Monday, April 15, 2024

Robert Kennedy, Jr Is Not Qualified To Be President

Michael A. Cohen (MSNBC) doesn't think Robert Kennedy, Jr is qualified to serve as president of the United States. Here's part of what he writes

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has all the trappings of a legitimate third-party presidential candidate. He’s raised more than $70 million, he’s named a running mate, and his supporters are working to get him on the ballot in all 50 states.

But there’s one major aspect lacking from Kennedy’s presidential campaign — any rational reason as to why he should be president of the United States.

It’s not just that Kennedy has never held elected office and has none of the experience necessary to steward a nation of 330 million people. It’s not just that his campaign has stepped on a disproportionate number of rakes — most recently firing a staffer who said defeating President Joe Biden was her “No. 1 priority.”

I’m not even talking about his devotion to tin foil-hatted conspiracy theories, including claims that vaccines cause autism, that Covid was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” that China is developing bioweapons “to attack people of certain racial types” or that 5G wireless technology is part of a government plot to “to harvest our data and control our behavior.”

It’s that in intellect and demeanor, he’s remarkably unqualified for the job he is seeking. It would be bad enough if Kennedy were running for the House or Senate, but there’s only so much harm he could do in Congress. But unfit presidents can do real and enduring damage.

What defines Kennedy’s views on practically every public policy issue is a childlike aversion to generally accepted truths. If the world zigs, then Kennedy must zag. . . .

Some will argue that he is an iconoclastic thinker willing to challenge conventional wisdom. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with challenging authority and accepted truths. It can often be a laudable pursuit. But as is the case with another know-nothing presidential candidate, in Kennedy’s hands, it’s little more than oppositional hardheadedness with which the parents of young children are all too familiar.

Kennedy’s worldview — and that of those who embrace his campaign for president — is emblematic of a strain of pseudointellectualism that confuses a refusal to accept facts with intellectual courage. In reality, moronic conspiracy theories are often just that: moronic conspiracy theories. 

But it’s also a byproduct of extreme privilege and arrogance. Being the son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy has gifted him a platform, resources and prominence. If his last name were Johnson or Smith, he’d just be another crank with a dozen followers on Twitter and a YouTube channel that nobody watches. . . .

Unfortunately, because Kennedy is getting a not-insubstantial share of the vote in presidential polls, we have to pay attention to him. Fortunately, like all third-party candidates, it’s likely that these numbers will drop as we get closer to the November election.

But make no mistake, Kennedy is completely out of his depth in running for president and has neither the smarts nor the temperament to do the job. The only thing more embarrassing than his bid for the White House is that so many of his fellow citizens are willing to embrace it.

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