Libertarian Convention: Kennedy Gets Standing Ovation, Trump is Booed.

Libertarian Convention: Kennedy Gets Standing Ovation, Trump is Booed.
Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos | May 27, 2024

By Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos, The Kennedy Beacon

On Friday, May 24, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gave a

About 1,000 people packed the room to hear Kennedy, who received a standing ovation when he arrived. He began by explaining why James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights. He quickly drew laughs when he said, “As everyone in this room knows, governments don’t like to limit themselves. Instead they’re constantly moving to appropriate new powers.”

He went on to underline how governments find ways to ignore the Bill of Rights, such as during the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the Vietnam protests, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and, most recently, the COVID pandemic.

Kennedy once again drew laughs by saying, “Maybe a brain worm ate that part of my memory, but I don’t recall any part of the United States Constitution where there’s an exemption for pandemics.” He noted that the founding fathers were very aware of pandemics, as smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, and even malaria had raged through cities during the American Revolution.

Kennedy lambasted the Trump and Biden administrations for failing to defend our rights. He explained that Trump’s initial instincts had been good vis-à-vis COVID – he was reluctant to impose lockdowns. Yet, he soon “got rolled by his bureaucrats,” declared an emergency, and enabled the lockdowns.

Ultimately, Kennedy said, Trump’s COVID legacy abandoned the Constitution. Freedom of assembly and freedom of worship were violated by lockdowns; protection from unreasonable search and seizure was violated by track and trace programs; the right to a speedy trial and right to a jury was ignored; people were deprived their guarantee of life, liberty, and property when businesses were shut down; and “Operation Warp Speed” and the Prep Act exempted vaccine manufacturers from liability, leaving the injured with no protection under the law.

Kennedy spoke at length about violations of free speech under COVID. “The press made itself a vessel for government propaganda,” he said, while tech and social media companies colluded with the government (see Twitter Files and CTIL Files) to suppress dissenting voices. He reminded the audience that the First Amendment is first because all the other amendments hinge on it, and that it includes protections for what some consider “disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and even lies.”

Kennedy said, “The assault on the Constitution intensified” under the Biden administration when the government coerced people with vaccine mandates. But he also said that the worst part of the pandemic was the way most people complied so readily. He emphasized that constitutional protections are just words on paper unless they are enforced by the people.

He further surmised that “[James] Madison never thought to put a protection in the Constitution/Bill of Rights against Americans being forced to accept medical procedures without consent.” He added that the most important but overlooked amendments are the Ninth and Tenth, which say that “any other power not explicitly given to the federal government remains with individuals and states.” This comment received huge applause.

Kennedy also praised Julian Assange for exposing government corruption, which brought enthusiastic cheers, another standing ovation, and chants of “Free Assange.” Kennedy pledged to drop charges against Assange and pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden on his first day in office, saying the government should be erecting monuments honoring their courageous actions.

The Audience

The Kennedy Beacon sought out Libertarian delegates with favorable and unfavorable views of Kennedy. Prior to the speech, we spoke to Chris Baker, a delegate from Texas. He does not support Kennedy on foreign aid. On principle, Libertarians do not want the taxpayer to be forced to provide material support for other nations. He also disapproved of Kennedy’s environmentalism and said he believed Kennedy was not supportive enough of the Second Amendment.

Baker did not attend Kennedy’s speech, and he did not hear when Kennedy, after enumerating all the rights that had been violated during the lockdown, noted the Second Amendment is the only one that didn’t come under attack. “Many Americans believe the reason for that is that we have a Second Amendment,” Baker said, implying that gun ownership helps keep authoritarian governments in check. The audience applauded enthusiastically.

Although Kennedy did not mention his environmentalism, he has been very critical of the Democrats’ hypocritical Green New Deal, as reported by the Beacon.

Another delegate, Nathan Romig from Pennsylvania, voiced his support for Kennedy, and hoped some of his fellow delegates were convinced. While he does not agree with Kennedy on all issues – including housing policy and foreign aid – he still agrees with him on “99% of things.” Romig added that he was happy Kennedy had recently “improved his position on the Second Amendment,” which was reaffirmed in this speech. He also said that Kennedy is someone who has a credible chance of winning and can “disintegrate” the two-party system.

Trump Begs Libertarians for Party Nomination

President Trump gave his own speech on Saturday to an extremely raucous, even hostile crowd. Whereas Kennedy had his Kennedy/Shanahan logo behind him, on the screen behind Trump was a Libertarian motto, “Become Ungovernable.” When Trump took the stage, he was greeted by jeers, with some people chanting, “Hyp-o-crite!”

Trump never mentioned Kennedy in his speech, even though Kennedy had criticized Trump heavily in his. Trump hammered Biden as the “worst president ever,” and added, “Our rights and freedom have never been more in danger than they are right now.” In response, one individual screamed, “From you!” People did, however, applaud when he said he would stop endless wars and end foreign aid.

After more talk about foreign policy that drew mixed reactions, he implored the audience to support him, saying, “I believe that you should nominate me, or at least vote for me.” When these remarks again drew a negative reaction, he scolded the crowd, calling them “losers” and saying, “Keep getting your 3% every four years.”

The Libertarian attendees made it very clear that they do not like being told what to do. Yet while Trump was booed off stage, Kennedy – who highlighted their common respect for the US Constitution – drew a more favorable reaction and showed that he knows how to appeal to a specific audience.

Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos studied government at Georgetown University and interned for several Democratic elected officials and their campaigns, and other affiliated groups. He then earned a master’s degree in urban studies in France, where extremely strict COVID-19 lockdowns led to his political reawakening and inspired him to try to help fix the broken two-party system.

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