Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has cut “Camelot’s” century-long political ties with the Democrats.
Using a euphemism for draining the swamp, Kennedy said he’s done with “the two-headed monster in Washington.”
Declaring his independence in a 50-minute speech, the former Democrat announced his end game:
stir up America’s historically unique optimism.
take power away from the elites in Washington, and hand that power back to the American people.
The 2024 candidate’s Philadelphia proclamation was old school, but edgy.
It was a simple, straightforward, production.
Kicking off the speech, Kennedy spoke directly to the “tens of millions of former middle-class Americans,” who, he said, were now “living from pay cheque to pay cheque.”
They had become part of the disposed, joining the chronically ill, the addicted, and the depressed.
There’s discontent swamping the country, and it’s dangerous, he explained.
“The danger is that Democrat/demagogues will hijack [discontent] to work fascism, or our rulers will use it as a pretext for an attack on an existential enemy.”
“Lincoln, quoting the words of Jesus Christ, said, a house divided cannot stand. A polarised nation is easy prey for corrupt powers,” Kennedy added.
From this, the D.C. swamp “can strip wealth and freedoms.”
There’s also opportunity and promise in reunifying the nation.
Finding common ground can end the culture wars – “vitriol and venom” which are “hopelessly dividing the nation.”
“These loud hateful controversies obscure the vast areas of agreement.”
Listing these, Kennedy included, “support for Veterans, fair pay for school teachers, affordable housing, corporate accountability, and a clean environment.”
Describing Washington D.C as being run by a uni party, he said, the “two-headed monster” wants to keep Americans “divided.”
“The partisan blame game is used to keep us all at each other’s throats, and people suspect that the divisions are orchestrated. Getting us to hate each other is part of the scam.”
Kennedy’s break with the Democrats was also a “declaration of independence from corporatism, a bloated bureaucracy, big tech, big Pharma, the mercenary media, and the industrial military complex.”
“We declare independence from the cynical elites who betray our hope; who amplify our divisions.”
“We declare independence from the two political parties, the corrupt interests that dominate them and the entire rigged system, of rancour, rage, corruption and lies that has turned elected representatives into indentured servants to corporate bosses.”
Finally, he said,
“We declare independence from these corrupting Powers because they are incompatible with the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“How can we guard life when for-profit corporations have captured public agencies supposed to protect us?”
“How can we enjoy liberty when a surveillance state seeks to hide the truth, and squash dissent?”
Now both Biden and Trump’s rival for the White House, RFK J recalled that his decision to declare independence was “painful” and not “taken lightly.”
He then pledged to be a leader “free of partisan allegiances, backroom deals,” saying, he was only loyal to his “conscience, creator, and the people of the United States.”
Cutting Camelot’s political dynasty off from the Democrats, Kennedy stated, was about putting service above sentimentalism.
Running as an independent frees Kennedy from the roots of division, and the “addiction to taking sides.”
As an example, Kennedy said, six-months ago he was for open borders.
“Listening to people on the ground” changed his views.
The presidential candidate said the experience had caused him to double down on committing to being a leader who listens to the stakeholders and looks at the evidence and the arguments.
All while upholding his moral convictions, and holding to his opinions lightly.
For instance, “I’m proud to say my supporters include pro-life and pro-choicers (*sic), climate change activists and climate change sceptics, vaccinated, and unvaccinated.”
Not everyone is going to get what they want.
For “the good of the country,” people need to rediscover how to disagree and still get along.
“You can be pro-choice, and not think pro-lifers are women-hating zealots.”
“You can support the right to bear arms, and not think that gun control advocates are totalitarians who hate freedom.”
This, he said, is what he means by independence.
Freedom from tribalism. Freedom from the “reflex of having to take sides.”
For Kennedy, the halls of America’s representative republic have been eroded by termites.
America is being led off a cliff by leaders anointed by “shadow institutions.”
“Big tech backs the Democrats, Big oil backs the Republicans. Big pharma and military contractors woo both.”
Kennedy’s speech ended with the 2024 presidential candidate claiming he wanted to end the uni-party and build a coalition of Republicans and Democrats.
He’ll “not just take the wheel, he’ll reboot the GPS.”
It’s an impressive, patriotic speech, with a genuine nod to a higher power.
However, the speech isn’t without its caveats.
He chides “slogans,” then deploys slogans of his own.
Unlike Ron DeSantis, Kennedy has back-flipped on heartbeat laws which restrains abortion on demand.
His campaign’s speedy damage control to placate pro-abortion activists raises questions about how serious Kennedy is when he states he wants to hear and represent all stakeholders.
Surely a preborn child is as much a stakeholder as his or her mother?
Additionally, Kennedy distances himself from the uni-party, while seemingly saying he wants to create one – albeit made in the Kennedy clan image.
Leaving the Democrats was undoubtedly difficult, even bold some might say.
Another point in Kennedy’s corner, he doesn’t appear to be stage-managed.
While he gets serious props from me for breaking those chains, Kennedy is unashamedly appealing to the populism, he appears to detest.
For many, Kennedy will be a more palatable version of Donald Trump.
In many respects, Kennedy is MAGA-lite, minus the “mean tweets.”
If declaring independence reduces his chances in 2024, it’s Kennedy’s appeal to the MAGA middle ground that might just get him across the line.