With incumbent Joe Biden lagging former president Donald Trump in recent polls by as much as double digits as terrifyingly reported in a Sept. ABC-Washington Post survey, Democrats have valid reasons to worry about even bleaker prospects ahead with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. further draining their voter base as an independent competitor.
RFK Jr. was previously polling as a Democrat primary candidate with about 15% support before switching parties for the ’24 run.
Kennedy and leaders of his former party have had major policy disagreements which became particularly rancorous regarding mandated Biden administration COVID-19 vaccinations which he believes to be unsafe as well as ineffective.
A more recent dust up involved the Department of Homeland Security’s refusal to detail Secret Service protection to Kennedy as customary policy for a major presidential candidate.
This denial ignored special considerations that both his uncle, former President John. F. Kennedy and father, a presidential candidate, were assassinated, and that an armed man impersonating a police officer falsely claiming to be a member of his security detail was arrested at a recent Los Angeles campaign event.
Refusal of DHS to grant security protections also raises bad political optics in that Kennedy has been a harsh critic of the Biden administration’s open southern border policy he has described as an “unsustainable disaster” which has led to "endless floods of migrants” leading to "impossible burdens" for American cities," and causing a “humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions."
As examples, Kennedy noted a flood of New York migrant arrivals at estimated costs to the city reaching $12 billion by 2025, and Chicago currently facing a $538 million 2024 budget shortfall, with more than a third attributed to migrant impacts.
Attacking sanctuary city ideology, he said, "It isn't only border communities that have been caught in the crossfire. Civil disorder is encroaching into the interior of the U.S. as destitute migrants flood American cities, overwhelming humanitarian resources."
"Current policies” Kennedy implores, “are failing our country and putting an intolerable strain on American cities that have already faced unprecedented challenges in the last three years. We desperately need a different approach."
Some, but certainly not all, of his suggestions will line up with frequently espoused GOP priorities.
Kennedy recognizes on his website an urgent need to significantly reduce government spending, including redirecting Ukraine aid to rebuild U.S. infrastructure "ruined by 40 years of off-shoring."
Speaking at a Saint Anselm College New Hampshire campaign rally, Kennedy said, "I abhor Russia's brutal and bloody invasion of that nation. But we must understand that our government has also contributed to its circumstances through repeated deliberate provocations of Russia going back to the 1990s."
Kennedy also stated in a June “Breaking Points” podcast interview that his "primary platform" on the economy would be cutting military spending and reinvesting that money into domestic spending and development.”
And whereas Kennedy has expressed hesitation in endorsing socialistic federal job guarantees or a universal basic income, he is strongly pro-union “because it's one of the key ways we can counterbalance … the domination of our government by corporate power."
Kennedy apparently agrees with a majority of conservatives that “climate change is being used to control us through fear,” whereby “freedom and free markets are a much better way to stop pollution.”
On the other hand, as an environmental attorney he has pledged, if elected, to protect wild lands by curbing logging, oil drilling and mining and containing suburban sprawl. Many, this author included, believe that logging companies provide far better stewardship of forests than neglectful government agencies do.
All-in-all, Kennedy’s policy priorities and persona will predictably resonate most decisively in drawing 2024 balloting away from Biden rather than influencing Trump’s far more steadfast base.
According to a Sept. 7 CNN poll, two-thirds of Democrat-leaning voters believe their party shouldn’t nominate Joe Biden as their candidate, a view shared by nearly three-quarters of incoming second-year college students surveyed by an online NBC News/Generation Lab poll.
Whereas Biden’s age is often cited as an important detraction, inferred senility, incompetence and a long career history of dishonesty are painfully obvious to all who are paying attention.
In stark contrast, RFK, Jr. comes across as an intelligent, articulate, principled and deeply committed competitor for dwindling Democrat support.
Above all, majority voters on all sides, Democrat, Republican and independent, appear most agreeably concerned regarding two key issues, the economy and illegal migration, with neither disaster likely to improve prior to 2024 balloting.
Meanwhile, an ongoing Biden impeachment inquiry continues to reveal mountainous evidence of family foreign influence peddling which will eventually grow too high for the mainstream media to ignore until they decide to dump him altogether.
But replaced by whom?
Their big problem is lacking an alternative without getting stuck with even less popular Kamala Harris or California’s failed policy poster boy Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Can Kennedy actually win against Trump? I seriously doubt it.
But with his welcome help, America can.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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