Is Robert Kennedy, Jr. Bernie Sanders Deja Vu?

Consider the parallels between Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign for POTUS and the Bernie Sanders debacle.  In both cases, Americans witness an entrenched Democrat juggernaut of corrupt power brokers who believe they get to choose who will be the Democrat candidate -- not their own primary-voting Democrat electorate.  In both cases, every trick or gimmick is pulled by the Dems and legacy media to discredit the challenger in favor of the anointed.  In both cases, the discredited candidate would fare better than the establishment favorite against Donald Trump in the general election. 

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be a mightier opponent to topple than socialist sell-out Bernie, and sad sack Joe is even more unappealing than Hillary Clinton in 2016.  Though he is an incumbent, for Biden that is a liability -- the economy is teetering, but not as greatly as “Old Joe.”  The media that challenged Donald Trump’s mental health are not critically assessing Biden’s physical competence to navigate events or climb stairs, let alone serve another term.  But voters will.

An NBC News poll reported that 70 per cent of Americans believe Joe Biden should not run in the 2024 presidential election, including more than half of Dems.  But the Democrat powers that be have reannointed Joe as their best chance against Donald Trump, ignoring whether he has any chance at all against RFK, Jr. in a fair fight.  Despite attempts to paint him up with the halo effect of his former boss, Joe Biden ain’t no Barack Obama!  Most Americans do not want a John Fetterman for president in 2024: some perceive they already have one, or one on the brink, in Joe Biden.

Attacks against Kennedy by the liberal press reflect establishment fear, and have quickly resorted to mischaracterizing his statements and positions, and deplatforming him widely.  Is this not Bernie redux?

Biden promised bipartisan conciliation but delivered scathing derision of fellow citizens, always trying to divert attention from his own failures toward Orange Man Bad.  Kennedy does not cow to the woke radicalism that has permeated Biden’s reign, and thus appeals more to the left-behind blue dog Dems.  He is well spoken, and can climb stairs and find his location at a podium without prompts.  He also truly speaks to a “middle” in a time when the nation is being further alienated into extremist camps.

The consequence to the Democrats of the hijacking by the Clintons of the 2016 Democrat presidential primary (as recounted by Donna Brazile) was that huge numbers of Americans who wanted an authentic outsider to rescue them from traditional two-party collusion switched from being Bernie Sanders supporters to Donald Trump.  Yup, it’s a real thing -- the Bernie to Trump voter.

This is not because hippie commune Sanderites overnight became racist misogynist conservatives: the same thing occurred after Barack Obama failed to deliver on GMO labeling, backed Monsanto, and rescued Wall Street from its own failings in the 2007-2008 financial debacle.  Those betrayals led many voters to become Obama/Trump voters (who are estimated to have comprised 13% of Trump votes in 2016).

The Democrat elite oligarchy is in a similar dilemma with Robert F. Kennedy’s candidacy as it was with Bernie Sanders.  If the Democrat cabal openly undermines fair election and free press standards (and their own constituents who can see that Joe needs a bedpan and a set of dominoes for his next term) in their zeal to secure the nomination for Joe B, the Donkey Party will chase yet more voters from their ranks. 

Meanwhile, many conservatives who do not support Donald Trump would likely support RFK, Jr. -- certainly much more readily than they would Joe Biden.  For this reason, Robert Kennedy is a threat also to the GOP apparatus and surely the Trump campaign, as he is a much more capable general election opponent than the current bumbler-in-chief.

Joe Biden now carries a growing public awareness of Hunter Biden’s dealings (and ongoing government shield), which were so conveniently covered up in 2020 and may otherwise have cost Joe the election.  He carries a well-earned record of fueling inflation, debt, and social-justice delusions along with his demonstrated ability to select talentless people. 

Speaking of which, Kamala’s poll rating approvals are even lower than Biden’s.  Her supporters claim she is a premium candidate to replace the doddering commander-in-chief when/if he croaks on the job, itself a questionable campaign message for a joint ticket.  No matter who Kennedy selects as his running mate, it won’t drag him down with the gravity of the Kamalastone.  (Unless he chose Dylan Mulvaney, or Ibram X Kendi. ….Naw, even then, Kamala would be more politically drowning.)

Whatever else befalls, conservatives must rejoice at the voice of Robert Kennedy, who rightly questions the COVID vaccine mandates and the War in Ukraine (among other things).  America desperately needs more Democrats to rebel against the toxicity and insanity of their own far-Left camp, and those walkaways need a light -- from Camelot, if necessary -- to draw them away from wokeness and economic destruction. 

If Kennedy fails in the primary, many of his supporters will join the Bernie/Trump and Obama/Trump train off the corrupt tracks of the DNC sanitarium.  And unlike the weak-charactered Sanders, Kennedy won’t grovel in submission if he loses to foul play -- he’ll file suit and expose the corruption, not go quietly into that dark totalitarian night.

If Robert Kennedy won the Democrat primary, conservatives would be conflicted.  Surely a competent RFK is preferable to a staggering corpse with a panting Kamala Harris in tow.  Yet, Kennedy would be a much more formidable foe to a Trump resurrection, creating more conflictions/divisions in the Elephant Party.

Americans of all political stripes must ensure that the Democrat primary is fair and open.  The rest of the electoral system cannot claim legitimacy otherwise.  All eyes will be on the Dem primary process: will the Democrats try to pull a Bernie on a Kennedy? 

Lawyer, farmer and author John Klar hosts the Small Farm Republic substack and podcast from his Vermont farm. His new book addresses farming, the environment and conservative politics: Small Farm Republic: Why Conservatives Must Embrace Local Agriculture, Reject Climate Alarmism, and Lead an Environmental Revival.

Image: John Klar

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