Democratic presidential hopeful, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. presented powerful testimony on Thursday at the hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government regarding the vital importance of upholding the first Amendment and free speech.
However, he almost didn’t.
Democrats Move to Block Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Testimony
Before the hearing was officially underway, Democrats went on the offensive in an attempt to end the hearing before it began to prevent RFK from offering his statements.
In other words, members of Congress moved to censor a witness in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on censorship.
It doesn’t get much better than this, ladies and gentlemen.
The motion to move into executive session by Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz failed and Kennedy was permitted the opportunity to call out the hypocrisy of his own party.
“I’ve spent my life in this party. I’ve devoted my life to the values of this party. Censorship is antithetical to our party. It was appalling to my father, to my uncle, to FDR, to Harry Truman, to Thomas Jefferson. It is the basis for democracy.”
JFK’s nephew continued, “The first Amendment was not written for easy speech. It was written for the speech that nobody likes you for.”
Speech such as COVID originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
Speech such as the COVID vaccines may not be totally safe and effective.
Speech such as the United States should not be giving billions of dollars to Ukraine.
Whether one agees or disagrees with any of these statements is of no concern to the First Amendment. It concerns itself with the right to express these opinions or statements in search of truth. The First Amendment is the necessary foundation for as Kennedy so poignantly pointed out, “conversations that we ought to be having with each other as Americans.”
Kennedy continued, “Debate – congenial, respectful debate – is the fertilizer, it’s the water, it’s the sunlight for our democracy. We need to be talking to each other.”
The Democrats on the committee would have none of it.
The Case Against RFK, Jr.
When asked about RFK, Jr’s. appearance in front of Congress, a handful of Democrats interviewed by Fox News dropped the usual terms the left loves to use to discredit anyone that disagrees with them: misinformation, antisemitic, and harmful.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) said, “I disagree sharply with what he’s been suggesting for a long time, and I think his comments about ethnicity, recently, I think were preposterous words … there’s not a lot of evidence that supports his position, that’s for sure.”
That doesn’t mean you get to censor a man you disagree with, yet that’s exactly what Neal would have the House Committee do.
Neal added that Republicans “get to choose who the witnesses are, and they’re calling it free speech.”
Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.) commented, with a smug chuckle, “I think it’s going to be entertaining and probably going to include some misinformation”.
“Speaker McCarthy loves to tweet about, you know, Israel and how antisemitism doesn’t belong in Congress,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said. “He’s bringing antisemitism to Congress by allowing RFK Jr. to come on Thursday. The responsible thing to do is to not give him that platform.”
He added, “It’s just harmful what RFK is doing on health care, on antisemitic comments. It’s just not helpful, and he has no business being here at the Capitol.”
The antisemitic accusations are based on a video that the New York Post published showing RFK speaking at a private dinner on New York’s upper east side suggesting that ethnically targeted bioweapons exist and that “there’s an argument that COVID-19 … attacked different races disproportionately.” He also stated, “The people that are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese … there are papers out there that show the racial and ethnic differential.”
It’s legitimate to classify these claims as dubious, but I’m not exactly sure what is racist or antisemitic about them. RFK says nothing hateful about a particular group of people, nor does he threaten violence against anyone or use racial slurs.
Americans, and particularly politicians, need to stop hurling accusations at people who disagree with them, calling them names that used to carry significant weight such as “Nazi,” “racist,” or “antisemitic,” or “fascist.”
This is deeply destructive to our culture. Diluting the meaning of words renders language impotent and destroys the ability of a society to agree on a basic understanding of reality.
This is what the left loves to do – twist and redefine words to paint a picture of someone that justifies the need for censorship or “de-platforming.” In doing so they can create a whole new world that suits them and their desire for power.
It is the beginning of a dictatorship and a place where, sadly, the once liberal Democratic party, the champions of free speech, is headed.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review.