When a woman interrupted an AOC town hall yesterday to advocate eating babies to stop climate change, many people thought it was too good to be true. An obviously mentally-disturbed woman who was advocating a crazy policy that seemed to embrace the twin pillars of leftist ideology, abortion and climate change, was like a caricature of what many people think leftism is. One of my rules of thumb is that if it seems too stupid to be true, it probably is (although this guideline gets tested more and more these days, it seems), and that turned out to be the case with the baby-eater.
As Gabriella Hoffman pointed out earlier today, the woman was part of a hoax. A group called the Larouche PAC claimed responsibility for the in-person trolling on Twitter.
If you haven’t heard of Larouche PAC, don’t worry. It’s a name that I haven’t heard in decades. I remember “Lyndon Larouche” as a perennial fringe candidate from elections in the 1970s and 1980s, but being a kid then, I never knew much about him.
As it turns out, Lyndon Larouche was a Quaker and a conscientious objector during WWII. Beginning in 1944, he served with the US Army in noncombatant roles in India and Burma. At this point in his life, he was already dabbling with Marxism and joined the Socialist Workers Party when he returned after the war. In 1967, he organized his followers into the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) and created a private intelligence network in which his supporters sent in information from around the world. During the 1970s, Larouche had contacts with both leftist groups such as the CPUSA and right-wing groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Liberty Lobby.
By the late 1970s, Larouche was transforming from a Marxist to a fascist. He ran the gamut of the political spectrum with contacts in both the CIA and the KGB. He supported fusion energy and the Reagan Administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), while also embracing a variety of conspiracy theories. Larouche was famous for pamphlets that railed against the British, who he believed controlled international trade, as well as Jews and Israel, which he said was “a hundred times worse than Hitler.” A Holocaust, denier, in the 1980s, he also advocated concentration camps for AIDS patients. In a pamphlet series that became a book called “Children of Satan,” he alleged that followers of Leo Strauss in the Bush Administration, led by Dick Cheney, misled Congress and the American people in order to invade Iraq and that the September 11 attacks were an “inside job.” His group was considered to be a cult by many observers.
Larouche was convicted, along with several supporters, on charges of credit card fraud, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice in the 1980s. He ran a losing campaign for Congress while in jail. Larouche was never elected to public office even though he ran for president a total of eight times, most recently in 2016. However, in 1986, two of his supporters won Democratic nominations for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State in Illinois. He faded from the headlines but remained active in politics well into the 21st century. He died in February of this year.
I say all that to say that Lyndon Larouche was a complex man who had a wide range of political positions, many of them contradictory. He was also well-known as a nut. Considering the breadth of his policy platform and the fact that politics makes strange bedfellows, it should not be surprising to learn that the modern Larouche PAC supports Donald Trump.
The Greenwich (Ct.) Time reported last year that two members of the group were demonstrating with signs that read “DEFEND TRUMP” and criticized former special counsel Robert Mueller. The couple said that they like Trump’s economic policies. The website for the Larouche PAC is also unabashedly pro-Trump. The top of the home page contains several articles referencing the “coup” against Donald Trump as well as a number of articles attacking the British (including a press release that purports to have evidence that the British were behind the 2016 election meddling) and Joe Biden. A video on the site shows Larouche supporters with a display in Manhattan working to “protect the Donald Trump Administration from the coup.”
A 2017 article, posted while Larouche was still alive, on the site exults, “Not since William McKinley has a President been so clear in his intent to return the nation to the economic tradition of Alexander Hamilton, to end the policies of British Imperial free trade, and make a full commitment to industry, manufacturing, scientific advancement and world peace. Not since Franklin Roosevelt has our nation applied these principles for national recovery and development, which are so urgently required today. The American people must now take it upon themselves to understand this American System tradition, and the means by which it can be applied most successfully today.”
The common denominator in all this seems to be the group’s opposition to climate change policy. A Larouche webcast is titled, “CO-2 Reduction is a Mass Murder Policy” and the question at the AOC town hall was focused on climate change. Donald Trump also has a history of opposition to climate change policies and withdrew from the Paris Accords.
That the Larouche PAC and Donald Trump converge on the issue of climate change is not necessarily an indictment of the president. Nor does it mean that all climate change skeptics are nutjobs. But the underlying truth is that the Larouche PAC does support Donald Trump, even though there is no evidence that the president was aware of the group’s support, or even of its existence, before yesterday.
The trolling of the AOC town hall was a masterful piece of performance art, but the group behind it is a shadowy fringe group that is neither fully left nor fully right. They do seem to be fully enshrouded in tinfoil, however. Hopefully, the publicity from the “baby-eater” stunt will fade and the group will return to the obscurity that bigoted conspiracy theorists deserve.
Originally published on The Resurgent