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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The New Republican-Lite Libertarian Party Heartthrob, Part 2
I am a candidate for the 2024 Libertarian Party presidential nomination: jacobforliberty.com.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The New Republican-Lite Libertarian Party Heartthrob, Part 1
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The New Republican-Lite Libertarian Party Heartthrob, Part 3
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The New Republican-Lite Libertarian Party Heartthrob, Part 4
Before examining how Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s specific positions violate the genuine libertarian principles of the Libertarian Party, I wish to first express some general overall points about why making Kennedy an L.P. presidential nominee would be a disaster for the Libertarian Party.
Respect and credibility
First, even if Kennedy was able to bring the Libertarian Party the hoped-for 3% of the national vote, it would do nothing to bring the L.P. any degree of respect or credibility as a political party. That’s because everyone would know that the only reason that the L.P. garnered that 3% was because it had imported a big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat who induced a certain number of Democrats to cross party lines and vote for him. Moreover, this electoral “success” would be temporary and transitory, unless the L.P. continued recruiting and importing more Democrats to be their future presidential nominee.
The Party of Principle
Second, it would be virtually impossible for the Libertarian Party to continue designating itself as “the Party of Principle TM” in the political arena. That’s because everyone would realize that the L.P. knowingly violated its core principle by recruiting and nominating a big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat whose programs and policies violate the core principle of the libertarian philosophy — the non-aggression principle — as well as the pledge opposing the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals that every L.P. member makes as a condition for joining the Libertarian Party.
Meaning to L.P. members
Third, what meaning would Kennedy’s possible success in garnering 3% of the national vote have for individual members of the Libertarian Party? How could any L.P. member experience any degree of genuine excitement or pride in achieving a 3% vote total that came with nominating a big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat as its presidential nominee?
The Mises Caucus
Fourth, what would the Mises Caucus, which engineered a takeover of the Libertarian Party in the 2022 “Reno Reset,” do during the course of a campaign in which a big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat was the party’s presidential nominee?
Wouldn’t Kennedy’s Democratic Party political operatives, including his campaign manager, longtime Democrat Dennis Kucinich, expect the members of the Mises Caucus to remain silent about Ludwig von Mises and his uncompromising economic principles, so as not to alienate Democratic Party voters who would be expected to cross party lines to come over and vote Libertarian?
Wouldn’t Mises Caucus members be expected to hide their Mises books under their beds, especially his book Socialism, which is a severe criticism of the socialist philosophy and socialist programs that Kennedy and his Democratic Party cohorts support?
Indeed, wouldn’t Kennedy and his big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat operatives even exhort the Mises Caucus itself to change its name to something more attractive to Democratic voters, like, maybe, the “Freedom Caucus”?
Indeed, what would the leaders and members of the Mises Caucus do when RFK, Jr., and his big-government, welfare-state liberal Democrat cohorts begin extolling the virtues of John Maynard Keynes and Keynes’s monetary policies to the American people? Certainly they wouldn’t express support. Would they remain silent, or would they instead, citing Mises, publicly and openly criticize their party’s nominee’s endorsement of Keynes and his destructive monetary policies? If they choose to criticize, might they not later be blamed if Kennedy ends up garnering only 1% of the vote rather than the hoped-for 3%?
A flawed political strategy
Fifth, as I indicated in my series of Substack articles that I began publishing last August (see the Written Blog section of jacobforliberty.com), the Republican-Lite political strategy is based on the hope that “liberty-leaning” Republicans will cross party lines en masse to vote for a Republican-Lite Libertarian Party presidential candidate (i.e., the so-called Ron Paul revolution strategy). As I wrote in my Substack series, that strategy is, in my opinion, fatally flawed because Republicans will never cross party lines en masse to vote for a Libertarian Party presidential candidate.
The same principle applies to a Democrat L.P. presidential candidate. That’s because Democrats will never cross party lines en masse to vote for Kennedy or any other Libertarian Party presidential candidate. They will remain loyal to their party, in the same way that Libertarian supporters of Republican/Libertarian Bill Weld remained loyal to the L.P. when he returned to the Republican Party.
A campaign of principle
Finally, as I have long been maintaining, what the Libertarian Party must do to get back on the right track toward leading America (and the world) to genuine freedom is restore the libertarian brand of principled libertarianism to the L.P. and restore the Party’s rightful role as the “Party of Principle” in the political arena. There is no better way to do that than to run a presidential campaign that is based entirely on pure, genuine libertarian principles. What better way for L.P. members to gain a sense of pride and excitement than to run a genuine presidential campaign of principle for the “Party of Principle” and, in the process, garner a large number of votes doing so?
Kennedy’s specific positions
As we examine Kennedy’s specific positions, I believe that it will be easy to see that making him the L.P. presidential nominee would only accelerate the corruption of the libertarian brand of principled libertarianism and destroy any semblance of the Libertarian Party as the “Party of Principle” in the political arena,
1. The welfare state and the regulated economy
As a lifelong Democrat, Kennedy is an ardent proponent of America’s welfare-state, regulated-economy way of life. Among his expressed heroes is Franklin Roosevelt, the president who was responsible for America’s conversion to a welfare state and regulated economy.
FDR is the president who brought us Social Security, which today is the crown jewel of the welfare state. He also brought America the National Industrial Recovery Act, a regulatory scheme that could have easily fit well within Benito Mussolini’s Italy. Roosevelt also was the president who made it a felony offense to own gold coins, which had been the official money of the American people under the Constitution for more than 100 years.
Kennedy also ardently embraces and supports the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson, including Medicare and Medicaid, which built upon and fortified the welfare-state way of life that FDR brought to America.
While Kennedy professes to be a “free-market absolutist,” his mindset is no different from that of every other Democrat. They all profess to be advocates of America’s “free enterprise system” … well, except for their ardent support of every socialist program that comes down the pike (so long as it’s not called socialist and instead is called “free enterprise”), such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public (i.e., government) schooling, welfare, foreign aid, food stamps, education grants, farm subsidies, the Federal Reserve, Amtrak, the Postal Service, America’s centrally managed system of immigration controls, and much more.
We will talk later about Kennedy’s unswerving devotion to healthcare socialism. Suffice it to say for now that he extols communist Cuba’s fully socialized healthcare system. In fact, he’s even praised Cuba’s food-rationing system, which I can tell you from having seen that system in person, is a wretched way to distribute food to people. It’s also worth mentioning that Kennedy was a fan of Hugo Chavez, the former socialist ruler of Venezuela, and his socialist policies.
Socialism has proven to be the bane of mankind. It has impoverished people all over the world. It has weakened the moral fiber of America as well as our nation’s long tradition of voluntary charity.
Social Security has converted generations of seniors into helpless wards of the state, convinced that they would die in the streets without this socialist program. It has also weakened the ability of children to honor mother and father on a voluntary basis.
Medicare and Medicaid destroyed the finest healthcare system in history, one based on free-market principles.
None of these socialist programs is based on genuine care and compassion, as Kennedy and his Democrat cohorts claim. After all, what does the IRS, which collects the taxes that fund these socialist programs, have to do with genuine care and compassion?
Moreover, all three of these socialist programs, as well as the vast national-security establishment, are hurtling our nation into bankruptcy through out-of-control federal spending and debt and monetary debauchery.
Imagine having a Libertarian Party presidential candidate publicly extolling the virtues of welfare-state socialism and the socialist, regulatory, and interventionist policies and programs of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, John Maynard Keynes, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez to the American people.
Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, David Nolan, and other deceased libertarians would turn over in their graves.
NEXT: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The New Republican-Lite Libertarian Party Heartthrob, Part 3