Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. urged his party yesterday to remain vigilant against such political extremists as Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr., whom he accused of "hatemongering," "fascism" and practicing the "politics of intimidation and prejudice."
Kirk also warned leaders of the American Coalition of Traditional Values (ACTV) and the Freedom Council against "moral absolutism" and religious intolerance.
"The issue of tolerance is at the essence of freedom, of liberty and of those values which are uniquely American," he said.
"If we are to truly celebrate liberty and freedom in America, we will all celebrate the right to believe freely and strongly in one thing while protecting the right of others to believe just as freely and strongly in the opposite," he said.
Kirk, introduced by New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo (D), spoke to 450 representatives of labor, education, business and religious groups at a Democratic Issues Forum in Albany, sponsored by the New York Democratic State Central Committee.
"The candidates of the LaRouche group are members of a dangerous cult led by a demagogue who is an active anti-Semite," said Cuomo, who may face a LaRouche supporter in New York's Democratic primary Sept. 9.
Kirk noted that, because Illinois Democrats were not properly informed, LaRouche supporters won the party's nominations for lieutenant governor and secretary of state in primaries last March.
Citing tactics similar to those of "a Mussolini or a Hitler," Kirk accused LaRouche's followers of "anti-Semitism and religious and racial bigotry. They specialize in hatemongering and hysteria, bilking the innocent and the elderly . . . and participating in American politics under clouds of fraud and false pretenses."
Since the Illinois primary, however, vigilance and identification of LaRouche supporters on the ballot by "real Democrats" has resulted in defeat of every LaRouche candidate in contested gubernatorial, Senate and House primaries, Kirk said.
They have lost 85 contested House races in which they had candidates, he said, but have won eight uncontested Democratic House nominations by default.
Kirk told leaders of the ACTV and the Freedom Council, the Revs. Tim LaHaye and Marion G. (Pat) Robertson, respectively, to guard against "corrupting the traditional value of religious tolerance" by "deeming less worthy those whose religious values or beliefs may differ from their own."