Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed paperwork to run for president last week. He’s running as a Democrat, but the terms Democrat/Republican, Left/Right mean little today. What animates U.S. politics now is the ruling class vs. the people class. Take a glance at Kennedy’s announcement remarks: “My top priority will be to end the corrupt merger between state and corporate power that has ruined our economy, shattered the middle class, polluted our landscapes and waters, poisoned our children, and robbed us of our values and freedoms.”
I’m a single-issue voter now (COVID restrictions). And in fact, the COVID debacle was the mother of all “corrupt mergers between state and corporate power.” Look no further than how the federal government worked closely with tech giants to censor unapproved views. Or how Pfizer board member and former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb negotiated multi-billion dollar vaccine deals with the federal government. Or how easy money policies and stimulus checks created a bonanza for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations. After all this, as Kennedy said, the middle class was left shattered.
Let’s be honest about those in power in March 2020. Donald Trump, if not the architect of lockdowns, was certainly the foreman. Likewise, if the former president wants ownership of Operation Warp Speed, let him have it. Ron DeSantis is more complicated. The Florida governor succumbed to lockdown pressure in March 2020, but quickly reversed course at the state level. The reality, however, is that DeSantis punted to the mayors of his state, only suspending local restrictions in April 2021.
My gym in Miami was closed in March 2020 as part of state restrictions, then allowed to re-open in late spring by the mayor of Miami-Dade County. In August 2020, the mayor intended to close health clubs again due to a “surge,” until a last-minute deal was worked out where gyms could stay open as long as they required (sweaty, fraying) masks.
The chronicle of Miami’s COVID restrictions is particularly ridiculous because of the area’s dual power structure. The mayor of Miami-Dade County can only sometimes legally preempt the mayors of cities within the county. As a result, you get a farce that looks like this: In 2021, the mayor of Miami-Dade County started lifting some COVID restrictions, but the mayor of the city of Miami was a true believer. Therefore, when you drove down Crandon Blvd towards Key Biscayne, you would find the county-owned marinas on the road’s right-hand side open for business, while the city-owned marinas on the road’s left-hand side remained closed.
In any event, the hype around the free state of Florida was important in lifting the entire world out of the lockdowns. DeSantis showed the planet that a state of 21 million people could function just fine with the old normal. Without DeSantis, I don’t know what catalyst would have ever ended lockdowns. On the other hand, the truth is that my kids missed 1+ years of in-person high school.
RFK Jr. has dedicated much of his life’s work to the principle that vaccines do more harm than good. Surely he recognizes, and wants to address, how Big Pharma in general distorts our entire culture. For starters, Big Pharma’s massive profitability and advertising budgets enable the industry to control news reporting. That’s why every news article about RFK Jr.’s campaign launch starts with a sneering, anti-vax barb. In healthcare, just one example of Big Pharma’s pull is how cholesterol scores support an enormous medical ecosystem (and Big Food propaganda crusade). The actual relationship between cholesterol and mortality data is never considered because Big Pharma makes a pill that can manipulate the scores.
The intense gravity of Big Pharma also warped public health officials’ COVID decisions. They rejected interventions that could have prevented or moderated coronavirus infections, such as vitamin D supplements or prescriptions for antibiotics+zinc. Public health priority number one was to clear the way for a Big Pharma injection — which predictably, did more harm than good.