August 24, 2023
In this independent, personal essay about Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., what he stands for, and the incredible smear and exclusion campaign against him, TFF Associate Kristin Christman has included all sources with titles, authors, dates, and links at the end of the article. They make it possible for the reader to understand how she arrives at her conclusions, although the details of each case are not elaborated on in the main text.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is running for US president. He is the son of Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 during his campaign for the US presidency, and he is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated in 1963. For many Americans, Kennedy’s candidacy kindles a glimmer of hope and pride in the United States for the first time in their lifetimes.
The flimsy mainstream media coverage of the Kennedy presidential campaign repeatedly derides Kennedy’s admirers as essentially crazy people with a paranoid, unwarranted distrust in their government, who deny science, and who care only about fringe issues and the Kennedy name. Writers insist—with derision—that it’s only his name that’s attracting followers. (1)
As a Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. fan, I resent such coverage, and I assure you that such a description of Kennedy’s supporters is a false, misleading portrayal of us—deliberately crafted on some level. By omitting the real reasons we’re attracted to him, by ignoring the significant issues he addresses, by silencing the intelligence behind our thought, and by mocking our ideas and values without trying to first comprehend them, such media reports unfairly treat us as an inferior class of citizens and unjustly discredit Kennedy in the process. And for the record, Kennedy’s name could be Smith, Diaz, or Old MacDonald, and we’d vote for him. He could have no last name at all, and we’d vote for him.
Like many Americans, my own views are a genuine blend of what’s commonly called “left” and “right.” When I began learning about Kennedy, I was elated to read of his decades of experience as an environmental lawyer successfully standing up for the environment, for clean water and land, for the multitude of non-human species of life, and for the minorities, indigenous tribes, and poor against the callous, inhumane use of corporate power: a true hero! He’s successfully forced Monsanto and DuPont to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages for permanently poisoning individuals and entire communities with their chemicals. (2) For his work with Riverkeeper New York in restoring the Hudson River, TIME magazine named him one of the Heroes for the Planet. (3)
On top of that, I felt a wave of relief to read of his opposition to the Covid mandates, mandates that I, too, had protested against as harmful to mental and physical health. (4) To me, a health-conscious person, the mandates were indicative of policymakers’ illogic, their ignorance of available data on the miniscule risks to nearly all age categories, their disregard for the holistic range of factors contributing to health, and their dangerous contempt for individuals’ personal abilities to make optimal decisions for their unique circumstances. Not only that, the mandates demonstrated a shocking dismissal of democratic principles, an oppressive close-mindedness towards intelligent dialogue, and an eerie predilection for coercion without a convincingly salubrious purpose.
But my astonishment with Kennedy wasn’t over. Knowing Dennis Kucinich was his campaign manager, I knew this campaign was trustworthy and that Kennedy’s foreign policy views were going to be exceedingly more enlightened than previous presidents. I’d known Dennis since shortly after 9/11 when I read his proposed legislation for a US Department of Peace, and I knew from conversations with Dennis, from the messages and meaning of his passionate, courageous work as US Congressman, and from reading two of his books, Courage to Survive and The Division of Light and Power, that Dennis is an extraordinarily wonderful person, the real McCoy when it comes to truth, intelligence, peace, and compassion. And a rarity in the US government.
Intrigued, I began watching Kennedy’s interviews online, including the program with Freddie Sayers on UnHerd. (5) It felt like my jaw was dropping in astonishment as I heard a US presidential candidate speak with such intelligence, such insightful command of the topics, and such kindness, integrity, modesty, and candor. Aside from Dennis’ own presidential campaigns, never had I heard from any US presidential candidate such genuine, profound intelligence and such a capacity for non-selfish, non-violent conflict resolution.
Here is that Unherd interview; the article continues underneath.
When I listened to Kennedy’s opposition to US foreign policy in Ukraine, it felt like a dream come true. As he talked about the fictional good guy vs. bad guy comic-book type narrative dominating US foreign policy, the US government’s provocations of Russia in this allegedly “unprovoked” war, and the need to get into the adversary’s shoes, it felt like he’d read my own thoughts and writings! Imagine! A US president with the psychological maturity to value the need to understand adversaries’ perspectives and to care about their suffering! (6) A US president who, instead of caving in to immature peer pressure to act tough and dominant, recognizes that understanding and caring are powerful steps towards justice and peace!
For centuries, Ignorance, Illogic, and Deception have tightly held the reins of US government policy. We’ve seen them gripping those reins in the “rationale” for the Persian Gulf War, the continued destruction of the environment, the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the coercive, non-sensical response to Covid, and the aggressive, weapon-worshipping policies towards Ukraine and Russia (7). Destructive US government policies have continuously been upheld by provable lies and illogic. Today, drunk on their unchecked recklessness, determined to trample anyone blocking their path, Ignorance, Illogic, and Deception frenetically clutch the reins as this deadly trio makes a mad dash to steer our nation and planet straight for the cliff.
In contrast to that suffocating, maddening atmosphere that makes many an American wonder why the human brain even bothers to exist, Kennedy is like a welcome shipment of oxygen to a capsized submarine. Look at the comments of those who watch his interviews and you’ll see the same amazed and gratified admiration for him that I have. You’ll read of people who’ve cried with relief upon hearing his words, people stunned to finally hear intelligence coming from a presidential candidate, and people who feel, for the first time in their lives, that they could be proud to be Americans. (8)
Kennedy’s educational record is top-notch: having graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in American history and literature, Kennedy studied at the London School of Economics, earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School, and earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law from Pace University Law School where he later became a professor of environmental law. (9) But an even truer guide to anyone’s intelligence is not their standardized degrees, test scores, salaries, or titles but how they speak, how they write, what values they convey and uphold, how their logic holds up, what skills they demonstrate, what actions they take, and how they interact with all others on this planet and with life itself.
To be frank, I’m rarely impressed with anybody. I appreciate and really care about people, but I’m not impressed by them. But I am impressed with Kennedy. His intelligence is the type that I rarely see: it’s comprehensive—he makes himself aware of the variety of factors involved in any situation, it’s precise—he easily demonstrates careful command of the nuances of an argument, and it’s compassionate—while he seeks to reform US government and its ties with corporate greed, while he won’t back down in the face of dishonesty and injustice, he’s not going out there with club in hand to clobber bad guys, whether foreign or domestic. Much as his own father focused on the good within his son, Kennedy aims to connect with the good in people and to help people connect with one another through better understanding and shared higher ground.
In fact, this compassion and inclusiveness of others is one of Kennedy’s principle features. In a society allegedly proud of its diversity yet quick to condemn and eager to ostracize, Kennedy will converse with those with whom he disagrees and with those who stand alienated on the fringes of society and the political spectrum. He’s not compromising his values. He’s living them. Caring and appreciating those who are different in many ways from himself is a unique quality that extends to his close connection with animals and birds, that inspires his passion as a licensed bird rehabilitator, (10) and that drew him nearly 20 years ago to write a children’s book about a man who took special care of the wilderness, animals, and the poor: Saint Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy. (11)
What I’m struck by in all Kennedy’s interviews and writings is that his approach is grounded in an honest love and curiosity for exploring ideas and discovering the truth, not a love for manipulating others with dogma or for using intelligence to act superior. Read his writings, such as his astonishing book, The Real Anthony Fauci, and you’ll see for yourself that, with the outlook of a true scientist, Kennedy’s commitment to empirical evidence, facts, logic, and the open-minded consideration of all evidence makes him stand out from the rest. No wonder his articles have won awards. (12)
And Kennedy has the modesty and intellectual rigor to recognize that it’s crucial to always keep learning and to stay open-minded to more information: “If I’m wrong in any of the facts I told you, you and other people should challenge me. Because I feel that my job is to search for empirical truths, and then to be honest with people about it.” (13) Such an attitude is desperately needed in our leadership.
On the Kennedy campaign website, (14) Kennedy sets forth six principal priorities, which I’ll summarize here.
(1) Honest Government: For the People. Kennedy identifies the domination of US government by corporations and greed as a debilitating source of corruption, waste, and incompetence within numerous government agencies, rendering them not only ineffective but harmful.
Currently, US pharmaceutical industries control the health agencies, US fossil fuel and pesticide industries control the environmental and land agencies, and US weapon industries enormously influence think tanks, policy makers, and foreign policy itself. Moreover, banks, agricultural corporations, and high-tech corporations have captured the agencies intended to regulate them. Kennedy’s plan is to bring a halt to such corruption, not merely by removing corrupt individuals from power, but by changing the systems so that the numerous decent people in these agencies are not pressured to uphold corruption or seek self-centered gain but instead are motivated to fulfill their agency missions and serve higher, democratic goals. By breaking the ties that submerge the missions of government agencies to the missions of corporations and to goals of greed and conquest, Kennedy will help bring democracy back to the United States, with government for the people.
(2) Peace: Bring It Home. Kennedy’s foreign policy approach emphasizes the critical importance to world peace of having direct dialogue with foreign leaders, whether ally or adversary, stepping into adversaries’ shoes to understand their perspectives, and finding common ground across divisions. Kennedy describes several ways in which the US government has severely provoked Russia, and he finds it crucial to discontinue these provocations in order to halt the war, to end the suffering of Ukrainians and Russians, and to set a trustworthy foundation for developing friendship with Putin and Russians.
Kennedy’s current focus is on the dangerous crisis in Ukraine, but his fundamental approach of acquiring 360 degrees of truth about conflict—rather than information from only one side—and practicing 360 degrees of empathy for all sides should enable him to compassionately and intelligently learn about and respond to many conflicts worldwide as he further develops his policies. We are already seeing again this signature approach in his recent trip to Yuma, Arizona, where he met with immigrants, border patrols, and social workers to better understand firsthand the human suffering on the US-Mexico border. (15)
As US president, Kennedy intends to lead a nation that is exemplary—not by imposing itself on others—but by setting an example of moral, legal behavior and positive human relations. (16) He will begin the process of unwinding the undemocratic, costly American Empire and “will end the proxy wars, bombing campaigns, covert operations, coups, paramilitaries, and everything else that has become so normal most people don’t know it’s happening.” (17)
Kennedy accurately condemns the numerous CIA coups instigated abroad—at least 72 either attempted or successful in about one-third of the world’s nations—as undemocratic and illegal. (18)
He also expresses warnings with much documentation regarding collaboration of the US pharmaceutical industry, US-funded medical universities, and US health, state, defense, and intelligence agencies in creating bioweapons, outsourcing bioweapon research abroad, including Ukraine and China, and using coerced mass vaccination as one more tool in their reckless, insane foreign policy game. (19)
(3) Environment: Clean It Up. As a greatly admired environmental lawyer who’s devoted decades of his life to defending the environment from the heartlessness and greed of corporations, cleaning toxins from the environment, and defending the lives and health of the poor and minorities typically harmed by environmental degradation, Kennedy is passionate about continuing this mission. His focus is not specifically on “climate change” but rather the much more encompassing principle of cleaning and protecting all aspects of the environment, a goal which will, in turn, protect climate.
As US president, Kennedy will seek far greater protection of water, air, and land, the variety of ecosystems, and all species of life from toxins, radiation, mining, logging, oil drilling, excavation, and construction. In addition, Kennedy’s plans include cutting government subsidies to fossil fuel and other polluting industries that distort the market to favor polluters, shifting subsidies to promote regenerative agricultural practices, enacting environmental standards for products and services, and using taxation to compel industries to pay for the damage they cause to the environment. By tailoring the economy in these ways, he hopes to make the profit motive serve rather than harm the environment. (20)
(4) Revitalization: Turn It Around. Kennedy condemns the enormous inequality within the nation, with a huge aggregation of wealth on top, a gutted-out middle class, and widespread poverty below. He insightfully describes the US reality: “there’s a cushy socialism for the rich and this kind of brutal, merciless capitalism for the poor.” Tax dollars are used to generously subsidize wealthy corporations in their activities of questionable benefit while giant tax cuts are made in food for the poor. (21)
Kennedy will seek to restore economic justice in several ways including halting the kleptocratic use of public taxpayer dollars by the wealthy, stopping the needless wars that devastate the planet and waste trillions of dollars, rebuilding the infrastructure, enacting policies that favor small and medium businesses, supporting labor in obtaining its fair share of the wealth, and protecting homeowners, debtors, and small business owners when banks fail.
Revitalization refers also to our own vitality, and Kennedy emphasizes the importance of significantly reforming the healthcare system, particularly in an effort to research, treat, and prevent chronic disease and poor mental health. He prioritizes creating a system that does not serve the pharmaceutical industry’s financial needs but that instead provides Americans with access to effective healthcare, including alternative, affordable, holistic approaches to good health.
(5) Civil Liberties: Restore Our Rights. As US president, Kennedy will protect all freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, including freedom of speech, rights to assembly, trial by jury, and freedom of worship—all of which were unconstitutionally suspended during the Covid pandemic. Kennedy’s goal is to dismantle the censorship-industrial complex, so that tech companies cease collaborating with government to take information offline arbitrarily branded as “misinformation.”
Kennedy is currently pursuing a case against the Trusted News Initiative, an industry partnership including the Washington Post, BBC, Reuters, and Associated Press that deliberately censored legitimate information during the Covid pandemic, including the significant facts that the Covid vaccines neither prevent a vaccinated person from becoming infected with the Covid virus nor prevent a vaccinated person from spreading Covid to others. (22)
Kennedy also has written extensively about two decades of simulated “germ games” conducted by the pharmaceutical industry, US-funded medical universities, and US health, defense, state, and intelligence agencies. These exercises have had the peculiar preoccupation, not with improving and protecting health from the imagined infectious agent by using common sense, holistic, or even effective methods, but rather with imposing control over the population and mandating vaccinations. His research helps explain the background to the absurdly coercive, insalubrious governmental response to Covid. (23)
In addition, to the relief of many who find current legal systems lacking in both compassion and intelligence, Kennedy will end the War on Drugs, grant amnesty to nonviolent drug offenders, legalize marijuana and, for therapeutic purposes, psychedelics, (24) shut the school-to-prison pipeline, transition prisons to become centers for rehabilitation rather than punishment, and transform the police to develop their cooperative mediation and de-escalation skills. It will be a welcome change from force-and-control-oriented police who far too readily jump to their SWAT teams, semi-automatics, and tasers or boss you around with their bureaucratic rules that only make things worse.
(6) Reconciliation: Heal the Divide. While differences in biology, character, and opinion are natural and healthful to society and will always exist, Kennedy’s aim is to remove the hatred, tension, misunderstanding, and alienation from these divisions, including racial divisions, so that people on both sides of any division can live together with kindness, engage comfortably in dialogue to improve understanding and mutual respect, and work together towards achieving common priorities and protecting underlying shared values.
Each side of any conflict is always filled with its own conflicts, some more hateful than the major, publicized front of conflict. The conflicts within ethnic, religious, and political groups can be more hateful and violent than the conflicts between ethnic, religious, and political groups. The key is to learn to approach each front of conflict with which we find ourselves in a positive spirit of strength, powerful caring, and powerful efforts to understand the other side.
In my opinion, Kennedy’s positions on these six topics read like an incredible list of wishes-come-true that I never imagined any US presidential candidate would ever propose. All along the way, Kennedy insightfully points to the heart of problems, compassionately aims to solve them, and invites us to help in a spirit of cooperation, understanding, and kindness toward all.
But what happens when you read about Kennedy in the news, such as the New York Times, New York Post, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone?
Instead of uncovering joy and enthusiasm for this amazingly intelligent, compassionate, and genuine presidential candidate, you’re met head-on with a ruthless, unscrupulous program of character assassination—the same type of mendacious program based on manufactured twists and lies that the CIA has used to lay the groundwork for coups and election failures abroad.
Everything is turned upside down. Coming at him from both left and right, the jabs of lies, distorted facts, and half-truths shamelessly endeavour to obfuscate the truth. In fact—why, there they are again—the familiar faces of Ignorance, Illogic, and Deception grinning broadly as they grasp the reins and crack the whip.
Kennedy’s urgently needed strategy of a non-violent, cooperative approach to foreign policy—an approach that could save the world from nuclear Armageddon—either is ignored completely as irrelevant or is falsely dismissed as fake and unworthy of our trust. His 40-year-plus commitment to the environment is likewise either played down as insignificant—even as we’re choking on hazardous Canadian wildfire smoke, or portrayed as fake. (25) His economic ideas are illogically misunderstood and then dismissed as illogical. (26)
His passionate dedication to democracy, civil liberties, freedom of speech, and dialogue is—unbelievably—depicted as dangerous to democracy. His concerns for children’s health are sloppily comprehended and then cruelly twisted as a danger to children’s health. His opposition to unproven, scientifically unsupported dogma uttered by health authorities is dogmatically condemned as insolent and dangerous to the building of public trust in health authorities. His entire personality of passion for rigorous science, fact-based policies, and empirical evidence is upended and characterized as “anti-science.” (27)
His valid warnings of a creeping totalitarianism—that many of us also remarked upon during the Covid-mandate period—are twisted completely out of socket and irrationally portrayed as an insensitive insult to Anne Frank and Holocaust victims. (28) His informal mention of a scientific paper showing the genetic vulnerability of certain ethnic populations to Covid is responded to with gasps and illogical accusations of racism. His warning about ethnically-targeted bioweapons—a valid fear to anyone familiar with the highly influential neoconservative Project for the New American Century’s 2000 document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” (30) is mocked as fantasy and then conveniently lost in the distracting flurry to condemn and insult him for making racist comments that he never made. (31)
His life-saving goals of leading the world away from the dangers of war and environmental disaster are ludicrously eclipsed by those who suggest that his desires for safer vaccines are the real danger to us all. His authentic hope of alleviating polarizing divisions within the nation is met by polarized responses of suspicious media makers who find it scandalous that he’s been observed talking with people from various points of view. (32)
Kennedy’s entire campaign is characterized as a torrent of false conspiracy theories even though it is those who falsely theorize endlessly about him and the “ulterior motives” of his campaign who are themselves driven by baseless assumptions, theories liberated-from-fact, and ridiculous examples of “proof” in their witch-hunt to bring him down. (33) This malicious, untruthful campaign against Kennedy is nothing less than a crime on many counts, a mocking slap in the face to democratic elections, a violation of morality, and the trampling of truth.
With vicious jeering worthy of a middle-school clique, the anti-Kennedy authors fail to learn who Kennedy is, what he’s really said, and how he really thinks. Rather than investigate the truth behind anything he says, they instead trumpet their false news of Kennedy’s supposedly endless errors and fabrications. They tear him down as irresponsible with his information and as dangerous to democracy, without even seeing their own irresponsibility to truth and their own danger to democracy in distorting his words, misrepresenting his ideas, omitting the critically important themes of his campaign, and launching their own false theories against him.
What these critics have brewed is not an atmosphere conducive to the intelligent dialogue and disagreement necessary within a democracy but rather a self-righteous, bullying, and hostile atmosphere of thought police. It’s bad enough if we have thought police who jump on you for what you say. But it’s worse than that. In Kennedy’s case, as with others who’ve been targeted for character assassination, these word police tackle you for saying words that they then scramble up and string together in a very different way with several additional words thrown in and several other words taken out to signify something else entirely, and it is this “something else entirely” that they then condemn as outrageous and absurd.
Such an atmosphere spawns hatred, paranoia, ignorance, and obedient homogeneity of thought. It’s an atmosphere that encourages people to don blinders to the evil of their own hatred and falsehood as they self-righteously hate and destroy certain targets invalidly deemed morally acceptable to hate, libel, and verbally assault.
This is not democracy. This is not science. This is not morality. This is the despicable, self-righteous, jeering atmosphere associated with flinging Galileo into the dungeon and throwing Jesus onto a cross. It is the very climate needed to breed totalitarianism and ignorance and to perpetrate hideous crimes against morality.
It’s crushing to see that the same attempts the US government has used to destroy people’s hopes in leadership abroad are now being employed to try to prevent Americans from electing one of the finest, rarest US presidential candidates we’ve ever seen. For, in fact, the CIA and its cohorts have performed this very type of campaign against numerous reform-minded leaders abroad whose reforms did not suit the financial and military goals of certain US business and social circles. Through multiple coups, election interference, campaign propaganda, and character assassination programs, the CIA and reportedly the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have pulverized the dreams of people abroad—often followed by decades of brutality imposed by the US-installed leaders. (34)
The most recent, ongoing character assassination program against a foreign leader is the US campaign against Russia’s President Putin. For the past year, I’ve reported on the recklessly false, libelous statements made against him—provably false statements that were entirely irresponsible not only in their falseness but in their aggravation of anti-Russian hatred, their offering false justification for US hostility against Russia, and their fueling a greatly widened war in Ukraine. (35)
And now the character assassination is targeted against a US presidential candidate. Those who initiate these programs feel no more obligation to be truthful to the American people about their own potential leaders than they did to the populations of Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Chile, Indonesia, and dozens of other nations. That’s why William Blum entitled his book about CIA election interference and coups abroad Killing Hope.
It’s not to say that Kennedy is above all criticism or is currently omniscient about the right move to make on every issue, but he’s definitely an A+ candidate with an A+ philosophy, and any weaknesses are overwhelmingly eclipsed by both his tremendous strengths that are absent in any other candidate and by his great willingness to listen, to engage in dialogue, and to learn from others. So why push him down in favor of candidates who are far beneath him in intelligence and integrity? Why misinterpret him so crassly? Why deride him so venomously rather than engage in dialogue with him?
As with any character assassination program, those involved in the current character assassination program against Kennedy likely fall into different categories according to their motivations and mentalities. Some are deliberately and methodically striving to deceive American voters by misrepresenting Kennedy’s statements and strategically planting these mocking and misleading statements in various media outlets. This has been a signature pattern of CIA behavior abroad for decades.
For example, given that the supposedly impartial Democratic National Committee when chaired by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was revealed in WikiLeaks’ released e-mails to be scheming on how to help Democrat Hillary Clinton beat Democrat Bernie Sanders in the primary—even with one DNC member suggesting appealing to anti-atheist prejudice, and given that the DNC even formed an agreement with Clinton in 2015 to give her much ownership over DNC strategy and staffing in exchange for her funds, it’s not surprising that the current DNC chair and the former DNC chair, Wasserman-Schultz, utter the most ridiculous interpretations of Kennedy’s words followed by degrading condemnation of Kennedy. (37) After all, they’re likely concocting these libelous statements against him because they want him to lose to Biden in the primary. Either that or they’ve got deplorably weak skills of logic and comprehension and honestly cannot fathom Kennedy’s statements.
Others may desperately be trying to keep people from listening to him, not only because they want another person to win the election, but because their power and wealth are threatened by his policies and the truths he reveals. Why else turn his comments on the undemocratic nature of Covid mandates into a scandal over his alleged insensitivity to Holocaust victims? Why else turn his warnings about bioweapons and his discussion of a scientific paper about ethnic vulnerabilities to Covid into a scandal over his alleged racism? Why the massive attempt to distract the public from the meaning of Kennedy’s statements?
Why are we not allowed to draw parallels and discuss similarities and differences between authoritarianism in the US and authoritarianism under Hitler? Isn’t this an instructive way to beware of falling into the same trap as the German people did? I also wrote about certain parallels—particularly between the docile, submissive nature of the current US press (which censored my letters) and the German press under Hitler which never questioned or investigated his claims.
Others involved in the character assassination are genuinely ignorant and not well-read on the subject of Kennedy beyond the propaganda. Having received only skewed information pre-filtered through others’ minds, they’re easily influenced by groupthink and easily deceived by those manipulating the marionette strings. Some may relish ganging up against a socially-accepted target of hatred and ridicule as a vent for their own negativity, so that they can hate and feel moral about their hatred. Others find comfort in being part of a group that feels superior and united by putting someone else down. These are all dynamics we’ve seen before—again, in middle school—and from which many have likely never healed.
Many journalists and news hosts may feel pressured to produce a certain quantity of articles and news shows, no matter how inaccurate, rather than a certain quality of truthfulness in their products based on research and investigation. We learned it in school: churn out those assignments on time! And then there are those who may possess weak skills in reading and listening comprehension, causing them to latch onto certain words they hear without catching onto the meaning, and adding a certain biased insinuation that the words never originally carried. They might hear Kennedy utter trigger words such as “Ashkenazi Jews” and then assume they know the rest of his sentence or the gist of his point, when they don’t; they’ve actually leaped out into left field.
Another possibility is that many may possess patterns of thinking that form what Gordon Allport describes in his classic The Nature of Prejudice as the “Prejudiced Personality.” While this personality typically underlies prejudiced attitudes such as racism or sexism, the Prejudiced Personality is more profound than that: it’s an entire cognitive pattern of thinking that includes tendencies towards black-and-white thinking, needs for over-simplified definiteness, discomfort with ambiguity, and, at times, projection of blame onto others for faults within oneself. (38)
With these cognitive habits, people can be prejudiced, not only against certain ethnic groups or species of life, but against ideas and statements: in all cases, they’re judging people, animals, or ideas without first adequately understanding. Such cognitive habits certainly explain the anti-Putin propaganda that perpetuates belief in an endless good vs. evil drama by falsely twisting every one of Putin’s statements into something evil and that projects onto Putin desires for empire of which the US government with its 800 military bases worldwide is itself guilty.
These cognitive habits could also explain why policy and media makers or even Kennedy family members may jump to wildly misinterpret and condemn Kennedy. If their brains are channeled in certain ways, such as immediately simplifying and sorting ideas into judgments of good vs. bad, words spoken by Kennedy will slide down those same channels, getting simplified and contorted to fit those brains. It’s possible these critics honestly don’t see how they’re misinterpreting Kennedy’s words. Their minds are gripped by cognitive prejudice.
These cognitive patterns that hastily and erroneously judge others’ statements could explain the otherwise baffling degree to which so many media and policy makers considered Kennedy’s comments on Anne Frank to be insulting to Holocaust victims or his comments on Covid and ethnic groups to be anti-Semitic and Sinophobic. Ironically, it’s the critics’ own cognitive prejudice that causes them to misperceive Kennedy as prejudiced and to condemn him in the harshest ways! To those of us, including Kennedy, with very different channels in our brains, his statements were clearly and most definitely not prejudiced or insulting.
To me, Kennedy’s impartial, scientific, non-insinuating approach to discussion is a familiar and interesting form of discussion and thought. Hearing him felt like home growing up around the supper table, or, especially, homeschooling my sons during mealtimes. We’d talk about different theories, impartially explore ideas with curiosity, notice leaps in logic in authors’ statements, evaluate evidence, and make parallels across different topics and time periods. We weren’t insinuating anything or jumping to false conclusions about what each other had said. Words were used precisely. Why insinuate if you can say it straight out? But to those not used to this precise and speculative way of talking, to those used to conversations and dynamics that bring others down, or to those with the cognitive habits of the Prejudiced Personality, Kennedy’s innocent content might become skewed to reflect their own brains’ pathways as they mistakenly attribute ideas to him that he neither stated nor intended.
It’s a relief to see that many Americans don’t buy the media’s smear attacks. When I talk to people locally about the media’s poor coverage of Kennedy, they reassure me with a wave of their hand that dismisses the trustworthiness of the media and remark, “The media lies about everything.” In the comments below the recent New York Post YouTube video intended to degrade Kennedy as racist with a baseless twist of his words, the majority of commenters listened to the video for themselves, saw right through the New York Post’s smear attack, and expressed even greater support for Kennedy and condemnation of the Post’s misleading interpretation of his words. (39) These Americans were quite unlike the 100 US Representatives who, ignoring former DNC chair Wasserman-Schultz’s own tarnished credibility and ignoring several leaps in her logic and “proof,” signed her libelous letter smearing Kennedy for having “repeatedly spread vile, dangerous anti-Semitic and anti-Asian theories that tarnish his credibility.” Many of these 100 may possess the Prejudiced Personality which pre-judged Kennedy’s words as prejudiced.
Despite the hardy breed of independent American thinkers unswayed by policy and media makers’ illogic, the untruthful character assassination campaign against Kennedy is likely deceiving many and damaging the very significance of democratic elections. And while we can be patient with errors, ignorance, illogic, and biased cognitive patterns amongst our fellow human beings, those with positions in the media or in government must be held to much higher standards: too much depends upon the words that they state. If we’re going to have an extraordinarily intelligent US presidential candidate, we’d better have extraordinarily intelligent journalists without cognitive biases who can accurately report on his words and ideas. Otherwise, it’s like having a crow trying to convey the song of a canary.
Kennedy’s got what none of the other candidates have—and I’m not talking about his last name: it’s his intelligence, integrity, positions, policies, candor, and caring; it’s his commitment to bringing peace by stepping into others’ shoes, his passion for caring for the environment and our health, his determination to rid agencies of the corporate talons of greed within them, his genuine care for the poor and middle class, his resolve to promote true democracy, his scientific dedication to truth, and his authentic wish to understand and connect with the goodness in all people. No one else comes close.
As with the CIA coups and character assassination programs abroad, we can logically assume that the forces who have the most to lose from a Kennedy win are the ones who are deliberately attempting to dupe the American public. Such forces include the corrupt government and corporate circles currently dominating US policies who possess mentalities likely driven by greed or gripped by good vs. evil perceptions of international and domestic relations and a belief that peace and health are acquired through intimidation, dominance, and control. Be forewarned, while I have no evidence of this, if their propaganda attempts at character assassination fail, I personally have no doubt that they could rig the election results if they chose, especially given the use of secret ballots and programmable computers. Their belief in domination extends to domination of fellow Americans.
We must encourage and hope that enough decent, democratic people within these corporations and agencies—and there are many such people – can guide their ships away from the illusive happiness offered by greed, wealth, power, and rivalry, away from the false belief that security is gained through hostility and superiority, and instead aim towards the ultimately more fulfilling goals of compassion, caring, honesty, health, environmental integrity, economic justice, equality, and democracy with the reassuring realization that Kennedy truly stands for both reform and reconciliation: a peaceful revolution with an olive branch of compassion for all, inviting us all—without alienation, revenge, or hate—to better ourselves and create a better nation of which we can be proud, a nation whose sense of worth is not based upon rivalry, beating the rest, and maintaining superior wealth, power, and status over foreigners, fellow Americans, and peers, but a nation whose sense of worth is grounded in truth, kindness, caring, freedom, justice, intelligence, peace, and welcoming benevolence towards all.
About the author
Kristin Y. Christman graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College with a BA in Russian, and she holds Master’s degrees in Slavic languages from Brown University and in public administration from SUNY Albany, Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. She has also studied at the University of Leningrad in the former USSR and at the University of Salamanca, Spain.
Kristin has been independently and voluntarily researching US foreign policy and peace since 9/11. Her YouTube channel focuses on US-Russian relations in the Ukraine crisis, the Paradigm for Peace model, and the Weaknesses of the National Security Strategy 2022, with corresponding essays published by Countercurrents.
In 2023, Kristin became an Associate of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF).
This Kennedy article reflects her passionate and voluntary pro bono publico commitment to reporting the truth and furthering the cause of peace, justice, and freedom. You may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes & references
Trip Gabriel, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Makes His White House Run Official,” New York Times, Apr. 19, 2023.
Michelle Goldberg, “The Coalition of the Distrustful,” New York Times, July 2, 2023.
Robert B. Hubbell, “RFK Jr. conspiracies arrive at their ugly conclusion,” July 17, 2023.
Naomi Klein, “Beware: We ignore Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s candidacy at our peril,” The Guardian, June 14, 2023.
Paul Krugman, “The Rich Are Crazier Than You and Me,” New York Times, July 6, 2023.
Ari Paul, “Boosting RFK Jr., Murdoch Pushes 2024 Rightward,” FAIR, Jun. 29, 2023.
Jennifer Agiesta, “CNN Poll: Biden has a lead over Democratic primary challengers, but faces headwinds overall,” CNN, May 25, 2022.
Peter Angelos Law, “Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in First Round-up Lawsuit,” Aug. 10, 2018, on Peter Angelos Law.
“DuPont Is Ordered to Pay $196.2 Million in Dumping Case,” Oct. 18, 2007 – Associated Press report on Kennedy & Madonna.
Megan Hayes, interview, “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on choosing to preserve our assets,” Sound Effect, Aug. 14, 2015.
Kristin Christman, “Oppression Is Bad for Your Health,” Transcend Media Services, May 4, 2020.
UnHerd, Freddie Sayers interview of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Robert Kennedy, Jr.: America needs a revolution,” May 3, 2023.
Kristin Christman, “Paradigm for Peace applied to Russia, Ukraine and the US,” CounterCurrents.
UnHerd, op. cit.
PetPlace Staff, “The Story of How Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Became a Bird Rehabilitator,” Dec. 10, 2014 at PetPlace.
Michael Paulson, “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., takes a lesson from St. Francis,” Chron, Mar. 19, 2005.
Megan Hayes, interview, op. cit.
UnHerd, op. cit.
Kennedy 2024 – “Reclaim Democracy.”
Kennedy 2024 – “Midnight at the Border,” August 3, 2023,
Vatican News, “Robert Kennedy Jr: My father’s story, values, hopes,” Jun. 5, 2018.
Lex Fridman, op. cit.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Real Anthony Fauci, op. cit., 378-445; specifically 389, 404;
Tucker Carlson, Interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Twitter/X, Aug. 14, 2023.
Russia Today RT, “Kennedy comments on US biolabs in Ukraine,” Aug. 15, 2023.
Kennedy 2024, op. cit.;
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the Climate Crisis: What Must Be Done,” Rolling Stone, June 28, 2007.
Joshua Comins, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warns against ‘system of socialism for the rich’ as 2024 campaign launches,” Tucker Carlson Tonight, Apr. 19, 2023.
Santa Clara Law Digital Commons, “United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division,” Children’s Health Defense, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., et al., vs. Washington Post, BBC, AP, and Reuters, Case 2:23-cv-00004-x, filed Jan. 10, 2023, https://digitialcommons.law.scu.edu
Lex Fridman, op. cit.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Real Anthony Fauci, op. cit., 378-445, particularly 382-84, 404-405.
Kyle Jaeger, “RFK, Jr. pledges to legalize marijuana and psychedelics using revenue to fund farms where people recovering from drug addiction can grow organic food,” Marijuana Moment, Jun. 29, 2023.
Naomi Klein, op. cit.
The Majority Report with Sam Seder, “RFK Jr. Has DERANGED Climate Change Solutions,” May 18, 2023 on YouTube here.
Naomi Klein, op. cit.
Trip Gabriel, op. cit;
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy, and Maeve Kennedy McKean, “RFK Jr. Is Our Brother and Uncle. He’s Tragically Wrong about Vaccines,” Politico, May 8, 2019.
Politico, “RFK Jr. apologizes for widely condemned Anne Frank comment,” Jan. 25, 2022, ;
Bess Levin, “RFK Jr. Suggests Anne Frank Led a Charmed Life Compared to What Anti-Vaxxers Are Forced to Go Through,” Vanity Fair, Jan. 2022.
Michelle R. Smith, “RFK Jr. remarks on Anne Frank, vaccines draw condemnation,” AP News, Jan. 25, 2022.
Jon Levine, “RFK Jr. says COVID may have been ‘ethnically targeted’ to spare Jews,” New York Post, July 15, 2023.
Project for the New American Century (PNAC), “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt, Project Co-Chairmen; Thomas Donnelly, Principal Author, (Washington, DC, 2000), 60.
Miles Klee, “RFK Jr. Blames Anti-Depressants for School Shootings,” Rolling Stone, Jun. 5, 2023.
The Majority Report, op.cit.
Ari Paul, op. cit;
Steven Porter, “RFK Jr. faces pressure from NH Democrats to stay away from Free Staters festival,” Boston Globe, Jun. 16, 2023.
Shannon Bond, “RFK Jr. is building a presidential campaign around conspiracy theories,” All Things Considered, July 13, 2023, NPR.
William Blum, Killing Hope, (London: Zed, 2014);
James D. Cockcroft, Latin America: History, Politics, and US Policy, (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1998);
Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, (New York: Summit Brooks, 1983);
Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013);
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes (New York: Doubleday, 2007).
Kristin Christman, “Paradigm for Peace applied,” op. cit.
Dan Roberts, “Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to resign as DNC chair as email scandal rocks Democrats,” The Guardian, Jul. 25, 2016.
Theodore Scheifer and Eugene Scott, “What was in the DNC email leak?” CNN, July 25, 2016.
Scott Detrow, “Clinton Campaign Had Additional Signed Agreement with DNC in 2015,” NPR, Nov. 3, 2017.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on X/Twitter, July 2023, @RepDWStweets.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, “Wasserman-Schultz, Chu, and Goldman Lead Democrats’ Call for McCarthy to Revoke RFK Jr.’s Congressional Invite,” July 18, 2023, Wassermanschultz.house.gov.
Julia Mueller, “Democrats tear into RFK Jr. during weaponization hearing,” The Hill, July 20, 2023.
Gordon Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1979), 195-409.
Jon Levine, op. cit.
Here is the infamous ABC interview with Linsey Davis. After the interview (about 13:45), she tells the audience what the truth is and that Kennedy made false claims which had therefore been deleted. Here is The Hill’s report on the incident. What is this, if not censorship?