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OPINION

A Radical on Race, the Environment, and Taxes, RFK Jr. Is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson


By Richard Manning

Why is militant environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being elevated in conservative circles, when his radical record on environmentalism and pursuit of extremist “racial justice” are threats to civil society? 

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made waves this spring because he appeared to address growing mistrust on the right about the way COVID was handled, but Kennedy is far from an America First revolutionary. R.F.K. Jr.’s latest approach to run for president as an Independent will likely take more votes from conservatives than from Biden – unless conservatives unmask Kennedy first.   

Kennedy is a far-left ideologue and radical environmentalist and has endorsed some of the worst lawmakers in Washington D.C., whose destructive policies on immigration, trade, energy independence, and warmongering, Americans are still suffering with. Kennedy has donated to globalist Democrats for decades, donating to Obama’s campaign for president in 2007 and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president twice. Less than three years ago, Kennedy voted for Joe Biden for president, helping to install one of the most incompetent and damaging presidents in modern history at the helm of the United States. 

After a lifetime of helping ensconce some of the most anti-liberty globalists and warmongers in Washington, are we supposed to believe Kennedy has suddenly seen the light on the anti-American radicals corrupting the country? Or is it possible that he is a slippery and astute politician who is adopting “anti-institution” rhetoric in an attempt to capitalize on the public’s distrust of big government after the egregious mishandling of the pandemic?       

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Kennedy’s criticism of the way COVID was handled and “every-man” façade has so far worked to attract significantly more Republican support than Democrat, which may be the entire purpose of his campaign, to weaken Trump’s position. Recent polling from Quinnipiac University shows Republicans give Kennedy positive marks by a 30-point margin, 48% to 18%, while Democrats dislike him by 43 points, indicating his rhetoric is working. 

Unfortunately for conservatives, this is not an example of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The far-left has dismissed Kennedy for vaccine hesitancy alone, but Kennedy is still a radical big-government politician. His ideology weaponizes the federal government against the public, threatens energy independence, inserts a dangerous racial agenda into nearly every aspect of government, and calls for absurd and unsustainable tax policies and student loan programs. 

Kennedy is a radical on racial issues and an entire section of his 2024 campaign website dedicated to “racial healing” insists he will set federal dollars aside to specifically build “Black infrastructure” and enact policies that disproportionately focus on Black Americans. A president should look to elevate all Americans, not pander to the far left’s disgraceful attempt to insert race into every conversation, but Kennedy is doing just that. 

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Kennedy came out on the wrong side of history this June after the Supreme Court finally ruled that race-based affirmative action for university admissions are unconstitutional, and instead disagreed with the Court’s ruling in a statement on X. If Kennedy can’t be trusted to treat Americans equally no matter their racial background, he has no business leading the country.  

Kennedy’s views on police reform are equally alarming, as he has said he would remove legal protections for police officers by removing qualified immunity, leaving hardworking police officers open to personal liability lawsuits for issues that arise on the job. 

Aside from holding radical social justice views on race and police reform, Kennedy’s sweeping environmental ideology is absurd and hypocritical. 

Remember, in 2014, Kennedy penned an article in Huffington Post calling state attorneys general to use their power to ‘give the death penalty” to companies which disagree with his radical climate position. He argued for shuttering groups like Americans for Limited Government for our stance against radical environmentalism. When Kennedy rightly decries COVID censorship, Americans need to realize that he is merely getting a taste of what he has urged government impose on foes of his environmental extremism. 

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Kennedy refuses to support most methods of energy independence, and has a long record of supporting radical bans on fracking and fossil fuels, including Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to “curb fossil fuel extraction”, Obama’s cancellation of a fossil-fuel auction in 2015, and San Francisco’s 2016 ban on fossil fuel extraction.  

Kennedy seems to borrow much of his radical environmentalism from such figures as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling her disastrous Green New Deal "huge" and "important." 

Kennedy also strongly supports the Paris Climate Agreement, which is essentially a wealth transfer scheme from the United States to “developing” counties, allowing countries like China and India to continue polluting while the U.S. is forced to bear the burden of curbing emissions.

On taxes, Kennedy has shown support for, once again, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s nonsensical approach, tweeting out an article in 2019 supporting her proposed 70% tax rate. His campaign literature says he intends to make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy and “prosecute union busting corporations”, weaponizing the government once again. 

Kennedy’s capitalization on public wariness with big government and the mishandling of the covid pandemic might appear to make him an ally but he is a shrewd politician who understands the direction the wind is blowing. Unlike the Biden Administration which is so out of touch they couldn’t connect to the public if their lives depended on it, Kennedy and his campaign are tapping into the public’s deep mistrust of big government at the moment. The issue is, beyond criticizing the way the pandemic was handled, Kennedy is an agent of that same weaponized federal government.  

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He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and is either attempting to draw middle-class votes away from Trump or attempting to actually win and govern with a draconian iron fist, neither of which will set the country back onto an America First path. Conservatives need to see through the guise and recognize that Kennedy is a calculating politician, but not an advocate for the middle class. 

“The author is president of Americans for Limited Government”

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