Tuesday, April 9, 2024

#100 / The Kennedy Candidacy


The New York Times has published an "Opinion" column by Michelle Goldberg, which speculates on the impact that the independent presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will have on the anticipated Biden-Trump political showdown in November. Goldberg's column was titled as follows: "Terrified Parents, New Age Health Nuts, MAGA Exiles. Meet the R.F.K. Jr. Faithful." 

If you'd like to "read all about it," click that link, just above, and maybe there won't be any paywall protection, and you can get the full story, as outlined by Goldberg. The picture above, we are informed, shows a Kennedy supporter clutching a copy of a book of essays by L. Ron Hubbard. For those not immediately recognizing who Hubbard is, he founded Scientology in 1952. According to Wikipedia, Scientology "is variously defined as a cult, a business, a religion, a scam, or a new religious movement." Goldberg clearly thinks that the Kennedy candidacy has some significant similarities!

I have no firm opinion on what the political impacts of an independent Kennedy candidacy will be, in terms of who gets elected to the presidency this coming November. I tend to think that the Kennedy candidacy is not good news for Biden and the Democrats, and will assist the Trump candidacy - and this is what Robert Reich thinks, too, based on a recent blog posting. Still, as Goldberg observes, it's really not completely clear what is likely to happen.

I would note that both Kennedy and Trump are candidates running against what some see as a governmental "establishment," what many identify as the "deep state," or as the "administrative state." I note, too, that we saw, during Trump's presidency, following the 2016 election, how a person with no actual personal experience in government approaches the job. Next time around, if Trump is elected again, his presidency will likely resemble his first term, but on steroids, with inconsistent personal predilections, and with his grandiose and self-centered ambitions and resentments driving decisions that really ought to be based on a consistent, and thoughtful, governmental policy. Kennedy, it seems to me, would likely helm a presidency cut from the same kind of cloth. 

I happen to have a LOT of criticisms of the United States government, as it is currently constituted and operated. Criticisms about an unresponsive (and even malign) "deep state" are not, in my opinion, completely off-base, though I am far more concerned about the domination of our government by military contractors, giant corporations in general, and by the "billionaire class." A cure for the problems afflicting our government, however, at least in my opinion, will not come from installing in our highest office a "dictator-for-a-day," and/or someone who either directly or indirectly claims that, "I, alone, can fix it." Such persons should not be placed in any office, in my opinion, and that goes, too, for any candidate who gives the impression that this is, exactly, what she or he believes about his or her own capabilities, without being stupid enough to say that out loud. 

We are not going to cure the problems we have with our government from the "top down."

We have got to start working from the "bottom up." 

Since the president is always elected (or should be) to provide leadership, and to inspire citizens, voters, and others to get involved, themselves, in the work of "self-government," I am not seeing either Trump or Kennedy as a satisfactory candidate, providing a route to improvement.

1 comment:

  1. I am also anti-establishment and see that corporate money controls our elections and fundamental policies in this country. However, I have zero confidence in the policies and beliefs of Kennedy Junior.


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