RFK Jr. Has a Bead on the Public–Private Partnership

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has officially filed with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for president. Yes, he’ll run for president as a Democrat, challenging President Joe Biden in […]

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has officially filed with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for president. Yes, he’ll run for president as a Democrat, challenging President Joe Biden in the primaries. Does he have any chance? A quick quip: He has as much chance as Trump had in 2015, back when all the smart people and money knew for sure that the nomination would go to Jeb Bush.

So when you see the dismissals and chortling from mainstream media, keep that in mind.

Still, one suspects that disrupting the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will be a more difficult nut to crack than the GOP. That’s because the DNC has mutated into the political party of the administrative state. That, in turn, now works closely with big media, big tech, big pharma, and military contractors, too. It has become a sponge for every interest group that lives off government intervention. It’s a powerful oligarchy.

RFK Jr.’s run will undoubtedly be populist in tone, kind of like Trump but more polished and with a different emphasis. He has a keen eye on how the public–private partnership in all industries—moguls and oligarchs working hand in glove with state power at all levels—has become the primary threat to the American system.

Another dismissive line they’ll use against him is that he’s nothing but an anti-vaxxer, a slogan that meant almost nothing a few years ago. But after the COVID-19 vaccine mandates for a drug hardly anyone wanted or needed, this issue has become a crucial one.

If they can invade your own body by force with a product that hardly anyone understands that was invented in the midst of panic and that turned out to be a flop and even dangerous, what precisely are the limits to state power?

To be sure, Kennedy’s views have evolved over the past few years. When the lockdowns first happened, he seemed to favor them, like most other Democrats (even though it was Trump who pulled the trigger). On March 30, 2020, at the tail end of the legendary 15 Days, he reposted an article on Twitter from Forbes that warned against opening the country.

“The coronavirus lockdown hasn’t just slowed the march of COVID-19,” the article reads, “it has reduced lethal air pollution and the associated mortality risks we usually take for granted. But when the lockdown lifts, those risks of the status quo might not just return to normal—they might worsen—as governments weaken environmental regulations and pour billions of dollars into polluting industries.”

But at some point, perhaps only a few weeks later, his keen intelligence kicked in, and he realized that the whole COVID-19 bit was really the most elaborate application of an issue that he had focused on in much of his career as an attorney: the power of large pharmaceutical companies. Very likely, they were the hand in the glove of the state all along, but they were trying to hide it well.

He started digging deeply into what was happening, with the result being a book that’s surely a modern classic: “The Real Anthony Fauci.” The title suggests a narrow focus, but it’s actually a complete reconstruction of the corruption of the combination of national security, industry, and state over many decades, dating back to his uncle’s murder in 1963. He hasn’t explained his metamorphosis to me personally, but it’s rather obvious.

By the time he spoke in Washington at an anti-lockdown rally in January 2022, he had put it all together. It’s one of the greatest public speeches I’ve ever heard. He had the whole virus racket figured out, from PCR tests to death misclassifications to the age gradient of risk to the attack on property rights and religious freedoms. It’s absolutely brilliant, and I would suggest that anyone who wants a roundup of what happened to us needs to listen.

There’s a reason that speech was so roundly attacked, and for absurd reasons (it has to do with a perfectly reasonable analogy he made to the life of Anne Frank). The media wanted to send a message that you aren’t allowed to agree with him. It proves the point that he was certainly over the target: the administrative state and its relationship to private industry.

You say that he’s obsessed with the vaccine? Well, in the COVID-19 vaccine, we see all the institutions that reveal the corruptions of the system. Here we have a new innovation that was paid for by taxpayers and for which the company enjoyed exclusive and patented rights. When they couldn’t get customers, the government mandated the vaccines. That tactic isn’t consistent with free enterprise.

In addition, the companies were indemnified against liability for damages they caused. If it were otherwise, their stocks would go to zero. To top it off, as publicly traded companies, they benefited from a huge increase in their stock price even as people the world over suffered ghastly adverse reactions, including death.

I suggest to you that there’s no political or economic theory ever conceived by the human mind that could morally justify such an arrangement. And yet it essentially swept the world and became the way most of the world’s governments did business. God bless RFK Jr. for calling it out. Moreover, it seems based on that speech in Washington that the COVID-19 experience very much honed his ideological instincts in ways that make his current outlook solidly American in the best sense of that term.

Is there a base in the Democratic Party that would back him? There very well could be. The moorings of the party have become widely unhinged from the mainstream of American life, with its celebration of big business, censorship, war, child mutilation, gender dysphoria, and weaponization of biological identity. Someone like his uncle or father wouldn’t recognize the DNC today.

In a sense, then, this candidacy represents a chance to take back the party for mainstream America and reclaim our constitutional heritage. His willingness to throw his hat in the ring is also a true act of courage because he surely knows what he’s going to face. There will be nonstop attacks by mainstream media. After they’ve beaten him to a pulp, they’ll move on to the next stage, which is to ignore him completely.

If that doesn’t work, the attacks will start again. But perhaps, as with Donald Trump and Ron Paul before him, all these attacks will backfire. There’s a heavy swath of voters out there today that’s completely unwilling to back any candidate who isn’t obviously hated by CNN. It’s become something of a test for public office.

Speaking as someone with a libertarian core, I find myself comfortable with RFK Jr.’s outlook on most all matters of public life. This is because he understands better than most of us did a few years ago the dangers of the unity of government and industry. It’s fascistic and exploitative of the public. He’ll seek an end to this and bring a restoration of government of, by, and for the people.

In the heyday of the Cold War, the ideological choices before us seemed obvious and simple. We can stick with capitalism and permit maximum freedom to the private sector to flourish and build prosperity. Or we can go the way of the Soviet Union and attempt this thing called socialism, which put government in charge of production with pathetic results for both prosperity and human rights.

This was the main debate on college campuses. It pitted the right against the left. Everyone knew the terms of the debate. Suddenly, in 1989, the whole thing seemed settled when the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet empire collapsed, and the whole world got a close look at the realities in those states that attempted to follow the teachings of Karl Marx. It led only to ruination.

These days, things aren’t so simple. COVID-19 pretty much exploded the old ideological categories, as the right permissioned Trump to do the unthinkable and order the churches closed while the left championed censorship, lockdowns, travel restrictions, corporate oligarchies, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and exploitation of the working classes to serve the interests of the Zoom class. These days, the terms left and right mean far less than at any point in our lifetimes.

We shouldn’t rule out that the RFK Jr. campaign will speak to a very large audience even within the Democrat Party and bring along quite a few Republicans, too. In any case, as I’ve often said, these are emergency times when we see American liberty and law being attacked on all sides. We can despair and just watch it happen. RFK Jr. is unwilling to do that. Instead, he has put his career, reputation, and even life on the line to stand up for what’s right. This is what it is going to take to save this country.


Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown.

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