As RFK Jr continues to grow his piece of the Democratic Party’s primary vote the Democrat establishment media has begun to panic and relentlessly torch the scion of one of the party’s
most revered families.
Don’t get us wrong – Bobby Kennedy Jr is no conservative. On much of the national agenda he holds positions that could be posted on any Democrat’s campaign website without criticism from the Left. On the environment, the general list of social or cultural issues, etc., he’s proudly on the Left.
On the other hand, he represents an idiosyncratic populist segment of the electorate that spans both major parties: He opposes flu and Covid vaccines, pharmaceutical companies, lockdowns, the administrative state, fossil fuels, global elites, gun restrictions, social-media censorship, and U.S. assistance to Ukraine. He also wants to “seal” the Mexican border permanently.
As the Wall Street Journal observed in a recent op-ed, “Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Kennedy gives voice to Americans who feel scorned, silenced and dismissed. ‘They tried to ignore me and that strategy has failed,’ Mr. Kennedy tweeted on June 15. ‘Now their coordinated attacks in Time, WaPo, NYT, Guardian, etc. using the same language exposes fear in the ranks of the corporate oligarchy.’”
RFK Jr.’s opposition to what he calls a “corrupt merger of state and corporate power” would have been mainstream Democratic Party rhetoric in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first campaign in 1932, however, today the Democrats ARE the Party of corporate - state merger.
He probably could have gotten away with criticizing the alliance between Big Business and Big Government without being torched. However, on two fundamental issues RFK Jr. breaks with Democratic Party orthodoxy in a way that cannot be tolerated or forgiven by the Party’s totalitarian opinion leaders.
First, he opposes vaccine mandates and their forced use of risky mRNA technology.
Second, he’s against the forever wars that the formerly ant-war Democrats, with Uniparty Republican support, have embraced.
RFK Jr.’s longtime opposition to forced vaccines prompted a coterie of Kennedy family members to post an op-ed on POLITICO saying, “RFK Jr. Is Our Brother and Uncle. He’s Tragically Wrong About Vaccines.” “We love Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but he is part of a misinformation campaign that’s having heartbreaking—and deadly—consequences,” the op-ed began, and it went downhill for RFK Jr. from there.
The Democrat establishment is so desperate to find spokesmen to attack Kennedy they’ve even reached down to their political D List and engaged Chelsea Clinton to attack RFK Jr. and Joe Rogan for a podcast interview during which they hit Dr. Peter Hotez, dean at the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who Rogan targeted on Twitter after he had criticized one of the episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience for promoting "vaccine misinformation."
Kennedy’s opposition to American involvement in the Russia – Ukraine war is both harder to parse and more nuanced than DC war hawks are willing to admit.
Kennedy explained his anti-war position with regard to Ukraine in a recent interview with the "All-In" podcast:
"The Russians cannot lose this war. We are being told they are losing, but they cannot afford to lose this war. This is existential for them," he said. "This is the most violent conflict since World War II, probably anywhere in the world, and the casualties are enormous. Over 300,000 Ukrainian dead. The Russians are killing Ukrainians, depending on who you believe, at a ratio of five-to-one."
"This is something that the U.S. government and Ukrainian government have worked hard to hide, the number of casualties, which have been catastrophic."
We’re not sure where he got the five-to-one casualty ratio, but Kennedy is right about this being existential for Vladimir Putin, and the survival of the Russian state as currently constituted.
Kennedy condemned the “barbaric and illegal invasion” of Ukraine and called Putin a ‘gangster’, a ‘thug’ and a ‘bully’, but said the conflict needed to be settled quickly, because the US had already “sacrificed 300,000” Ukrainians in battle. While the White House presented aiding Kiev as a humanitarian mission, “every step that we’ve taken has been to enlarge the conflict and to maximize bloodshed,” he said.
“Let’s be honest: It’s a US war against Russia, to essentially sacrifice the flower of Ukrainian youth in an abattoir of death and destruction for the geopolitical ambition of the neocons” to see regime change in Moscow, Kennedy said. He added that the people who created the problem weren’t capable of settling it.
Again, Kennedy is right. There’s a large segment of the Washington DC foreign policy establishment that has made its living off the Russian boogey man for going on 75 years. They torpedoed the opportunity to integrate Russia into the West after the break-up of the Soviet Union and could be credibly held at least partially responsible for Russia’s devolution into a kleptocratic oligarchy instead of a Western-leaning democratic state.
A week ago, The Economist and YouGov released a survey that showed Kennedy with the highest favorability rating of all the current 2024 presidential candidates. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they saw him favorably, and 30 percent viewed him unfavorably.
Biden and former President Donald Trump had the second-highest favorability rating, with 44 percent of respondents saying they viewed the two candidates favorably.
Favorability ratings don't necessarily forecast who will get the party's nomination; however, Joe Biden's present situation holds remarkable parallels to 1968 when Robert F. Kennedy, Jr's father, Bobby Kennedy entered the Democratic presidential primary.
With his public approval rating at around 36 percent, incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson had barely survived a surprisingly strong primary challenge from antiwar Sen. Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire, who took 42 percent of the vote to LBJ’s 48 percent on March 12. Four days later, on March 16, Kennedy’s father, then-New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, declared that he, too, would challenge Johnson for the nomination. President Johnson soon thereafter announced he would end his campaign for reelection ostensibly to heal the divisions in the country, but in actuality in recognition he would likely not win the Democratic Primary, let alone the general election.
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