The son of 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy—two Americans who were felled by assassins—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has abandoned his only practical route to the White House today, declaring that his efforts to secure the Democratic nomination have been frustrated by cheating.
The candidate—widely known as RFK Jr.—has been marginalized and maligned throughout his candidacy, owing to his controversial rhetoric about vaccine safety and fundamental injustices in the United States, with corporate-controlled news outlets denying him coverage, social media outlets subjecting him to censorship, and critics poisoning the well of public opinion rather than contradicting his disputatious arguments.
While he intends to continue his candidacy as an independent / the nominee of the Libertarian Party, Kennedy’s decision removes him from the only practical path to the White House in a nation dominated by two major parties that command loyalty from the vast majority of the electorate.
No independent candidate has ever been elected president of the United States, where the White House victor is actually decided by delegates selected in 51 individual contests in the states and the District of Columbia.
Among those who tried were former President Theodore Roosevelt, who got 27.4% in a failed attempt to return to the White House in 1912, and H. Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire whose fortune only earned him 18.9% in the 1992 presidential election.
Kennedy accused party leaders of cheating on behalf of President Joe Biden by manipulating the primary election schedule, refusing to host candidate debates, and failing to abide by their own rules in order to put him at a disadvantage.
“They have compromised the defining democratic principle of one person, one vote through repeated interference in the primary elections,” said Kennedy in a September 13, 2023 letter to the DNC. “They have hijacked the party machinery and, in recent years, directed the power of censorship onto their political opponents, raising political victory onto the altar in place of honest democracy.”
The Democratic National Committee has previously been accused of illegally rigging the primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Attorneys filed a 2016 class-action lawsuit against the DNC arguing that “the DNC violated Article 5, Section 4 of its own charter by working with a single campaign to effectively choose who would win the Democratic ballot” but the case was dismissed by Judge William Zloch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for lack of standing. In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in a unanimous panel decision, upheld that dismissal.
That portion of the DNC charter—article five, section four—states: “In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns.”
Former DNC interim chair Donna Brazile later made the startling revelation that the organization had in fact engineered the party’s primary election system in favor of then-candidate Clinton, suggesting that the primary was illegally stolen from Sanders.
Experts say that it is a mathematical impossibility to win the White House without securing the nomination of either the Republican or Democratic party, so observers question Kennedy’s motivation.
One prominent critic of the Democratic political establishment that sold out working-class Americans, Lisa McCormick, expressed “profound disappointment that presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. decided to give up on the possibility of a fair fight for the nomination after President Joe Biden’s unrelenting attempts to cheat Democratic Party voters.”
Predicting that Republicans will capture control over the US Senate, McCormick, a 2018 Democratic US Senate contender, said: “It is very likely now that Donald Trump will win and not because Bobby Kennedy is a spoiler but because Joe Biden is a cheater.”
In addition to being sidelined by his opponent and the party bosses, Kennedy faced a constant barrage of criticism from mainstream media commentators.
“While Kennedy has some legitimate claims to being a serious environmentalist, his views on other subjects range from completely crazy to extremely ill-conceived,” wrote Tom Rogers, the executive chairman of Oorbit Gaming and Entertainment, an editor-at-large for Newsweek, the founder of CNBC and MSNBC, and the former CEO of TiVo. “He is a hardcore anti-vaxxer who has spread nonsense about the harm of all vaccines with a range of theories that have been scientifically debunked.”
“He has been accused of antisemitism by preposterously suggesting that the Covid-19 virus was engineered to spare Jewish people in claiming that Ashkenazi Jews were immune to the virus,” said Rogers despite the unfairness of those accusations. “He has also indicated his belief in a bunch of conspiracy notions from radiation from wi-fi causing cancer, to chemicals in the water supply producing more transgender youth, along with a slew of other nutty theories that suggest to those who know his views that he is simply ‘off.'”
Kennedy’s independent bid is not going to earn him invitations to appear in places where his views had previously been censored or stop journalists from calling him an “anti-vax conspiracy theorist” but it will embolden those who simply ignore him altogether.
When Kennedy appeared at the opening of his Garden State campaign headquarters in Elizabeth, none of New Jersey’s top media outlets even mentioned it.
While his views on vaccine safety have been disputed, much of the candidate’s policy addresses the fundamental corruption of American society by the influence of greedy corporations and money-motivated political aspirants, who are dependent on private contributions for campaign resources.
Kennedy noted that three large hedge funds—BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard—own about 82% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization and they are moving to buy 60 percent of all single-family homes in the United States, effectively killing the hope of achieving the American Dream by pricing families out of the housing market.
Kennedy has insisted that he is not “anti-vaccine” but is instead convinced that government regulatory agencies are controlled by the industries they are supposed to watch over and that unsafe practices have been permitted dangerous drugs on the market, particularly with respect to addictive opioids and some vaccines that are routinely administered to children.
Under the Biden administration, Kennedy claims the price of an average home has risen from $250,000 to around $400,000, and mortgage rates have more than doubled. Rents have followed the trend, putting more and more people on the edge of catastrophe.
Kennedy’s website asserts: “We can restore the American middle class by reversing the missteps of the last fifty years. A massive military machine has nearly bankrupted this country. Rampant corruption in Washington has put corporations in charge, enriching the wealthiest as working people have dropped out of the middle class. Official unemployment is low – but most of the new jobs are in the low-pay service sector. Wealth inequality in the country is at a 100-year high. More than 60% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, with no savings for an emergency. Take-home pay after inflation and taxes has fallen 9% since Biden took office.”
Although he espouses these bedrock Democratic ideas along with policy prescriptions based on the liberal Democratic values championed by his father and uncle, Kennedy was cast out by the political establishment but his decision to abandon his pursuit of the Democratic nomination simply allows the corporate oligarchs of this country to more firmly isolate him as they continue to destroy the working middle-class.