He spoke for over two hours on a range of issues, including the war in Ukraine, energy policy, gun control, and the origin of SARS-CoV-2. And Kennedy deplored the corporate takeover of the Democratic Party, excoriated President Biden's pro-war instincts, decried the domination of US foreign policy by neo-cons and promoted renewable energy.
And yet, according to the New York Times and CNN, it was an orgy of right-wing conspiracy theorizing. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of the country's most famous Democratic families," wrote three New York Times reporters, "dived into the full embrace of a host of conservative figures who eagerly promoted his long-shot primary challenge to President Biden….On Monday, he sounded like a candidate far more at ease in the mushrooming Republican presidential contest."
In pre-Trump America, Kennedy, an anti-war, pro-free speech environmentalist and fierce critic of corporate power, would have been universally regarded as a far-left candidate in the mold of Ralph Nader or his current campaign manager, Dennis Kucinich. He once called for the Koch Brothers to be criminally prosecuted. Kennedy believes that the war in Ukraine is being fueled by "the neo-cons in the White House" who want "regime change with the Russians." In his campaign announcement speech, he described his mission as ending "the corrupt merger of state and corporate power" that is threatening "to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism in our country."
But a dizzying political realignment has scrambled all of the traditional categories and left in its wake just two sides: not left and right, but insider and outsider. And no matter the substance of one's beliefs, to the media, "outsider" means, by default, "right-wing conspiracy theorist."