It Takes Honest People to Have Honest Disagreements
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has my attention. He is a 2024 Independent candidate for President of the United States, and I’ve been listening to what he has to say. If we are serious about getting our country back on the right track, we are going to need disruptive leadership. Kennedy checks that box.
Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I cannot imagine a scenario in which I will cast my vote for Kennedy. He comes from a largely liberal ideology, and mine is a conservative view of the role of government. But I am glad he’s running because I am convinced he is something that is a rarity in politics today. He is an honest man who will not lie or prostitute himself to push his agenda.
Kennedy is a member of one of our nation’s storied Democratic dynasties. He wanted to run as a Democrat, but his party made it impossible. Their strategy is to ignore him as a candidate and try to destroy him as a person. Biden made it clear he would not debate Kennedy (or anyone else). Democrats, with the assistance of the dishonest, liberal media, have tried to smear him at every opportunity. One narrative they love to pound is that he is an “anti-vaxer.” Anyone who has heard him speak about vaccines knows he is clear: he wants good science and freedom of choice. Kennedy shuns personal attacks on his opponents in favor of spirited debate of the issues.
Kennedy has changed his election strategy. He left the Democratic party and is running as an Independent. He recently discussed the challenges of independence. Getting on the ballot in many states is a straightforward process of gathering a prescribed number of voter signatures. In a smaller number, it has been made deliberately daunting for any candidate not sponsored by the major parties. In some there is a prohibitive charge per signature. In some there is a requirement to declare a running mate. In others, signatures must be notarized. Despite the obstacles, Kennedy expresses absolute certainty that he will be on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington DC. He has a volunteer army of 250,000 and expects to spend $15 million to get it done.
Interest in Kennedy for President is growing. He is consistently polling at greater than 20% in surveys across the country. In the Marquette University Law School poll, which was just released in November and surveyed a small national sample, 37% said they would definitely or probably vote for Kennedy. Young people are particularly enthusiastic about Kennedy. As he picks up momentum, we can expect both parties to get serious about trying to destroy him with lies and vitriol. I don’t think he’s going away. I hope he doesn’t.
Listening to Kennedy has convinced me that he is motivated by his disgust for what the parties and government in Washington have become, and his authentic desire to see government work for the good of the people. Much of what he has to say I am in complete agreement with. He calls out the massive military machine and the rampant corruption in Washington. He wants to secure the border, have trade agreements that support American workers, and bring drug costs in line with other countries. He has ideas about how to make life more affordable without creating dependence on the government. He is a champion of free speech and civil liberties.
There are many other positions he holds that I would like to learn much more about and more still that I flat out disagree with. Fundamental to a healthy democracy is the vigorous debate of ideas. Honest, respectful disagreement often generates new ways of thinking. It takes honest people to have honest disagreements. I believe Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an honest man.