RFK, Jr. to Big Carbon: Your Day is Over

Graphic by Osha Gray Davidson

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s keynote address to the Solar Power International conference in Anaheim, CA, has been described in the media as a “barn-barner” (the New York Times), “rousing” (Greentech Media) and “inspiring” (New Energy News).

It certainly was all that. As someone who has followed not just Robert, Jr., but also the career of his late father, Senator RFK, Sr., the best way I can describe the speech is, “consistent.”

 

Since the 1960s, the two Kennedy’s have spoken to deep-rooted traditional American values of democracy, equality and activism — no matter what the ostensible subject matter was.

Moments before he was assassinated in 1968, Robert Kennedy, Sr. was inspiring his supporters with a renewed call to activism. It’s an anachronism now tinged with condescension to speak of “the little guy,” but both Kennedys — and the late Senator Ted Kennedy as well — spent their lives working for this figure popularized during the last great American economic upheaval.

Listen to Kennedy’s Wednesday speech; the message is all “Bobby,” but on a topic virtually unknown to him during his short life.

Bobby had been called “ruthless,” and he could be that. In this era, however, with so much on the line, and with energy and climate change the looming issues of the day, it’s good to have a strong-willed and tough champion fighting in our corner.

It’s how you win. And this is a battle we can’t afford to lose.

—————-

Osha Gray Davidson is a contributing blogger at Mother Jones and publisher of The Phoenix Sun, an online news service reporting on solar energy. He tweets @thephoenixsun.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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