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I have mixed feelings about Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the recently announced challenger to President Biden for the 2024 Democratic nomination. But not evenly mixed feelings.
On the positive side, he is one of the very few members of the Kennedy family willing to risk saying what others in the family will not: Key people in charge of investigating the deaths of his uncle and father, John and Robert, consistently failed to pursue meaningful leads that contradicted the official story.
Related: Sirhan May Go Free — But the Truth on the Kennedy Assassinations Remains Locked Up
Nearly two decades ago, while doing document- and interview-based research for a book, I accidentally stumbled onto copious evidence that there was more to the deaths of both men, which surprised me, as it certainly would most people — and changed forever how I understood the limits of official candor and honest investigation.
Bobby Jr.’s willingness to endure a broad range of risks for talking about that topic impressed me, and led me to look at what else he has said, including his bracing critique of the military-intelligence-industrial complex.
Unfortunately, the good news ends there. It’s one thing to recognize real conspiracies and another to embrace all kinds of disinformation in keeping with his preconceived ideas, which are not supported by fact.
Which takes us to RFK Jr.’s views on public health.
His outspoken positions and continuous leadership of the anti-vaccination movement are a huge blot on his overall record. Because it’s such a striking and profound departure from evidence-based logic, I think it instantly disqualifies him as a presidential candidate.
Now, I know plenty of people who buy the line that the COVID-19 vaccines — or all vaccines — are dangerous. Such people cite so-called “experts” and outliers who present “evidence” of grave danger from vaccines – evidence that has been discredited by the vast majority of medical and scientific personnel worldwide. A number of anti-vax celebrities are known to have personal grudges against the establishment that affect their motives and their credibility.
I am far from an expert, but as a journalist with a bias toward evidence that has been carefully and neutrally vetted, I see the overwhelming benefit of vaccines in general, and the COVID-19 vaccines in particular.
The number of people who have benefited appears to be exponentially greater than those suffering complications.
To be sure, any intelligent person should welcome continuous close scrutiny of big pharma, our profit-driven medical institutions, and big government. That’s just common sense and applicable to everything.
But assertions on the issues that Kennedy and his coterie are using to trigger a significant minority in this country simply don’t check out.
Yet, as with the MAGA contingent and the avid Fox News audience, any contradictory facts only harden their views. There’s a reason this is very generously called “magical thinking.”
Kennedy is one of these people, a magical thinker, at least on this topic. A mutual friend of his and mine told me that if anyone, even family members, tries to raise doubts, he bristles and warns them to drop it.
In upcoming columns, I’ll take a look at the claims Kennedy has publicized regarding vaccines. For now, here’s just one example of what he’s been up to.
Taking an extreme position against public health measures for the common good — the kind of measures that over time have been preponderantly successful — he claimed that anyone who dared to resist vaccination faced some horrible fate at the hands of a tyrannous state. To underscore this point, he reached for extreme and grossly inappropriate examples. To wit:
Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.
There are moments when Kennedy sounds like Marjorie Taylor Greene, as in this Instagram post:
And in a tweet he sent out on April 24, Kennedy implies Tucker Carlson was fired because he “told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content,” as if there were no other reasons.
Fox fires Tucker Carlson five days after he crosses the red line by acknowledging that the TV networks pushed a deadly and ineffective vaccine to please their Pharma advertisers. Carlson’s breathtakingly courageous April 19 monologue broke TV’s two biggest rules: Tucker told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content and he lambasted obsequious newscasters for promoting jabs they knew to be lethal and worthless…
This country faces too many complex challenges and perils to turn the presidency over to someone who lacks good judgment on a subject as important as this. He shouldn’t be president, and even his spoiler role is a bad and terribly dangerous idea — given the overall stakes.
None other than the villainous Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump adviser, spent months trying to convince RFK Jr. to run. Bannon is expert at generating chaos, and he’s found the perfect vehicle.
Meanwhile, Roger Stone has proposed a “dream ticket” — Trump and Kennedy, together. Yes, this is actually happening.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see where this is headed. It’s obviously not good for the country, not good for humanity. Now is the time to speak up to head off potential disaster.