Peter J. Kaplan
3 min readApr 12, 2023

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ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.

Bobby Junior.

Sixty-nine years old.

A college classmate.

Harvard ’76.

Never really knew him.

Saw him around occasionally, but never knew him.

Which begs this question:

Who did?

Certainly, he enjoyed the company of a gaggle of his privileged private school friends, not to mention the cadre of prep school wanna-be types.

Of whom there were many.

And of course, he had the undying support of his legacy–his famous and politically-charged family.

American history.

History is just that.

But everything dies, including familial support.

History too.

According to many sources and outlets, including Isabel Vincent of the New York Post, his ‘disgusted’ family is unlikely to support his bid for the presidency which will be formally announced at an event Wednesday April 19, to be held at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel.

He filed paperwork to run for president with the FCC last week.

“Most of the Kennedys are disgusted with his attitude,” echoed Kennedy family biographer Laurence Leamer.

He was referring to Junior’s recent anti-vaccination activism.

“They still care about him, but he’s an embarrassment.”

Next question:

Who in this world of politics isn’t?

This is not to defend him.

Even third wife Cheryl Hines, she of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm renown, is a little fed up.

Hines distanced herself from his vaccine extremism after he invoked Nazi Germany in a speech against vaccines at the Lincoln Memorial last year.

In it, Junior implied 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 and meeting her maker in Auschwitz.

ARE YOU SERIOUS???

C’mon, man.

Get real.

Tweeted Hines, his wife:

“My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in DC was reprehensible and insensitive.

The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything.

His opinions are not a reflection of my own.”

He later apologized for the reference, but it remains unclear how sincerely and to whom.

Maybe she should run for president.

But that’s not all with respect to my contemporary, Jr.

Hardly.

Once a best-selling author and environmental lawyer focused on issues such as clean water, he began teetering about 15 years ago.

He became fixated on the belief that vaccines were not safe.

Jr. emerged as one of the leading voices of the anti-vaccine movement.

His work has been described by public health experts–and also by many family members–as misleading and dangerous.

He released a book in 2021, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” in which he accused the nation’s top infectious disease doctor of assisting in “a historic coup d’état against Western democracy.”

He went on to promote unproven Covid-19 treatments such as ivermectin, which is meant to treat parasites, and the Trump-touted anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine.

Jr. the Democrat has folks like Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and anti-vaccine profiteer Charlene Bollinger in his corner.

His sister, Kerry Kennedy, runs Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the international rights group founded by their mother, Ethel.

At her request, Jr. has removed some of his controversial content.

His anti-vaccine stance is “completely wrong on this issue and very dangerous,” she told the Associated Press in a 2021 interview.

Never mind that he’s appeared at events pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and with people who cheered or downplayed the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Or his defense and embrace of his father’s convicted assassin, Sirhan Sirhan.

No less an authority than Leamer himself said this:

“I have done quite a bit of work on the [Robert Kennedy] assassination, and that he should support Sirhan Sirhan is even worse than his anti-vax stuff for his family.”

There are other things perhaps.

This is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Or vice-versa.

I’m trying to divorce myself from the politics of it.

Hard to do.

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in April 2023.]

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