RFK Jr. Is Priming His Viewers for Election Denialism

rfk jr election denial politics 2126505422

In 2006, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. thought he was on to one thing large. In an article for Rolling Stone, he argued that the 2004 election had been rigged to ensure a George W. Bush victory, wrongly denying Democratic candidate John Kerry his place within the Oval Office. Citing analysis from a visiting scholar on the College of Pennsylvania, Kennedy argued {that a} discrepancy between exit polls and precise vote counts, together with voter disenfranchisement in Ohio, constituted seemingly proof of a concerted effort to unlawfully set up Bush in workplace.“Regardless of the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that one thing deeply troubling had taken place in 2004,” Kennedy wrote.Actually, there was no media blackout, and 2004 election conspiracy theories had been, if something, considerably mainstream. Mom Jones printed a narrative about them in November 2005, and Christopher Hitchens did so in Self-importance Truthful even earlier, in March 2005. Many disillusioned Democrats shared broad suspicions concerning the equity of the entire course of. Shortly after the election, Senate Judiciary Democrats even demanded an investigation into alleged voting irregularities, exhibiting how loud and sustained these allegations had been.However Kennedy held himself out because the lone man asking the arduous questions, a tactic he’s used all through his total profession. And now, in his quest for the presidency, he’s doing so once more. The arc of his marketing campaign clearly reveals that he’s laid the groundwork for his supporters responsible his inevitable loss on an elite conspiracy; it appears maybe affordable to ask whether or not Kennedy’s group or supporters will query some facets of the outcomes of the 2024 election.The Kennedy marketing campaign advised WIRED it won’t. “Mr. Kennedy believes that his opponents’ ways are unscrupulous and anti-Democratic, however that they don’t match the definition of fraud,” spokesperson Stefanie Spear wrote in an emailed assertion. “He has no plans to contest the election outcomes.”However whether or not or not Kennedy himself truly does so is in some methods irrelevant—he’s already benefiting from the existence of a truthering fashion he helped pioneer.Throughout his candidacy, Kennedy hasn’t shied away from excessive claims of political corruption and revisionist historical past. He has considerably downplayed the riot on January 6, 2021; in a fundraising electronic mail, his marketing campaign referred to these arrested as “activists” who had been “stripped of their constitutional liberties,” and he falsely claimed in a press release that they weren’t carrying weapons. “I’ve not examined the proof intimately,” he wrote, “however affordable individuals, together with Trump opponents, inform me there’s little proof of a real rebel.” (After an outcry, Kennedy walked these remarks again, calling them “a mistake,” and particularly admitted that the declare that the rioters carried no weapons was incorrect.)Connections with election deniers and January 6 supporters additionally hold popping up all through Kennedy’s group. The marketing campaign fired a New York marketing campaign marketing consultant, Rita Palma, after CNN reported that she’d attended the “Cease the Steal” rally on January 6 that preceded the riots, and had inspired voters to support Kennedy in New York as a result of it will assist Donald Trump’s reelection. The marketing campaign didn’t, nevertheless, denounce her rally attendance; Kennedy’s marketing campaign supervisor and daughter-in-law, Amaryllis Fox, mentioned it fired her for “misrepresentation” after she claimed to be the New York state marketing campaign director.

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