How does this guy still have a platform?
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the left’s most prominent anti-vaxxer — wait, doesn’t the left despise all things anti-vax? — has a new book, a big feature in this month’s Town & Country, and a starring role on op-ed pages agitating parole for his father’s assassin.
I thought there wasn’t much lower RFK Jr. could go than accusing two unknown black teenagers in the 1975 murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley — a crime his cousin Michael Skakel was convicted of, and a conviction he worked to successfully overturn.
Or the smear campaign he waged against his late wife Mary, who died by suicide in their barn, telling the New York Times and other national media that Mary was crazy, it was a miracle he survived, he was the real victim here, then secretly and without permission exhuming Mary’s remains from the family plot in the dead of night, burying her on the other side of a hill, alone.
The only thing RFK Jr. is successful at, it seems, is lowering the bar for atrocious behavior and the deliberate spread of misinformation. Here he is in Town & Country, on whether he would ever take a COVID vaccine:
“ ‘Oh yeah, if it did what people think it’s going to do, which is, you know, if you get a single injection, and it was safe, and it gave you protection from Covid for life, of course I would take it, as I think everybody would.’ But he is skeptical. ‘It’s hard to imagine that they’re going to find — they might! I mean, there’s 140 vaccines out there, and one of them might actually find a magic bullet.’ ”
Is he transmitting from this galaxy?
Even Bobby’s own family members have called him out publicly — something Kennedys almost never do, especially if you are a sexual assaulter or rapist or have left a young woman paralyzed for life or to die alone in a shallow body of water.
Never complain, never explain. That’s the Kennedy way.
Yet Bobby’s anti-vax nonsense, which he has been peddling for years — traveling all over the world even now, in a pandemic, getting paid to spread his anti-vax propaganda! — has been enough.
“RFK Jr. is Our Brother and Uncle,” read a 2019 Politico op-ed by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joe Kennedy II (who left Pamela Kelley paralyzed after flipping a Jeep in 1973), and the late Maeve Kennedy McKean. “He’s Tragically Wrong about Vaccines.”
His niece, Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, in the New York Times, December 2020: “I love my uncle. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong.”
Instagram banned Bobby in February “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” according to a company statement.
Yet someone at Skyhorse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, thought it was a great idea to give him a book deal on this very topic. Must have been the same editor who acquired his book defending Michael Skakel. “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health” will be published this November.
Unlike other works by prominent authors, RFK Jr.’s has yet to be given an advance review by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal or Booklist, as is industry standard. Simon & Schuster isn’t promoting it. His book has one lone blurb on Amazon from someone described as the founder of “the most visited natural health site on the web for the last twenty years.”
What does that tell you?
As for Sirhan Sirhan, his father’s assassin, RFK Jr. subscribes to yet another conspiracy theory: that Sirhan didn’t fire the shot that killed his father, even though the whole world saw it on TV, he was almost immediately arrested, and the parole board is confident in Sirhan’s guilt — guilt Sirhan himself admits to — and utter lack of remorse.
Yet RFK Jr. wrote a letter to the parole board arguing for release, which was granted. To read this gentle profile in T&C, this is all Bobby being Bobby: He’s wacky! He’s a contrarian! He does crazy things like pick up dead roadkill out of compassion for animals and keep rotting carcasses in the family minivan for days or weeks — a minivan he never cleans! What a wild and zany guy.
“It’s so foul, the minivan,” his brother Max says. “A few years ago, oh my God, a seagull had died, and that was in there way too long.”
Conspiracy theories, paranoia, the denial of empirical facts, hoarding dead animals: Does this not sound like mental illness to you? No? How about comparing oneself to Jesus Christ?
Yes, Bobby goes full Kanye here, comparing the criticism he bears to the crucifixion. And just like Jesus, Bobby will do what it takes to be with us always, whether we like it or not.
“I just grew up knowing that’s what you do. That’s what Jesus did,” he says. “That was the message of Jesus falling three times on his way to Calvary: It wasn’t that he fell, it was that he kept getting back up again.”
Should these points fail to convince publishers, parole boards and anyone in power from giving this guy a platform, may I submit: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a speech to protesters in Berlin last August, compared Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccines and the CDC to Nazi Germany.
Finally, the T&C writer challenges him: Why would he make such a vile comparison?
Oh no, Bobby said. Everyone else got that wrong — even though the speech was filmed, even though Herman Göring was invoked, and Bobby said Bill Gates invented something called Alexis that is spying on us.
“That’s the problem,” Bobby said. “I use language really precisely, and I can’t help how people interpret it.”
At least that message is on-brand for Kennedys: No matter how much trouble they cause, how carelessly they move through the world, imposing what little they think they know, the lack of education jaw-dropping — it’s we who are always the problem.
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Anti-vax, conspiracy theorist RFK Jr. is the dumbest Kennedy – nonenglishfeed