by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a lifelong, true, loyal leftist, suddenly became popular among conservatives because he was one of the few leftists to speak out against COVID vaccines. This wasn’t any particular wisdom on his part; he’s always opposed all vaccines. However, because of this stance, when RFK Jr threw his hat in the Democrat primary ring against Biden, some conservatives got excited. This man, they thought, would siphon votes away from Biden, handing Republicans a win. But that’s not what will happen—and RFK knows it. In other words, he’s another weapon against Republicans.
I’ve never trusted RFK, despite his stance against the COVID vaccination. As noted, that stance is because he’s anti-vax across the board, not because he’s about small government and individual liberty. Where the rubber hits the road is that he’s a climate fanatic and anti-gun fanatic, which means that I have no interest in him whatsoever. He wants huge government and no individual liberty. He’s been trying to moderate his stance lately, but he’s got a history.
Moreover, while I’m sure that Rabbi Michael Barclay is correct that RFK is not an anti-Semite (and, indeed, his father was very pro-Israel), and that he will say the right things when called upon, that doesn’t mean he’s one of the good guys. I haven’t forgotten that, before RJK Jr announced his candidacy, he enthusiastically praised both Louis Farrakhan and Roger Waters, two arch-antisemites. He’s trying to distance himself from those associations, but they haunt him like a bad smell.
Still, mostly based on his vaccine stand, conservatives imagine him defeating Biden in the primaries or even being part of a Trump ticket. Now that he’s planning to run as an independent, though, RFK’s ultimate loyalty to the Democrat party is starting to shine through.