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24 Apr, 2023 15:10

Presidential candidate vows to ‘unwind US empire’

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of JFK, is set to challenge Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024
Presidential candidate vows to ‘unwind US empire’

US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr has pledged to wind down American military interventionism abroad if he is elected to the White House in 2024.

Kennedy, who is the son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, confirmed his candidacy for the Democratic nomination at a campaign rally in Boston last week, placing him in competition with current US leader Joe Biden.

Also known for being a prominent anti-vaccine activist, the 69-year-old environmental lawyer has acknowledged that he is not an “ideal” candidate given his often-controversial brand of discourse, but has argued that he is “not one of those people who said I have to be careful because one day I’m going to be in the White House.”

Chief among Kennedy’s campaign proposals, as noted in a six-point plan published on his official website, would be drawing a line through US military interventionism abroad and “start[ing] the process of unwinding [an] empire.” 

“We will bring the troops home. We will stop racking up unpayable debt to fight one war after another. The military will return to its proper role of defending our country,” the plan stated, adding that “America cannot be an empire abroad and a democracy at home.” 

Regarding the Ukraine conflict, Kennedy stated that the US mission is “to end the suffering of the Ukrainian people.” However, he argued that Ukrainians are “victims” not just of Russia, but also of “American geopolitical machinations going back to at least 2014.” 

Kennedy, who has never held significant public office, has drawn criticism from health experts – and even members of his own family – amid various outspoken comments throughout his career. In 2005, a prominent science publication issued a stinging rebuke of claims he made in which he appeared to link the development of autism to vaccines.

His wife, the actress Cheryl Hines, condemned Kennedy last year for invoking the name of Anne Frank and the Holocaust while describing US vaccine requirements. He later withdrew the comments.

Kennedy also previously rebuked Donald Trump’s Covid-19 lockdowns in the US as an assault on civil rights, the economy, and the middle class.

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