthy meeting at the end of the day was held with the banking/financial services staffer for a Midwest Senator. The staffer had been at the post for two years, but had never heard of the New Silk Road. He said he and the Senator had never had a single discussion on GS in those two years. However, he turned out to be eager for what became a tutorial on Hamilton-LaRouche economics, and pledged he would immediately review the material with the Senator.
Today 10 activists plus 2 members had 3 meetings with Congressional offices.
1)We met with an aide to a MD congressman. This guy was real loose and open, but before the meeting the congressman came out of his office to greet us, and when he saw one of the activists, who is a Democratic activist, who had helped the Congressman get elected when he first ran for local political office, the Congressman asked ,"Is this man with you" and hugged him. We had a lively exchange with the aide on all aspects of our policy, and the 3 constituents from the district especially spoke up. The aide took detailed notes.
2)We met with a young Deputy Chief of Staff to a Florida Congressman, who simply responded to an email I had sent out on Glass-Steagall and our call for Trump to support it. This fellow had some rudimentary knowledge of Glass-Steagall- separation of investment and commercial banking- and he said that his office works with Marcy Kaptur already on different issues so they would get with her. With this office and the others we went through the other follow on measures- and all were interested in seeing the Illinois resolution which we made copies of- the summary from the website. Once again, this aide, as the previous one was very open.
3) We met with an aide to a new congressman from the midwest. Here we also went through the whole program, but with the difference that this woman admitted she knew nothing about Glass-Steagall, but wanted to be educated.
In all the meetings we made the point that we were dealing with the destruction of the population- as the result of the policies of Wall St- decreased life expectancy, 70% of young people not entering the workforce, epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction. We also made the point that there had to be a paradigm shift to the kind of real economic growth represented by Russia, China, and the New Silk Road- something we once had in the US- and that it was this possibility that was the reason for the hysteria by Wall St and London about "Russia hacking".
Many of the activists spoke up, emphasizing that Congress had to act before the financial system totally crashed, and that the population would hold the members of Congress responsible, as they could see there has been a political change in the country.
We had an interesting exchange with an African American congressman whom we told we needed him on board Glass-Steagall. He immediately said, " I guess you're happy Obama's gone", to which we, of course, said " Yes". Then he asked " So what do you think Trump is going to do?" We told him about the challenge to Trump to carry out Glass-Steagall. "Does he support that?" he asked. So we told him about his endorsement of Glass-Steagall in Charlotte and that we have to hold him accountable to carry that out. "Yes, but there are many moving parts here" was his response, to which we told him that Glass-Steagall was the lever to get an FDR recovery to which he said, "I hear you."