Progeny of the famous Kennedy family, Robert F Kennedy Jr., has announced his intention to run as an independent candidate in the US presidential elections. After six months of running for the Democratic nomination, it signals an exciting turn in his political career. Here’s the story.
New Independent Candidate on the Block
In the lead-up to the 2024 US elections, Robert F Kennedy Jr. made a surprising announcement.
The polarizing nephew of former US president John F Kennedy and son of Robert F Kennedy has declared that he intends to run as an independent separate from the Democratic party.
The declaration was made during a public appearance in Philadelphia, where the 69-year-old Kennedy broke the news to a gathering of several hundred supporters.
“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States,” Kennedy announced. “I’m here to join you in making a new declaration of independence for our entire nation.”
Leaving His Forefathers
While the biggest news was his switch to independence, his speech was largely concerned with the issues he hoped to tackle as president.
These included the “two-party establishment” and “mercenary media” that he felt was “leading [the US] over a cliff.”
Many watching must have thought of the legacy of the Kennedy political empire, something Kennedy Jr made sure to address.
He acknowledged the “pain” he felt at leaving his uncle and father’s political party behind.
Danger and Discontent
He also managed to slip in what appeared to be a sly reference to the former president and Republican candidate Donald Trump, nothing the “rising tide of discontent swamping [the] country.”
He added, “There’s a danger in this discontent but there’s also opportunity and promise.”
Since his foray into the political sphere, Kennedy has caused a wave of controversy and garnered a slew of criticisms and accusations.
Not only is he a well-known opponent of vaccines, but he has used his public platform to promote several conspiracy theories.
But what do they include?
A Family Divided
The newly independent Presidential candidate has made both unverified and provably false claims on a range of topics.
These include comments about “leaky brain” caused by WiFi and accusations of antisemitism after saying that Covid had been designed to spare Ashkenazi Jewish and Chinese people.
He has also appeared on a number of right-wing news networks like Fox News and on podcasts with polarizing figures like Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, and more.
With the exception of his actor wife, Cheryl Hines, much of Kennedy’s closest family has spoken out against his presidential run.
His siblings (including Rory, Kerry, Kathleen, and Joseph P Kennedy II) even released a joint statement via X condemning the move.
“Perilous for Our Country”
“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” the Tweet read. “Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”
With a track record like this, it’s unsurprising that Kennedy failed to shift much of the Democratic vote, and his chances of being nominated for the Democratic candidate were low.
Kennedy declared his intention to run for the Democratic nomination back in April, and he has maintained a 15% average among Democratic voters since then.
There have been plenty of discussions about how his independent run will affect the voting dynamic for both Democrats and Republicans.
“Spoiling It for Both of Them”
This topic hasn’t gone unnoticed by Kennedy either. “A rising tide of discontent is swamping our country.
There’s a danger in this discontent, but there’s also opportunity and promise,” he declared. “The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them.”
While the Republican National Committee (RNC) has already released a list of reasons why their voter base should reject Kennedy, it will be fascinating to see how Kennedy’s independent campaign will affect the 2024 elections going forward.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ringo Chiu