Robert Francis Kennedy Jr announced his candidacy for president on April 19, 2023. Why am I voting for RFK Jr and why should you seriously consider voting for him? On this page, I lay out my reasons for voting for him. I do so in a sequence of talking points as well as deeper discussions that others may find helpful to advance his candidacy. I write as someone who thinks that RFK Jr’s candidacy is the most exciting political entry in my lifetime. At the same time, I am not a slavish supporter of RFK Jr, differing with him on some points that in time past would for me have been deal-breakers. Yet I believe that an RFK Jr presidency is the best hope for this country. All the material on this page may be used freely and without copyright restrictions. I intend to edit and expand it over time.
Why vote for RFK Jr? He speaks the truth. He is not ashamed of the truth. He is transparent about what he holds to be true even if it makes him unpopular. He refuses to pander. He does not fear public opinion. He is a man of principle. In a country deeply polarized, he strives to reconcile and make whole. He has a broad and generous vision of our society in which everyone has a place at the table. His experience as an environmental attorney has given him the insight and expertise to take on corrupt corporations and corrupt government agencies, especially as they collude with each other. He, better than anyone, is in a position to dismantle the stranglehold on government from entrenched bureaucrats and bent corporate interests. He gives first importance to freedom of thought and expression, for without these we have no democracy. For RFK Jr, freedom is the ultimate progress.
Quick Talking Points
Why vote for RFK Jr?
- Voice for truth. We live in an age where politicians lie, know that they are lying, know that we know they are lying, and yet shamelessly keep a straight face. The public square has become a kabuki theater in which heroes are lionized and villains are demonized. Small wonder our society is so deeply riven. RFK refuses to play that game. He speaks the truth, even when it loses him points with the ruling elite.
- The right enemies. Read the New York Times or Washington Post, look up RFK Jr on Wikipedia, or ask what the DNC is saying about him, and you’ll be treated to smorgasbord of smears and insults. RFK Jr, we are told, is a conspiracy theorist, an anti-vaxxer, a lunatic who does not deserve the time of day. This opposition to RFK Jr needs to be interpreted as showing that he’s on the right track. Why? Because the forces that have put our nation on a path to destruction cannot abide the light that RFK Jr is shining on them.
- Sound environmentalism. RFK Jr. loves nature, as is evident in his celebration of the outdoors and his reverence for life. It is also evident in his work as a litigator taking on polluters. But for him, the environment is not a club with which to beat political opponents. His is a sound environmentalism that wants to preserve the beauty of nature and protect it from corporate greed. He is not a climate-change denier. At the same time, he realizes that simply outlawing petrochemicals (everything from plastics to fertilizers to fossil fuels) is no solution. Advances in technology to improve the environment are needed and will come, but they cannot be legislated into existence by blanketly renouncing CO2.
- Got Covid-19 right. When Covid-19 hit, the government shut down the economy, forced schools online, imposed mask mandates, pressured large segments of the population to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, and in general flouted our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. As RFK Jr has emphasized, the founders of this country knew about pandemics, and yet they made no exception for pandemics in the Bill of Rights. RFK Jr saw clearly from the start how government and corporations were abusing their powers in dealing with Covid-19. In particular, he saw instantly that the Covid-19 vaccine was in fact no vaccine, neither preventing transmission nor substituting for natural immunity. He also was proven right about therapeutics such as Ivermectin, which should have found wide use but instead were dismissed and disparaged. Countries that used Ivermectin to combat Covid-19 had a far smaller per-capita death rate than the US. [See the review on this blog of RFK Jr’s Letter to Liberals.]
- Commitment to peace. At the end of his administration in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex. The military and the defense industry have the perverse incentive to spur each other on in fomenting wars and keeping them going indefinitely. According to RFK Jr, the war in Ukraine should never have happened, and now that it is has happened, it should be settled quickly and diplomatically. But this won’t happen because of neocons in the White House who have too much to gain from a protracted war. Of the billions in aid that we have given to Ukraine, much ends up in the pockets of US defense contractors who supply weapons to Ukraine. Economics is about incentives, and the incentives of the military-industrial complex are perverse to the core. RFK Jr sees this and as president will end the corrupt merger of the US military and the US defense industry.
- Humane border policy. When RFK Jr sees a problem, he dives right in. When the toxic spill happened in East Palestine, Ohio on account of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, he was there—and that was BEFORE he announced his run for president. After announcing his presidential run, he spent several days at the southern border, talking with many of the different parties involved (immigrants, law enforcement, property owners). What he saw was heart-rending. But the chaos he saw is also unnecessary, the result of foolish policies, incompetent management, and a lack of will to do the right thing and end what has become a humanitarian crisis in which immigrants are exploited and abused. RFK Jr is committed to ending the border crisis, securing the border while treating immigrants fairly and humanely.
- Setting right Big Tech. Through its ability to censor, deplatform, and debank, Big Tech has become the key actor in a surveillance state bent on controlling what citizens can think, say, and do, thereby undermining freedom of thought and expression, and thereby subverting our democracy. RFK Jr has directly experienced Big Tech’s wrath, having his social media accounts disabled and his videos removed. For instance, in July 2023, YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, removed Jordan Peterson’s interview of RFK Jr (the interview must now be viewed on Twitter). Big Tech is increasingly controlling the public square and curtailing our freedoms. RFK Jr sees these companies as public goods, and thus as requiring firm guardrails so that all of us are protected from its abuses. He knows how to install and enforce these guardrails.
- Elevating the middle class. The middle class has suffered at the hands of a corrupt merger between government and ever larger and more monopolistic corporations. Small family businesses are less and less able to compete effectively against corporate giants like Amazon. Prospective home buyers are finding that they are outbid on houses by giant investment companies like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. Economies of scale are working against the middle class, siphoning off capital to the big corporations, turning them into the prime owners of our country’s wealth and turning the majority of US citizens into serfs who own less and less and are more and more beholden to corporate masters. RFK Jr understands the problem here, has articulated it, and knows how to defang the crony capitalism intent on destroying the middle class.
- Overhauling Big Pharma and Big Medicine. In the US, we pay more for pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures than any other country in the world. Yet for all we spend, our health outcomes are poor. In 2023, we ranked 47th globally in life expectancy. As RFK Jr has stressed, over half the US population experiences chronic health problems (obesity, diabetes, etc.) It’s now expected that people will be on one or more medications. Not only is the medical establishment not giving us our money’s worth, but they are not being honest with us. Drugs known to hurt us get past the gatekeepers by fraud (e.g., Vioxx and OxyContin). Worse yet, doctors are under enormous pressure to tell patients not what’s best for them but what will keep the doctors from losing their medical licenses. RFK Jr is committed to elevating the interests of patients above those of a medical establishment. He is committed to improving US health, drastically reducing chronic illness in our country.
- Reorganizing US Science and Medicine. Science and medicine in the US are controlled by a few federal funding sources (e.g., NIH, NSF, DARPA) as well as private foundations. Most of this funding has strings attached, in line with various corporate and government agendas. As long as you don’t violate those agendas, you’re fine. But if as a scientist you run afoul of those agendas, your funding will dry up and your reputation will be tarnished. If you are on faculty at a university and don’t have tenure, you will find yourself out of a job. And even if you do have tenure, your life may be made sufficiently miserable that you might just as well not have tenure. RFK Jr’s solution to this corruption of US science and medicine is to reorganize the major federal funding agencies, decentralizing them, and ensuring that no individual or cadre of individuals has so much power that they can destroy a researcher’s work and career.
- [Comment by Bill Dembski: My own solution would be to get rid of the NSF and NIH and push to the states all science and medical funding (e.g., Iowa Science Foundation or Texas Institutes of Health). This may entail some bureaucratic redundancy, but it would provide competition among the states and thus safeguard scientific and medical integrity. Even the National Academy of Sciences has become a self-selective body that excludes people for ideological rather than scientific reasons. Why, for instance, are Henry Schaefer and James Tour not in the NAS? I know the backstory, and their exclusion is for ideological reasons. I would thus dissolve the NAS and make it so that each state has its own academy of sciences.]
- Curbing financialization. We need financial institutions such as banks and investment companies to grease the skids for our economy. But financial institutions have now become so invasive and powerful that just about anything of value can have a dollar amount placed on it and then become the object of a financial institution’s takeover. We’ve seen this lately where financial institutions like BlackRock are outbidding homebuyers, adding homes to their portfolio at the same time these homes are driven out of reach of middle-class homebuyers. RFK Jr has called out and, as president, would stop this unfair competition. Also, because of his deep commitment to human freedom, RFK Jr is a supporter of cryptocurrency and opposes CBCD (central bank digital currencies). He is especially opposed to current moves by financial institutions to debank people for ideological reasons.
- Reforming US Education. Just as we don’t get our money’s worth in what we pay for health care, so we don’t get our money’s worth in what we pay for education. At its best, American education is superb. But once you look at what we are spending on education as a whole and what we are getting as a whole, the picture becomes bleak. Primary and secondary education is increasingly held hostage to special interests, with students that go through the system often failing to acquire the most basic language and math skills. At the same time, higher education, by colluding with the government and financial sector, is able to charge ever increasing tuitions and fees, foisting non-dischargeable debts on students. Loan forgiveness as it currently is playing out is a political ploy—it is a bailout at taxpayer expense, and it doesn’t get at the root causes of the student debt problem, which arises from perverse incentives for schools to raise costs and foist them on students as debt. RFK Jr is committed to making education rewarding and affordable for all Americans.
- Unashamed constitutionalist. RFK Jr is a thorough-going and unashamed constitutionalist. He embraces the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights, seeing in them a bulwark for our democratic institutions. Fully aware of the American founders’ sins, he nonetheless commends them for their ideals—ideals set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and ideals to which our society must still aspire. At the heart of RFK Jr’s constitutionalism is his unwavering commitment to freedom of thought and expression, which are increasingly under assault and without which we have no democracy. As president, RFK Jr will end the collusion of government and Big Tech in censoring and propagandizing Americans.
So What Is Causing Autism?
If RFK Jr had kept silent about autism and the possible role of vaccines in causing it, his reputation would be intact. His acclaim as a premier environmental advocate would be universal as would his esteem in the Kennedy family. But because he looked at the evidence and concluded that vaccines, along with other environmental insults, might be responsible for the autism epidemic, the medical establishment and cultural elites turned against him.
In the vilification of RFK Jr, an obvious question gets sidestepped, namely, why should someone of RFK Jr’s obvious caliber and intelligence put his reputation on the line to engage this topic? The answer his opponents give is that the gods blinded RFK Jr and rendered him senseless on this topic. But the more reasonable answer is that RFK Jr examined the evidence, saw that it needed to be taken seriously, and thereafter could not in good conscience (because so many families are afflicted) ignore it even if it hurt his reputation.
Autism is a big topic and will require a longer treatment than in this brief summary. But suffice it for now to say that RFK Jr is committed to getting to the bottom of the autism epidemic. A few decades ago, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000. It is currently 1 in 36. That’s a 278-fold increase! If you’re earning $15/hr, a 278-fold salary increase means you’re earning almost $4,200/hr or increasing your annual salary from $30,000 to $8.34 million. So this is a health crisis of monumental proportions. The only reason we don’t fully appreciate the magnitude of it is that the people afflicted are only now aging out and requiring care on a massive scale.
When RFK Jr was on the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe was so intrigued with RFK Jr’s views on vaccines and autism that he offered Peter Hotez, MD, an arch-critic of RFK Jr on this topic, $100,000—to be given to his favorite charity—if he would publicly debate RFK Jr. That amount subsequently went up to over $2,000,000. Yet Hotez has steadfastly refused to debate RFK Jr, not willing to “dignify” RFK Jr’s position by debating him.
But how can Hotez be so confident that he’s right and RFK Jr is wrong? As it is, the CDC itself doesn’t know what causes autism. Here’s what the CDC says: “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.” How profound and insightful! “Differences in the brain.” Yes, what can’t that explain? This statement by the CDC is medical-speak for “we’re clueless.”
Since 1986, when Ronald Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), exempting vaccine manufacturers from liability for vaccine injuries, many toxins have become more prevalent in the US. Besides vaccines and EMF exposure in the wake of the digital revolution, we’ve also seen an increase in the following environmental toxins:
- Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): Also known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS have been used in a wide range of products like non-stick pans, stain-resistant fabrics, and firefighting foams. They can persist in the environment and accumulate in human bodies.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): Used in making polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, BPA can be found in food and beverage containers and is known to leach out of plastic containers into food and drink. BPA exposure has raised concerns due to its potential endocrine-disrupting properties.
- Phthalates: These are chemicals used in making plastics more flexible. They’re found in many products, from toys to vinyl flooring to personal care products, and can act as endocrine disruptors.
- Glyphosate: An herbicide commonly used in agriculture, especially with genetically modified crops. There have been debates over its potential carcinogenic properties. RFK Jr has fought and won judgments in court over this chemical product.
- Neonicotinoids: A class of insecticides that has been linked to declines in pollinator populations, particularly bees.
- Heavy Metals: While heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic have been environmental concerns for a long time, there’s been growing awareness since the 1980s of their presence in various sources, from drinking water to imported goods.
- Microplastics: Tiny fragments of plastic, often microscopic in size, that are present in the environment, from oceans to soil to the air. Their impact on human health is still under investigation.
- Flame Retardants (PBDEs and others): Used to reduce flammability in furniture, electronics, and other products, these chemicals can leach out and have been found in human blood and breast milk.
- Atrazine: An herbicide that has been shown to disrupt endocrine function in wildlife and possibly humans.
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): Although banned in the U.S. in 1979, these chemicals continue to persist in the environment and remain a concern due to their long half-life and their presence in certain areas or older products.
Perhaps to the question of what causes autism, the correct answer is “none of the above.” But how can we know that? What we do know is that autism has a cause and that it’s a cause that has taken shape in the last few decades. It may be a combination of the factors listed above. It likely involves a genetic predisposition on the part of the person who becomes autistic. And it may be that there are other factors, not listed above and unsuspected till now, that are playing a crucial causative role.
But autism has a cause and we need to get to the bottom of it. RFK Jr is committed to doing just that. As president, he will encourage—indeed insist—that the research to figure this out get done. Right now it is not getting done, and there’s a plausible answer why that might be the case: Suppose for a moment that children around the age of two, who through a combination of vaccines and other environmental insults, are becoming autistic in record numbers. How well will that reflect on the medical establishment? What would that say about how well they are doing their job? It would be a scandal of monstrous proportions.
But conveniently for the vaccine makers, the people who suffer the most are unable to call them to account since they are infants, and on becoming autistic they are not able to self-report what the vaccines did to them. At least with Covid-19 vaccine injuries, the people getting the vaccines can describe what they are suffering (and even then they are disbelieved by the medical establishment and censored on social media).
If RFK Jr is right, then the research that would definitively establish the causes of autism is purposely being blocked. As he has stated repeatedly, double-blind placebo studies are not done with vaccines. In a weird catch-22, the medical establishment “knows” that vaccines are good for us, and so the placebo studies would create harm by denying people of the vaccines that they need to stay healthy (the irony here is rich).
But there are other ways to settle the question. Government medical databases can be stripped of metadata, and then these databases can be examined for patterns. Depending on the patterns found, they could point convincingly toward certain causes behind autism. But right now, certain causes are off limits. Critics like Peter Hotez ensure that vaccines make this blacklist, as evident in his new book The Deadly Rise of Anti-science: A Scientist’s Warning. But is he acting as a scientist when he refuses to debate RFK Jr and refuses to follow the evidence where it leads? RFK Jr has been willing to follow the evidence where it leads even though it has cost him dearly.
CLOSING QUESTION: Given that the medical establishment does not know what causes autism, and given that they’ve not done the safety studies to confirm that vaccines play no role in autism, how can they say that RFK Jr is wrong about vaccines being a contributing cause to autism? Short answer: THEY CAN’T.