RFK Jr and the big metaphor
Updated: Jul 20
The last time a family of Irish gangsters rigged an election to take the White House, Robert Francis Kennedy Jr was only about 7 years old—that was when his uncle, John F Kennedy, held office, with certain votes “fixed” in Chicago to facilitate it along the way (he gave way to a man who was, if possible, an even bigger crook—LBJ).
What’s going on with this conspiracy theory? It seems that, in line with the Kanye outburst last year, generalised anti-Jewish sentiment is back (and not in the classy way I do it, either—for shame).
I don’t care about Covid-19 and I don’t understand the science around it, but I understand the politics—and RFK Jr has just put forward a progressive slant on Covid-19.
Although it’s usually the right that owns Covid-19, RFK Jr has elaborated a conspiracy theory from the left—it might appear to favour the right because it takes a pop at the Jews and the Chinese, but let’s unpack it (after all, Stalin was a progressive and, late in his career, persecuted the Jews—so nobody said you can’t be progressive and persecute the Jews, or the Chinese for that matter).
The tell is that RFK Jr includes the blacks in this story. It shows he’s still a progressive—you see, above all the white man protects the black man (if he’s a civilised white man and not some thug—“white trash”). Well, really, he protects women—but, in an unacknowledged twist, blacks are also women and so must be protected (being dependent—they’re a sub-class of women).
The line RFK Jr puts down is basically: it’s white and black Americans finally united (I know, dry your eyes) in a struggle against the Jews and the Chinese. At last, the real America is revealed and united. In this story, both black and white Americans have become the joint victims of perfidious foreign racists—now they must unite to save America.
So you see that the story is progressive—it’s racial noblesse oblige, it’s a leftist take on the right’s vaccine scepticism. The right usually focuses on the vaccine not the virus itself—it’s the vaccine that “will make white people sterile” or some such invention.
The right’s actual opposition to the vaccine has nothing to do with the science around the vaccine, its risks and efficacy. Vaccines have always been controversial—in the 1770s in Boston, while discussion about independence went on, there were stormy, often violent, meetings about compulsory vaccination for smallpox. The right objects to vaccines for three reasons:
* Personal liberty—the state should not be able to compel me to take a drug if I don’t want to, whether the drug is good for me or not is irrelevant; it’s “give me freedom or give me death”, it’s “better dead than red”—I’d prefer to give up my life than give up my freedom; and I am willing to risk death for freedom—so end the lockdown now.
* Vaccines work, in principle—so the left loves them because once implemented the vaccine demonstrates that state action works. A successful vaccine campaign can be used to justify state intervention elsewhere and it’s hard to argue against because it doesn’t carry the drawbacks that plague many other large state projects.
* There’s also an element in the right that rejects almost all medicine on Darwinian grounds—the weak need to be weeded out sooner or later anyway, vaccines just represent a huge detour for the unfit; better to get it over and done with. And this attitude is combined with the general masculine attitude, which is not to run to the doctor every five minutes, like a woman, but just to tough it out and if you die you die (you probably won’t).
These arguments have nothing to do with Covid-19 or science—but, then again, neither do the left’s arguments; both sides just clothe their basic positions in whatever science and anecdotes come to hand.
As such, the right has a fascination with the vaccine—which was made in a shoddy way, or is filled with micro-ions (a term I just made up, but it sounds plausible—possibly these reduce your testosterone, so leading to the terminal feminisation of the West and its final collapse), or perhaps the vaccine will make you sterile (another attack on our birthrates). The right does talk about Covid origins, but it’s more interested in the vaccine—because that’s what attacks your individual liberty.
RFK Jr does talk about the vaccine, but he has homed in on virus origins to create a story that could, just could, end America’s “racial divide”—by uniting black and white against the Chinese and the Jews. If nothing else, it’s a novel approach—in the worthy tradition of the Irish demagogues.
So the story RFK Jr tells us is a story about racism, not individual liberty. What he wants us to understand is that the US Government has done racist things—like create viruses that target specific races. They’ve done this with foreigners, because foreigners are particularly sinister and very racist—that might sound like a contradiction but it’s just an Orwellian paradox. The official US belief system is anti-racism—and Americans are horrified about how “racist” those awful foreigners are.
“But it’s my centuries-old national tradition to beat a papier-mâché puppet of a black man every Easter,” says the Spaniard, “you are racist to criticise me for it.”
The belief system doesn’t work like that, just as Soviet Communism could accommodate considerable Russian chauvinism within a belief system that claimed to be “for all people”—you’re “racist” if you express behaviour or beliefs not in line with what America’s secular priests deem “racist” at the moment, although these beliefs are not arbitrary they pursue their own peculiar logic.
So it is not impossible for Americans to make statements that are xenophobic or derogatory against another race in the name of “anti-racism”—even apparent hypocrisies like “the Spanish are so racist”, which might sound like a generalisation against a race, if you take a naïve reading as to what “racism” is, can be coded as “anti-racism” depending on where the belief system is at the moment. If so, it is acceptable to hate—really, engage in race hate—against all Spanish people for their “racism”.
The contradictions are most apparent with regards to whites, who are, in essence, racist because they exist—although because it has to mobilise whites to support itself the system has certain work-arounds and get-out clauses to mobilise this group.
Anyway, we have been told a story about racism. It’s about how America is racist, how the Chinese are racist—and, also, how the Jews are racist. This is not uncommon on the left—think about rhetoric around “Nazi Israel” and “the IDF—the Jewish SS” (a topic that deserves its own post). So RFK Jr works in a leftist idiom, a bit like his pal Joe Rogan—who once related how he backed away from some “racist” men in a bar, despite the fact people call him racist all the time (does it mean anything, Joe? Please think). So RFK Jr has elaborated his own folk version of the official belief system.
I don’t think RFK Jr really believes the Jews and the Chinese conspired to release a bioweapon to kill off the whites and the blacks (it’s just too perfect isn’t it, united against a common foe at last?). He has come up with his own spin on the anti-racist democratic story for the mob.
But I think what he also wants to do is to speak in a metaphorical way about the influence the Chinese and the Jews exert over America—over heritage America, white and black. It’s about the overrepresentation of Jews in the bureaucracy, it’s about the “China lobby” in Washington. The way he tells this story is to hint—remember, he never says “Jews made this bioweapon with the Chinese”—at this plot against America.
The woman next to him pulls a shocked face when he says “Ashkenazi Jews” (I like the fact he is that specific, don’t you? It gives his story credence, so precise in his genetic science Ashkenazi; but what about the Sephardi Jews, was it decided that they go under the bus with the goyim and schvartzes, or wot?). Anyway, the woman next him clearly finds this resonates at some level, along the lines: “OMG! I always thought the Jews were trying to kill us and he’s actually said it! Wow! Awesome!”
So it resonates. I think what RFK Jr is doing, possibly unconsciously, is telling a metaphorical story about how America, dominated by the Chinese and the Jews, is so mismanaged that it’s killing heritage Americans—black and white. The mismanagement being over Covid-19. He can’t just say that outright because it’s too explosive, but it also wouldn’t resonate with anyone—so what he has done is given it this hook connected to an anti-racist metaphor so strictly virtuous that people can swallow it.
If you say to him, “This is anti-Semitism,” he can just say, “Look, what I’m worried about is these racist bioweapons—funded by our tax dollars and used against white and black Americans alike. Now it just so happens that Jews and Chinese people are exempt, for some reason—don’t ask me why, this is just the reading I’ve been doing over the last few months. Whatever is going on here, the important point is that we have to end this racist virus research.”
In the end, he links it back to the Ukraine and biolabs because he’s an old lefty who supports Russia because she *isn’t* American imperialism—so he takes a line like Jeremy Corbyn. So he supports Russia’s quasi-Soviet propaganda line on the Ukraine, that it’s an “anti-fascist” operation, by alluding to the idea there’s “racist viral research” going on there. It’s all fascism, don’t you see? Azov, racist viruses, biolabs, ZioNazis…
A right-wing person wouldn’t be so interested in that—they’d talk about how Putin has cracked down on trans activism if they wanted to back Russia, but RFK Jr latches on to the quasi-Soviet Russian propaganda point (probably partially maintained to hook the residual Western Marxist left and far-left social democrats into the Russian narrative). It all fits together a bit too nicely, but it’s a narrative we’re meant to buy into—if we’re a dissident progressive, someone who hates the Jews because Israel is “so racist”.
It supports the story RFK Jr wants to tell, though—and it’s an anti-racist story. So RFK Jr is still a candidate from the left—he just belongs to the older iteration of the Irish crime family currently ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.