September 22, 2023
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to Tucker Carlson in an interview posted to Carlson's Twitter account.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to Tucker Carlson in an interview posted to Carlson's Twitter account.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental activist and Democratic Presidential hopeful, sat down for a relatively friendly interview with newly independent media lightning rod Tucker Carlson.

In an 80 minute sit-down he delivered a scathing criticism of 5+ decades of neoconservative American foreign policy and gross overreach by the American intelligence apparatus the likes of which was Trumpian in the shear balls it took, and Obama-like in its eloquence.

The interview spanned an impressively extensive number of topics – the war in Ukraine, his father and uncle’s assassinations, President’ Biden’s unusual refusal to grant Kennedy Jr. Secret Service protection, and much more.

I’m no stranger to the further-flung corners of online, independent media so the contents of what Kennedy Jr. said were not necessarily shocking to me on their own. But the totality of his stream of consciousness was truly something to behold.

Just a few of the remarkable takes by RFK from the interview:

  • President Biden refuses to grant Secret Service protection to Kennedy despite a clear and present threat to his and his family’s lives
  • Russia’s placement of nuclear weapons in Havana during the Cuban Missile Crisis was a direct response to U.S. placing missiles in Turkey and Italy – says his father and uncle struck a secret deal for both sides to remove their missiles
  • He agreed with Carlson’s assessment that “the point” of extending NATO eastward “was war with Russia”
    • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says our purpose of the war is to degrade Russia’s fighting capabilities
    • Biden explicitly expressed regime change implications
  • Pointed out U.S. has committed $113 billion to Ukraine and compared to the budgets of the EPA and CDC at $12 billion a piece
  • March/April 2022 – Zelenskyy and Putin agree to Minsk II and Russia begins to pull out of Ukraine until, as Kennedy says, “President Biden sends Boris Johnson over there to torpedo the agreement and make Zelenskyy tear it up”
  • USAID, an NGO he calls “a CIA front” spent $5 million to fund the 2014 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine
  • Victoria Nuland, the Current Biden Administration Deputy Secretary of State, handpicked the Ukrainian president in a (likely Russian) leaked phone call with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

None of these statements were revelations, they’re all a matter of public record and have been for some time (except maybe the secret missile deal, that might be new.) But to hear them out of the mouth of a legitimate presidential candidate (one that’s polling at 15% no less!) is shocking.

Carlson joked with Kennedy about the Nuland phone call asking “Is that democracy? Where Victoria Nuland picks your government?” Kennedy laughed at the implication before uttering one of the most frightening things a serious candidate for the American Presidency has said in living memory “USAID and the CIA don’t really do Democracy. The CIA has overthrown, I think, 83 governments between 1947 and 1997. That’s a third of the governments on Earth and most of them were democracies.”

That is shockingly heterodox language for a candidate vying for one of the two major party tickets. Kennedy’s main claim to fame, for better or for worse, is his unconventional stance on vaccinations. He has now built a campaign on challenging orthodoxies in a way that only Donald Trump has in recent memory.

In 2016 Trump built a media juggernaut built on free airtime thanks, in part, to his shock value. His straightforward style and blunt admissions emitted a tantalizing glow, and the American public was certainly mesmerized. He said things candidates never said, making famous the idea of a deep state when he pledged to “drain the swamp.”

He famously hinted at America’s not-so-friendly behavior abroad while defending his respect for Vladimir Putin to Bill O’Reilly, saying “We got a lot of killers. What you think our country is so innocent? You think our country is so innocent?” O’Reilly, a perfect talisman of legacy media, instinctively defends the state saying “I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers in America.” Trump, resolved, replies “Well take a look at what we’ve done too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes,” going on to defend his opposition to the Iraq War.

Kennedy’s willingness to challenge the status quo is the hallmark of his campaign. Despite some outliers (cough Israel, cough) his positions almost all challenge the corporate-backed Democratic and Republican hegemonies. Though this has made Kennedy somewhat popular with Independents, it has made him a mainstream media pariah and earned him the ire of every pro-Ukraine activist who say his failure to completely adopt the narrative makes him a Putin stooge.

To Kennedy’s credit, he did qualify, during his criticism of American foreign policy “I’m not an apologist for Putin. He went into Ukraine, it was illegal, my son went over there and fought against it,” referring to his son Conor’s role in the 2022 Kharkiv offensive “What he did was brutal, it was illegal and it was unnecessary.”

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