RFK Jr. Says the US is Now a 'Shadow of a Democracy' Due to the Military-Industrial Complex in Recent Speech
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delivered a scathing critique of corporate power and the 'military-industrial complex' during a campaign speech in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Speaking to a crowd of around 250 supporters, Kennedy argued that large corporations and defense contractors have drained resources and undermined American democracy. “We are living in the military-industrial complex,” Kennedy proclaimed. “We’ve become a shadow of democracy at home. None of us believes that our voices are audible to anyone in the government.”
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and author, entered the 2024 presidential race as a Democrat earlier this year. But he recently parted ways with the political party and announced plans to run as an independent candidate instead. His speech and campaign have focused heavily on the influence of corporations like BlackRock and defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and how their involvement in, say, the housing market has driven up prices for the common man, as per The Nation. Kennedy was especially critical of U.S. funding for Ukraine amid Russia's invasion. He argued the billions spent on military aid would be better invested in domestic priorities.
Kennedy also went on to slam U.S. spending on foreign wars over the decades, saying the money squandered abroad could have helped improve schools, the environment, and infrastructure at home. According to Kennedy, a state like San Francisco struggles with homelessness, unaffordable housing, rising consumer debt, and economic troubles like inflation, which he attributed to federal spending.
Critics have accused Kennedy of echoing Russian talking points with his skepticism of U.S. support for Ukraine, as reported by ABC News. But his fans ate up his seemingly populist rhetoric targeting Wall Street and the Washington establishment. “You give me a sword and some ground to stand on, and I’m going to win your country back for you,” Kennedy declared while calling for volunteers and donations. “I need your help. I need an army.” Hence, it appears as though, for now, Kennedy is focused on taking on the military-industrial complex, which, from his point of view, is the 'central problem' because the very agencies meant to regulate these companies have been 'captured' by the conglomerates.
Notes from RFK Jr. announcement...— Allen Lively (@AllenLivelyLOF) October 9, 2023
"Unlike President Trump, I have been fighting corporate America for 40 years... I will stand up against the Military Industrial Complex..."
After building a name for himself as an environmental advocate, Kennedy became a prominent figure in the anti-vaccine movement over the past twenty years, drawing intense criticism from health experts for propagating misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19. Facebook and Instagram even suspended his accounts last year for violating policies against false claims during the pandemic, as reported by the Dayton Daily News. But Kennedy retains a loyal following and could have an impact as an independent candidate given the close polling between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. The Biden and Trump campaigns both declined to comment on Kennedy's insurgent presidential bid.
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