Robert Kennedy Jr. Brooklyn, NY
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. makes a stop in Brooklyn, NY to speak at The Gentleman's Factory and to listen to community members or the organization, February 18, 2024. Photo credit: © Laura Brett/ZUMA Press Wire

Do the right thing; make your family and forebears proud.

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Dear Bobby, 

According to your publicist, this Tuesday, March 26, you will announce your vice presidential pick. 

I have a suggestion. Do something different instead: Announce you’re dropping your White House bid.

If you don’t, you may well deliver the country and the world to Donald Trump — that even more wild-eyed, exponentially more dangerous version of the disaster we saw with Trump, Act One

“Drill, Drill, Drill,” “bloodbath,” and “dictator on day one.” Indeed, friend and fan of dictators everywhere. Divider of Americans, provoker of hate. Pathological narcissist. 

Everyone, including you, knows without equivocation that it is totally impossible for you to win this presidential election, and honestly no one is sure what your end goal is. 

Your chaotic “platform” appears to be a random selection of unrelated issues from across the entire political spectrum. That incoherence is evidenced even by the people you’re supposedly considering for roles in this fantasy cosplay operation that you are attempting to pass off as a presidential bid.

I mean, the depth and scope of this fiction is kind of amazing. I suppose you can claim that you are a uniter, since you’re the only person who could possibly have had both the leftist Dennis Kucinich as your campaign manager — though he departed for some reason — and the nasty, hard-line rightist “Libertarian” Rand Paul in your retinue. Exactly what color is the sky in your world that includes both Kucinich and Paul? I cannot imagine. 

Voting for you would not even represent a comprehensible, conscientious protest vote. 


I’ve spoken to folks who know you personally, and they tell me some of the things that matter to you. 

Like ego. You love the attention. And money — apparently, that’s always been an issue, and this high-profile situation helps. 

But now, it’s serious. 

Besides tainting the important, ongoing investigative research into what really happened to your uncle and father — by tying into the general kookiness of your lunatic hodgepodge of issues — you’ve harmed science, and brought together a disparate basket of the aggrieved, misguided, and often plain crackpot. Now you’re poised, perhaps, to wreak havoc on your own country’s future. 

You’re polling nationally around 10 percent of the vote (yes, yes, supposedly a plurality of independent voters, young voters, etc.), and in a key swing state or two, that’s enough — not for you to win, but for you to deliver the country to the demagogue, criminal, pathological narcissist, and instigator of violence, even lethal violence, Mr. Trump. 

Of course, with your shocking rightward tack, you undoubtedly are pulling some folks who might otherwise vote for Trump, but the Trump campaign will paint you as a radical leftist and, unlike some of your detractors, I do not dismiss you as a non-factor. 

I’ve seen the recent polling that shows your strength among young voters in particular — the very voters Trump is counting on you to siphon from Joe Biden. Not strong enough for you to win even a single state, but strong enough to hand Trump an Electoral College victory. 


Most of us, like you, have problems with the “system.” We loathe the corporate monsters that have long had a stranglehold on the American state and society. Everyone knows there are deep problems with Big Pharma. But you’ve ruined any legitimate critique by trafficking recklessly in nonsense and fear in the same way the Holocaust-deniers, moon-landing deniers, and other ignorant fanatics ruin whatever cause they join. 

What you’ve done has contributed, and continues to contribute, to the deaths of untold masses that could have been prevented by vaccination. 

Let’s consider the island country of Samoa. In 2009, it had zero cases of measles. But in 2019, it was walloped with an astounding 5,707 cases — and 83 deaths — a huge comparative toll for a small country (population less than 200,000). The outbreak is attributed to a vaccine scare that began in July 2018 when two infants died after being given the measles vaccine. 

You publicized these deaths and blamed the vaccine. Then the real cause was discovered: The vaccines had been mistakenly mixed with a powerful muscle relaxant

And even after the true cause was known — you continued to spread the false information that it was the vaccine that killed them. In June 2019, you visited Samoa, met with local anti-vaxxers and government officials. The Samoan government suspended its vaccination program for 10 months, presumably a result of your influence. When asked about the high death rate from measles in Samoa, your response was a cowardly attempt to avoid accountability — exactly the kind of thing you say you’re running to rid the country of:

Yeah, I’m aware there was a measles outbreak, but I didn’t have anything… You know, I had nothing to do with people not vaccinating in Samoa. I never told anybody not to vaccinate. I didn’t go there for any reason to do with that. 

Equally ludicrous was your explanation for why, before the epidemic, Samoans did not get measles:

Nutrition and clean water, not the vaccine.

And, by the way, the US is experiencing an unusual spread of this highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease — thanks, in part, to the spread of your false information.


We do share concerns about issues ranging from the environment to misinformation about our country’s political history, but, frankly, you have not put forward a set of viable, realistic solutions. 

Ironically, your claim to want to fix what ails us is not reflected in your candidacy, which itself almost guarantees the situation will become catastrophic. As you know only too well, Biden has done quite a lot to address problems and to take on corporations and wrong-doers, while, of course, Trump actively reversed any progress made by the previous administration on those fronts. 


To your supporters, I say: Protest votes in the right circumstances can help advance a good cause. But not now. Not with what is at stake. 

To you, I say: Enough is enough. Your own family has renounced you. They’re so worried — and, frankly, disgusted — that they traveled to the Biden White House on St. Patrick’s Day to make clear who they think ought to be president. 

And for once in the history of this famously family-loyal clan, their preferred candidate in the race is not their own kinsman. 

Nonetheless, I suppose some are waiting with bated breath for your promised announcement to be made Tuesday in Oakland, CA. Will it be Jesse Ventura? Tulsi Gabbard? Aaron Rodgers? Well, why not consider Steve Bannon? Or for that matter Elon Musk — or Sam Bankman-Fried? Or Tommy Tuberville? Or Sen. Robert Menendez?  What kind of person would take this on? 

I’d also point out that some of the deep-pocketed individuals funding you seem less enthusiastic about making you president than about helping Trump. And so the nefariousness of the undertaking reveals itself. 

Look: You did some good things years ago, but you have no reservoir of goodwill to see you through this atrociously selfish gambit, and will never, ever, live it down unless you start doing something rational, and fast. 

Why not be the guy who chose not to push America into a new dark age? Why not be the guy who helped preserve democracy as we know it? Why not be the guy who opted not to plunge the world into an era of chaos and dread by giving us a deranged commander in chief with his brain on “empty” and his finger on the nuclear button? Why not stop the madness?

I normally wouldn’t mention this, but when I began criticizing your bid last year, your own son emailed me and told me you admired my book on the doings of the Bush clan — and seemingly agreed that they had done irreparable damage during their presidencies. Surely, you’re aware that we can expect much worse from Trump II. 

And with that, I beg you: Stand down. 

Readers: If you agree with the sentiment expressed above, please share this widely, with the hashtag #StandDownBobby

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