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Robert Kennedy Jr. Blasts Congressional Dems for ‘Toxic Polarization’ in House Testimony

By Matt De Vlieger · July 20, 2023

Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr. tells Congress: "Respectful debate is…the sunlight for a democracy"  Wiki Commons

In fiery, impassioned testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Robert Kennedy Jr. lashed out at Congressional Democrats, accusing them of “destroying our country” through “toxic polarization.” The Democratic presidential candidate condemned the current divisive climate and warned that it posed a greater threat to the nation “than any time since the American Civil War.”

Kennedy began his testimony by stressing the importance of free speech and open debate, stating that America cannot address its challenges without the First Amendment and “respectful debate.” He expressed concern over the suppression of speech, referring to himself as one of its early victims. “Two days after the Biden administration came into office, they censored me,” Kennedy said, referring to misrepresentation of his views of the COVID vaccine.

The presidential hopeful clarified that he has never been anti-vaccine, despite having raised concerns about vaccine efficacy and safety before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Kennedy also vehemently denied any association with racism or antisemitism, asserting that he had spent his life “fighting for the protection of Israel.” Kennedy criticized the use of pejoratives like “anti-vax” to discredit him and accused critics of using tactics reminiscent of the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. 

RFK Jr. faced public opprobrium last week over comments he made about a theory that the COVID-19 virus was “ethnically targeted” to attack Caucasians and Black people and to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.

Kennedy cautioned that targeted propaganda and censorship only worsen the current divisive political climate, calling for “respect, kindness, and empathy” to bridge the gaps between people with opposing opinions. Drawing on his family’s political legacy, he pointed to his uncle, Edward Kennedy, who had a remarkable legislative record due to his ability to reach across the aisle and find common ground.

“Toxic polarization is destroying our country today,” Kennedy warned, urging his fellow Democrats to end the hostility and restore comity in Congress and across America. 

He added, ““We have to stop trying to destroy each other, to marginalize, to vilify, to gaslight each other. We have to find that place inside of ourselves of light, of empathy, of compassion.”

Kennedy concluded, stressing the importance of upholding the Constitution as the ultimate compass for all activities. “The Constitution was written for hard times,” he said, “and it must be the premier guiding light for our nation.”

Light Wave commentary

Robert Kennedy Jr.’s recent testimony before Congress highlights the deep divisions plaguing our country. The Democratic presidential hopeful raised valid concerns about the suppression of differing viewpoints, as he stressed the fundamental importance of free speech and open debate to America’s democracy. His call for respect, kindness, and empathy is a timely reminder for all politicians to bridge the gaps and work towards bipartisan solutions. At the same time, the colorful nephew of President John F. Kennedy should take greater care when speaking in public. His remark last week that  the COVID-19 virus was “ethnically targeted” to attack Caucasians and Black people and to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people could itself be seen as divisive and uncalled for. Certainly not something the public wants to hear from a serious presidential candidate.