RFK Jr. makes appearance in Vermont — where were the Democrats?

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Speaking in Vermont on Wednesday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. made a case that protecting environmental resources can be accomplished without sacrificing economic growth. The standing ovation that followed suggested his closing argument hit home.

By John Klar

The 2023 summer solstice was marked in the Green Mountains of Vermont by a somewhat incongruous visit by Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Addressing an audience of some 200 enthusiastic supporters on June 21 in Burlington, Mr. Kennedy’s subject for the evening centered on industrial pollution and his plans to improve energy efficiency through free markets. But Vermont’s hills did not reverberate with approving liberal cheers for these sensible policy proposals: nary a Democrat was in attendance.

Bernie Sanders did not introduce the fast-rising Dem hopeful from Camelot; Peter Welch did not extend a red carpet. The event that platformed Kennedy was organized and hosted by the rather libertarian-leaning Ethan Allen Institute, an educational think tank focusing on free markets, individual liberty, and constitutional integrity. Kennedy’s unconventional 2024 Presidential campaign thus found a Vermont welcome in an unexpected forum.

Ethan Allen Institute has maintained its non-partisan posture throughout three decades of policy analysis and research. A recent EAI event featured famed columnist George F. Will, and was largely attended by conservatives. A different cross-section of Vermonters gathered for RFK’s visit, hinting at the possibility of a growing alliance of populist support for an authentic maverick.

Speaking energetically in the low-ceilinged event room, Mr. Kennedy engaged the smilingly attentive crowd with a history of his legal battles against large industrial polluters challenging PCBs that tainted the Hudson River, and coal-burning plants that polluted the country with mercury. Mr. Kennedy’s passion and confident optimism held the room even for those who might disagree: there was no doubting the intensity of his sincerity.

Tellingly, RFK, Jr. did not pontificate about greenhouse gasses, or condemn Republicans for climate change. He instead focused on the nonpartisan consensus that toxic chemicals are destroying the ecosystem, and the free market forces that must be harnessed to compel polluters to internalize the true environmental costs of their products. Kennedy made an accurate case that protecting environmental resources can be accomplished without sacrificing economic growth. The standing ovation that followed suggested his closing argument hit home.

The salient appeal of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is that he truly appeals to an American political middle. He calls out the woke totalitarianism that has infested culture and government, ensuring he is anathema to the Far Left. Yet he adheres to traditional liberal positions such as renewable energy manufacturing, and appeals to conservatives disenchanted with Donald Trump (and his infamous tweets!). And juxtaposed with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Kennedy highlights the corrupt incompetence of the bumbling incumbents.

Kennedy is making the podcast rounds to outflank the efforts of MSM to deplatform and cancel him, and he is winning that battle. Demonstrating himself to be an artful, passionate and eminently qualified candidate, his visit to Vermont portends a riveting 2024 election season for Americans. Traveling to deep-Blue Green Mountain country, hosted by libertarians, discussing climate in ways that woo even conservatives: that’s an odd duck in any pond.

Democrats are deer-in-Vermont-headlights dumbfounded about how to silence this guy from exposing their perfidy. Efforts to slander him over his vaccine record invite platforms to ….discuss vaccines—not at all what Biden and Democrats wish to do, as recent exchanges between Joe Rogan and Dr. Peter Hotez demonstrate.

Fact is, Kennedy is a hard man for Dems to discredit. No Chappaquiddick; no crotch-grabbing videos; decades of virtuous environmental battles; he wears the Kennedy family martyr mantle—John F Kennedy remains an American icon even among conservatives. Efforts by liberal pundits to discredit Kennedy are circus-like, even laughable. The corrupt Left has no credibility trying to blemish a traditional Democrat. And, their usual playbook is bereft of options—they can’t simply call him a racist or homophobe, as they do with conservatives.

The eclectic Vermont crowd at Wednesday’s Ethan Allen Institute dinner reflects a centrist mass of awakening voters, fed up with betrayals by the absentee Dem elites; eager for a moderate with brains and mettle; rebelling against extremist agitation on both the far left and right. RFK, Jr. has a low bar to clear in competence and integrity, to rally Americans from all walks of life like a snowball gathering tonnage as it crashes down a Vermont mountainside in January.

That’s some political climate change that everyone can believe in.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.

Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

8 thoughts on “RFK Jr. makes appearance in Vermont — where were the Democrats?

  1. The question to ask RFK Jr. is this.

    If the government (and those who enable its authority for their perceived personal benefit – most often at the expense of others, can’t be trusted to correctly inform the public about the efficacy and adverse effects of vaccines, PCBs, etc., why should the government be trusted at all on climate change – or for anything it proposes?

    After all, the cause of any despicable behavior rests with ‘the people’ – those who either perpetrate the corruption, accept it, or partake in it without question. And if history is any indication:

    “When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.”

    Claude-Frédéric Bastiat
    Author of ‘the parable of the broken window’

  2. First of all, let me make this clear:
    Donald Trump’s base is not disenchanted with him at all, that is what the state run propaganda media machine is trying to make you believe the truth is– and apparently RFK Jr has fallen for that- which is not impressive.

    My own governor Chris Sununu has decided not to run for President because he feels it’s more important to join Pence, Christy and the rest of the bottom feeders in taking down Donald Trump so they can all continue on with the grift that enriches them all.
    So don’t get sucked into believing what these losers are putting out there.

    Mr.Trump is raising a whole lot of money right now.. he’s way ahead of Ron DeSantis in every poll I’ve seen- which is a lot.
    So the numbers and the people that fill arenas are not showing any “disenchantment” of his conservative base.

    About RFK Jr.: While you like what he says on some topics that are popular today, I’d urge you to really do some research about this man.. he is a Democrat with quite a history.
    He’s taken plenty of positions on things that you are not going to like.
    Afterall, Climate Change is being revealed by the day as being a money making scam.
    How can anyone support batteries for anything when it’s kids in poor foreign nations digging up the rare earth materials to create these?
    How can you want more and more solar panels and wind turbines when there are no good plans to recycle all this crap? unless you call trucking it to Wyoming a ‘recycling plan’.

    Do not fall what what you see on the surface..

    But having said this I agree that it’s long past time to return to a more centrist position because that is truly how the government helps the very most people.
    To be far left or far right leaves the entire middle, which is the largest part of the spectrum- totally ignored!
    If the far left is in control, as it is today, the overwhelming majority of the nation is not happy AND is getting robbed and then screwed.
    AND given that over 80% of the country is not please by Biden, this tells us I’m right.

    Isn’t it so strange that 81 million people voted for Biden and yet now no one likes him?

  3. Very telling the leading Democrats in Vermont did not bother to show up? Not one? They are all in with 10% Joe? The Vermont Democrats (and Pandering Phil Scott) are forging ahead with the stink of The Biden enveloping them. Being the Titanic is making headlines, it appears appropiate and timely as the DNC ship is going down with the corruption torpedo hole in the hull – The Biden Adventure, now playing in all theaters of the absurd. By the way, great display of party unity in the well of the House with censored Adam Shifty Schiff, the lying-dog-face pony soldier.

    • Melissa their phones didn’t tell them to go…so there they stood. Not knowing what to do.

      Non-thinking sheep people…they’d rather stand there than be challenged- because they know they are not equipped for the challenge.

  4. Let me start off by saying, I never vote for Democrats, but I have listened to
    RFK Jr and he has a great mind and is very knowledgeable about his topics
    and should be a real contender in 2024 if they debate, Biden won’t because
    he can’t………….. Biden is a world leader, now that’s funny, well I know the
    world thinks he’s a joke !!

    It’s time for Vermont’s remaining ” Blue Collar Dems ” to wake up, as the
    progressives are a cancer within their party……………………………

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