Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for something. Technically, he’s running for the Democratic nomination against President Joe Biden. Whether or not that will lead to him trying to run as a spoiler third-party candidate, or even as a running mate to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, remains to be seen. What is clear is that there is no road map leading to Kennedy getting the Democratic nomination. On top of that, unlike Sen. Bernie Sanders’ run in 2015, Kennedy isn’t even pushing ideas that are popular enough to force Biden to move in one direction or another in order to secure primary votes.
While Kennedy has ostensibly been running as a Democratic candidate for the past few weeks, his entire press tour seems to have been made up of right-wing pitstops. He has also repeatedly made wild and frequently unsubstantiated statements about the world, including some neo-Nazi-friendly antisemitic claims about COVID-19. There’s a reason why Kennedy’s positions align more with the Republican Party and its supporters than with Democratic Party ideals.
Meanwhile, the anti-vaxxer’s only left-ish cachet seems to come from his fringe-science beliefs that all vaccines should be looked at with the highest levels of skepticism because of frequently debunked claims that he continues to peddle. The kernel that passes for truth in Kennedy’s claims against people like Dr. Anthony Fauci is the systemic issues we have in our country when it comes to health care, medical insurance, and pharmaceutical greed.
Kennedy’s recent appearance on “The Jimmy Dore Show,” hosted by a faux-lefty failed comedian, should disabuse anyone of the notion that Kennedy is an even remotely serious person.
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Dore came to internet prominence by demanding that people like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez force then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring a losing “Medicare for All” bill to the floor. He also claimed that Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016 would be a good thing for the left, as we would get an even more progressive candidate in 2020. Regardless of your feelings or thoughts about Joe Biden, he is decidedly not left of Bernie Sanders. Dore has subsequently shown his ass as a charlatan by leaning into—and making some cash—working the anti-COVID-19 misinformation niche of the interwebs.
The YouTuber asked Kennedy to state his position on health care in our country. Kennedy explained that he believes we need to “get rid of the chronic disease. That's why we spent $4.3 trillion in health care and 80% of that is chronic, chronic disease.” Kennedy went on to say that if he were president he would “reduce the cost” by identifying “what's causing chronic disease and eliminate those exposures.” The generous assumption here is that Kennedy is talking about pollution and processed foods.
Dore, who clearly wants to goad Kennedy because he profits from the concept that all Democratic representatives are ineffectual and corrupt, asks forlornly, “So you're not a Medicare for All guy?” Good news: Kennedy says he is. But he quickly follows that up by saying he isn’t even thinking about that because passing Medicare for All will be a long process and “that is a battle that I think is polarizing and that is, you know, because the power of the pharmaceutical industry and the power of the medical cartel that you—at this point, it's too much of a heavy lift.”
But somehow he’s going to go against the very same two industries, along with Big Agriculture and Big Fossil Fuels, to end “chronic disease”? Is Kennedy making fun of us?
Dore asks whether or not Kennedy would try to get a “public option” passed. Kennedy says he doesn’t think “this Congress” would pass such a thing. But I’m guessing a Republican-controlled Congress, whose leaders have repeatedly advocated for getting rid of the EPA altogether, is going to pass new laws, requirements, and powers to enable the environmental agency to regulate “chronic disease”-causing pollutants?
Amazing. What a joke of a person.
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