Liberals Panic as RFK Jr Goes Independent, but Should They?

A Kennedy independent candidacy could ultimately be a gift to the Democratic Party, although few will admit it or even realize it.
Liberals Panic as RFK Jr Goes Independent, but Should They?
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to supporters at the opening of his New Jersey office in Elizabeth on Sept. 28, 2023. (Jeff Louderback/The Epoch Times)
Roger L. Simon

News that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has apparently turned away from the Democratic Party and will announce his presidential campaign as an independent on Oct. 9 in Philadelphia is sending liberals and progressives up the wall.

But whether it should isn't entirely clear.

If you search RFK Jr. on Google—arguably the world’s most potent source of mass formation psychosis—the top link at this writing is to an article by leftist media outlet Mediaite that describes Mr. Kennedy as “a notorious anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist” and then goes on to quote a survey of New Hampshire Democrats calling Mr. Kennedy “crazy,” “dangerous,” and “insane,” among other epithets.
I spent the better part of a day with the man, interviewing him for our Presidential Roller Coaster series, and didn’t notice any of this. He seemed perfectly sane to me and quite intelligent with a solid grasp of the issues. He has led the way on health care.

I disagreed with him on some issues—notably global warming—but in no sense did he appear to be an ideologue.

Next up on the Google Search list was an article by Vanity Fair, which trumpets “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Apparently Unconcerned About the Prospect of Helping Reelect Trump, Plans to Run as Independent: Report.”

If Vanity Fair had some humanity to leaven their obsessive trendiness, their headline might have read “Joe Biden Twice Denies Civil Service Protection to RFK Jr. Whose Uncle and Father Were Assassinated.”

But does an independent Kennedy candidacy actually guarantee a Trump presidency? At first glance, I thought so, but Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse thinks otherwise.

“So, who will vote for RFK Jr?” he writes, continuing:

“#1) Ron DeSantis supporters. When RdS drops out, his coalition of support, the Never Trump Republicans, will flow to RFK Jr.

"#2) Approximately one-third of unregistered, unaffiliated or what we would call 'independent' voters. About a third of them.

“Independents will fracture into three subsets. Approximately 1/3 supporting Gavin Newsom. Approximately 1/3 supporting Donald Trump. Approximately 1/3 supporting Robert Kennedy Jr.”

He concludes, “RFK Jr. running as an independent will tilt the election to Gavin Newsom.”

I wouldn’t go that far. First of all, because I suspect, as I have written, that Michelle Obama will end up being the Biden replacement, not Mr. Newsom, and secondly, I believe that the number in the Democratic Party favoring Mr. Kennedy (15 percent in current polling) could still end up helping President Trump more than whoever is nominated by the Democrats.

But there's another aspect of a Kennedy independent candidacy that could be even more beneficial to the country in the long run.

In fact, it could ultimately be a gift to the Democratic Party, although few will admit it or even realize it.

Mr. Kennedy apparently intends to attack the policies of the Democratic National Committee that, with their superdelegates manipulating results from the back room and their proclivity for moving primaries and caucuses at will for preferred candidates, could at best be called preemptory but more accurately autocratic.

Despite the mainstream media’s denigrating and ignoring it, an attack from an articulate member of the Kennedy family that will be going on for a year could shake the party to its foundations and, upon a serious loss, return it to something closer to reality, to the party many of us can remember, not the society of “woke” conformists that it has become.

I write this as someone who decades ago, in the last century, voted Democratic. It isn't that I want to go back and do it again, but I would like to see our country with a relatively healthy two-party system, acknowledging that today’s Republicans also have their issues.

Perhaps there's a coconscious/unconscious element of shame that they voted for, and actually installed, the incoherent President Biden, but whatever the case, the results are what they are.

Almost overnight, in historical terms, we've become a nation spinning out of control, no longer seriously the leader of what we used to call the Free World, most people struggling paycheck to paycheck, at best, while the rich drive to their mansions in the latest electric car.

That's the wall that Mr. Kennedy came up against in his campaign. Nothing can be questioned in the Democratic playbook, whatever it is and however you describe it.

Bidenomics, they say, is great, brilliant, as the economy continues in free fall, the homeless lining our streets. But no one seems to know what Bidenomics is because it doesn’t really exist. It’s a made-up term.

Open border? What open border, says presidential spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, as if we were a nation of the deaf, dumb, and blind.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kennedy visited the southern border for a personal look and called it, as would most honest people, a “dystopian nightmare.”

Mr. Kennedy is also an adamant supporter of the freedom of speech upon which this country was built. Many Democrats have deserted it, preferring a form of techno-fascism from a guardian class that “knows best.” We saw much of how this works when the insides of Twitter were opened up by Elon Musk.

The Democrats when I was growing up were the great supporters of free speech. No longer.

The video with testimony from Mr. Kennedy to a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Censorship is well worth watching now that he's on the brink of a real presidential candidacy. The Democrats on the committee couldn’t stand him or what he had to say.

He understands the importance of freedom, and maybe that’s why the chances of him winning the nomination of today’s Democratic Party were nil. They wouldn’t permit it.

So I applaud his candidacy, even though I'm a supporter of President Trump and will vote for the 45th president.

Despite what the estimable Sundance said, I will take the risk that Mr. Kennedy will draw more votes from the Democrats than from President Trump.

These days, we need as many good voices for freedom as we can get.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. As a nonpartisan public charity, The Epoch Times does not endorse these statements and takes no position on political candidates.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, columnist for The Epoch Times. His latest book “American Refugees” will be published by Encounter Jan. 9, 2024 and is available for pre-order now. “Roger Simon is among the many refugees fleeing blue state neoliberalism, and he’s written the best account of our generation’s greatest migration.”—Tucker Carlson.