WASHINGTON, D.C. — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic ticket in 2024, and so far he seems to be his most likely rival. In recent polls, RFK Jr.’s support ranges from ten to over 20 points – still ways to go, as the president seems to retain the support of around 60 percent of democratic voters.
Kennedy is “the anti-vaccine activist with a celebrated Democratic lineage who has emerged with unexpected strength in early polls even as he spreads conspiracy theories and consorts with right-wing figures and billionaire donors,” writes The New York Times – indicating that RFK Jr. is hardly the establishment Democrats’ preferred candidate.
The 69-year-old has recently shocked Americans with his impressive physical shape – while having the Left fuming over his decision to speak at conservative organization Moms For Liberty’s annual convention, which starts this Friday in Philadelphia.
OPPOSING AUTHORITARIAN POLICIES
On the issues, RFK Jr. has profiled himself mostly on opposing authoritarian COVID policies such as vaccines and lockdowns, penning a book that is a fierce indictment of Dr. Anthony Fauci and by fronting the charity organization Children’s Health Defense Fund, deeply critical of Big Pharma’s role in our everyday lives. RFK Jr.’s stances against lockdowns and forced vaccinations have been even stronger than DeSantis’.
Virtually no other Democrat on RFK Jr.’s level has been standing up to the COVID regime and the hijacking of “science” by propaganda cutouts. This outspokenness has made RFK Jr. popular with conservatives as well. In fact, Tucker Carlson recently commended RFK Jr. for being “more hated than Donald Trump” by the mainstream media.
DESANTIS AND RFK JR. HAVE ENEMIES IN COMMON
In some key respects, the campaign messages of RFK Jr. and Ron DeSantis are similar – even if the nuances are different. First and foremost, they are both heavily directed against the unaccountable elites in Washington, D.C.
“We are going to remake public institutions to serve the public. We will roll back the secrecy and make government transparent. We will protect whistleblowers and prosecute officials who abuse the public trust … We will restore integrity to government.” These could be messages from the DeSantis campaign – but they’re actually taken from RFK Jr.’s website.
Even when it comes to common enemies, DeSantis and RFK Jr. share quite a few. Most prominent of these – except for the mainstream Democrat machinery – are legacy media outlets, which constantly try to smear and lie about both candidates. Based on this, it should be mentioned that Kennedy’s support may very well be greater than the polls suggest.
“DeSantis and RFK Jr. are the two insurgent candidates,” political commentator Pedro L. Gonzalez recently wrote on Twitter. “DeSantis’ competence threatens the Trump and GOP grift [...] Meanwhile, RFK Jr. threatens many Democratic Party pieties, particularly those demanding blind obedience to institutions whose trust has gone into free fall.”
CLIMATE, GUN CONTROL AND ABORTION
But looking at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s historical positions on some issues, we find some key differences where his Leftist background and conditioning would make any DeSantis supporter run in the opposite direction.
For example, RFK Jr. has been a heavy supporter of the climate change narrative in the past, even indicating that he would like “climate deniers” locked up and punished.
While his uncle John F. Kennedy was a staunch supporter of gun rights and even an NRA member, RFK Jr. – perhaps in order to toe the line with his Democrat contemporaries – has profiled himself as an enemy of the Second Amendment. But now, it actually seems like he’s walking that back:
“’My position on the gun control is I’m not going to take away anybody’s guns,’ Mr Kennedy, 69, said in response to a listener-submitted question about gun control while speaking about his political platform with Elon Musk and venture capitalist David Sacks. ‘I’m a constitutional absolutist. We can argue about whether the Second Amendment was intended to protect guns. That argument has now been settled by the Supreme Court,’” the UK’s Independent recently reported.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two candidates is that RFK Jr. is pro-choice when it comes to the abortion issue, whereas Ron DeSantis has been instrumental in implementing some of the toughest abortion legislation in the nation.