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Edward Curtin: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the candidate to heal the great divide


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks April 19 at an event where he announced his run for president at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.

It has been 55 years since Sen. Robert F. Kennedy stepped onto the presidential nominating stage to try to mend the massive breach that had opened in American society.

The country was torn asunder by the Vietnam War, racism, poverty, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the soon-to-be assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. A great divide — between white and Black Americans, rich and poor, the working class and the upper class — was opening wide. The Tet Offensive had just ripped the face off the official lies about the course of the war in Vietnam and the emperor, President Lyndon Johnson, stood naked and would soon announce that he would not run again.

On March 16, 1968, Sen. Kennedy declared his candidacy with these words: “I run to seek new policies — policies to end the bloodshed in Vietnam and in our cities, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.”

By the end of 1968, a plague year if there ever were one, Richard Nixon and his goon squad prepared to occupy the White House, Vietnam raged on and everything King and Kennedy stood for seemed lost. Something died, all hope seemed lost and the perilous course RFK spoke of was never stopped.

Today, hope is resurrected. Enter Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president on April 19 in Boston.

The wheel of history has turned and 2023 resembles 1968 in many ways while getting worse in others. The divide in the country remains but has greatly widened. Like his father in ‘68, he is the only candidate who can heal this nation’s great divide.

For years, he has been telling harsh truths that many who profit from lies do not want to hear: that our waters are polluted and the chemical companies are criminals; that the pharmaceutical companies are criminal enterprises polluting people’s bodies; that the CIA is organized crime polluting people’s minds and assassinating anti-war leaders; that the Pentagon is a criminal enterprise not defending but risking American lives and their livelihood; that the U.S. government has joined with mega-corporations to run a mob-like fleecing of the American people; that not one of Sirhan Sirhan’s bullets killed his father, Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was shot from behind at close range by a CIA hit man; that the so-called COVID vaccines have never been appropriately tested and many people are being injured as a result; that Anthony Fauci is a liar and fraud who fronts for Big Pharma.

These are not liberal or conservative positions. They are self-evident conclusions of a patriot, as they should be for everyone. And because they have become such to more and more Americans who can think without reacting, Kennedy’s voice and his candidacy will grow in strength across the great divide.

The media attacks will be intense and simply full of lies. They love to call Bobby Jr. an “anti-vaxxer” when he is not opposed to all vaccines — only those that have not been adequately tested or include dangerous additives. But no matter how many times he has explained this, the media twist it to serve their masters.

The media have also accused him of implying that those who oppose vaccines are being persecuted more severely than Anne Frank, the German teen who hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam before being sent to her death at Auschwitz. He never implied that. His point was clear: that in the coming digital surveillance state there will be nowhere to hide, not even in an attic, because the surveillance technology will track everyone everywhere, day and night.

Kennedy knows he faces an uphill battle for the presidency, but no matter what forces are aligned against him, political and familial, he will not back down. His moral courage and commitment to democratic ideals will appeal and deliver hope that crosses party lines.

The pundits are in for a big surprise.

Edward Curtin, of Great Barrington, is an author and a former professor of sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Community College.

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