RFK Jr: “Americans Are the Most Entertained and Least Informed People On the Planet”

During his recent speech in Minneapolis, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sharply criticized the Bush administration’s environmental policies and emphasized the duty of citizens to keep themselves informed on issues. 

RFK Jr. was the keynote speaker of Walden University’s Third Annual Conference on Social Change. The theme of this year’s conference was “Sustainability and Social Change.” Organizers said more than 2,000 people attended.

“There’s nothing radical about protecting the air and water for our children,” Kennedy said. “Our children are going to pay for our joyride.” Sustainability is a commitment to community, said RFK Jr., who signed copies of his book, “Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy,” after his lecture.

“The Bush administration has torn the ‘conserve’ out of the word conservative”, Kennedy wryly observed.

He localized vast pollution concerns when he talked about mercury levels in Minnesota fish. Many fishermen read warning advisories but fail to see the connection between pollution and President Bush, he said. The president should do more to hold large corporations responsible for their waste emissions, he said, and part of that means not letting anyone buy their way out of the cleanup process. “Bush is too comfortable with corporate influence dictating environmental policy.”

Looking at the rest of the country, Kennedy talked about rivers and streams in the Appalachian Mountains that have been buried by the coal mining industry. Visiting West Virginia and Kentucky two weeks ago, RFK Jr. drew more attention to the issue of mountaintop removal mining by appearing at local town hall meetings, speaking out in the press (see related story, RFK Jr: If The Press Reported What’s Really Going On, “There Would Be A Revolution In This Country'” below), and taking film footage for a new documentary film which will highlight the subject. 

Kennedy, who has sons with asthma, said poor air quality should be a front-page headline every day.

Although Kennedy vocally criticized the Bush administration, he emphasized the need for Americans to come together to solve environmental problems. Generally, people have the same values, he said. Kennedy even applauded the environmental work of one particular Republican: his cousin, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

One person who appreciated Kennedy’s approach was Marian Angelica, director of Walden University’s Center for Social Change. “He emphasizes the fact that (environmentalism) is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue,” Angelica said.

Kennedy emphasized the duty of citizens to inform themselves, a part of which means paying attention to the media. And that goes beyond the attention-grabbing headlines, Kennedy said. “Americans know more about Tom Cruise than global warming,” he said, eliciting audience laughter. “We’re the most entertained and least informed people on the planet.”

On a more serious note, Kennedy warned that the public’s lack of knowledge leads to considerable consequences. “You cannot have a democracy for very long if you don’t have an informed public,” he said. 

Kennedy’s lecture inspired at least one person. Michael Rhubee, a doctoral student at Walden University and Minneapolis resident, said he wants to get more involved in his community. He even mused about Kennedy and the upcoming presidential election.

“I wish there were more candidates like Kennedy,” he said.

Source: Minnesota Daily

SIGN THE PETITION to Draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to run for President in 2008!!



Filed under climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, impeach Bush, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr.

4 responses to “RFK Jr: “Americans Are the Most Entertained and Least Informed People On the Planet”

  1. Maria Gonzales

    I wish there were more candidates like Kennedy, too!

    But there arent.

    That’s why you’ve GOT to run, Bobby!

  2. Chrisy

    I admire your honesty Bobby!!!

    Sometimes I fear that our government has lost one very important quality and that is honesty. I think they are afraid of the truth and real debate on important issues our nation is facing; so we have a government who has mastered spin control, 30 second sound bites, and double speak to confuse the American people instead of educating them so that Americans can act from knowledge of the truth.

    I believe that Americans at heart are good people who if given the truth, educated to the facts of a situation would do the right thing. But the problem is that we have a population of people who are being fed not the truth, but misinformation; so therefore they can’t make decisions based on truth and knowledge.

    Knowledge is power!!!! Truth is power!!!!

    I hope you will decide to run. You are the first person, who I think could be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Anyway, I will be writing you in. I don’t vote for the lesser of two evils anymore, but write in if I don’t like the candidates running.

  3. I was wondering if you know if there may be any straightforward way to get all of your links to open in a brand new window in the wordpress blog site. I know how to complete it the manual way, but I was hoping for something that would take care of it site wide. Any recommendations?

  4. Pace Kelleher

    Wow that was an awesome letter! I like to see the obvious ones trickle down to the people who need it most though! esp older folks with Medical cannibis, and abortion, because its not good for any of three involved. When my country needs me to serve as a teacher or whatever, I am always there to serve those who really need help. The people with money can afford to pay a little more for help. Since they really dont even have a problem. They have a condition. It is called Romnesia. LOL

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