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RFK Jr. Touts His Vision for Healthy America

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Image by lev radin/Shutterstock

A crowd of Texans looking for a change in the political status quo gathered at Brazos Hall in Austin on Monday to lend an ear as independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gave a rousing and wide-ranging campaign speech.

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and activist, opened by praising an Amish farmer, John Kempf, who, despite having only an 8th-grade education, became a self-taught expert in immunology in agricultural plants. He promoted Kempf’s work in regenerative agriculture and the avoidance of harmful pesticides.

The presidential candidate then turned his attention to a study from the turn of the millennium. He cited the “Guyer study,” which claimed that the general decline in mortality from infectious diseases that Americans saw in the 20th century was due to improvements in nutrition rather than any one medical advancement.

Kennedy further identified improvements in maintaining clean water and the transportation of citrus fruits to new areas during winter months as things that improved health during that period. This notion became the jumping-off point for Kennedy’s vision for a healthy America, which includes making the most of what he sees as divine gifts.

We should “bolster our immune systems, bolster the thing God gave us,” Kennedy said to uproarious cheers. “Good health does not come in a syringe.”

During his speech and in the several videos shown to the audience before he hit the stage, Kennedy repeatedly hammered the well-known fact that rates of chronic disease have been skyrocketing in the United States for decades.

He condemned the political system and the alleged capture of government agencies by major corporations as a “[corrupt system that] makes us feed this beast [that makes us sicker].”

This was not Kennedy’s first time talking about corporate capture. He had spoken to The Dallas Express about it just weeks earlier.

“Both political parties have been captured by corporate entities … ironically, it is the same groups, such as BlackRock, which owns all the defense contractors, all the pharmaceutical companies, most of the credit card companies, the banks, etc. — and it is one of the biggest donors to both political parties,” he told DX.

“Those political parties are not offering the American public the things that they purport to disagree on. [They hold themselves to] a tiny, tiny, little Overton window of culture war issues, but the big issues that … are really existential to Americans, [like] a $34 trillion debt, toxic [political] polarization, the chronic disease epidemic, the destruction of our soils, the chronic lying from government — none of that is even part of the discussion between those two political candidates,” he elaborated.

The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is a political science concept that contends there is a spectrum of acceptability in terms of governmental policy in the eyes of the public.

Kennedy struck a similar tone on the issue of agency capture.

“The [National Institute of Health], because it is captured by the chemical industry, does not do the kind of studies [and] does not require the kind of studies that need to be done to determine the safety of these products –– and because of that, the manufacturers get to keep poisoning people and animals, etc., without any consequences,” he said.

“I am going to shift NIH’s priorities to do those studies,” he added. “I cannot tell you that we are going to ban every bad chemical, but I can put enough science out there that the lawyers can now litigate against the chemical company and let the market shut down that chemical very quickly.”

Neither Biden nor Trump have addressed nutrition as a form of medicine in their platforms. However, a fact sheet from the Biden administration said the 46th president would tackle “food insecurity” as a healthcare issue. The America First Healthcare Plan provided by the Trump Archives includes things like expanding telehealth, but it does not address food.

Before Kennedy took the stage at Brazos Hall, his vice-presidential pick, Nicole Shanahan, gave a speech focused on soil quality.

“Soil is not much of a political issue,” said Shanahan, who is both an attorney and a scientist. She then proceeded to lay out her position that soil is at the root of America’s chronic disease problem, advocating for reduced pesticide use and championing regenerative agriculture.

Kennedy and Shanahan were in Austin, in part, to submit their petition signatures to appear on the 2024 general election ballot in the Lone Star State. Although a little more than 110,000 signatures are required to get on the ballot in Texas, Kennedy’s campaign submitted well over double that number.

“We had a historic today in Texas. We handed in just under 250,000 signatures. That is more than any other presidential candidacy in the history of Texas and in the history of our country,” Kennedy said.

Many people were in attendance at Brazos Hall to hear what the independent candidate had to say. DX asked some of them why they came.

Harry Mulcahy, who identified himself as an Irish-born American citizen and political science student at LSU, said simply, “It is time for change.“

He said Kennedy came to his attention when his dad sent him a link to RFK Jr.’s appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast. His parents and many younger brothers joined Mulcahy at the event.

Another attendee, Lauren Postler, said, “I want to see someone change; I want to see an independent make it without the party machines. I am voting for the individual, rather than the party.”

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