To RFK, Jr.: Do not (yet) withdraw from the Democratic Party nominating process

An Open Letter to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Steven F. Freeman
5 min readOct 8, 2023

Reports have emerged that you are about to withdraw from the Democratic party nominating process in your upcoming October 9 address. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Chance of Winning: Some vs None

Winning the Democratic nomination is unlikely but Possible!

Winning the Democratic nomination is unlikely, not only for reasons articulated in your open letter to the DNC, but also (1) the steady stream of disinfor­mation about you; (2) a mainstream media in lock step subservi­ence to US government institutions and their corporate collaborators; (3) successful gas­lighting of the Democratic base; (4) a front-loaded primary schedule; and (5) election integrity protections having gone from very weak to much weaker yet.

Nevertheless, you’ve already made great progress, having done a successful end-run around main­stream media roadblocks, and are now positioned roughly equivalent to where Eugene McCarthy was in 1968 vis-à-vis a much stronger incumbent. Even prime Joe Biden was but a poor LBJ knock-off in vigor, intelligence, political acumen or utter ruth­lessness. Now you’re essentially up against a knock-off corpse. Nomination-winning scenarios are realistic and partners lurk just below the surface who can turn the tide for you if ever a tipping point comes into view.

Withdraw Now and Winning the General Election will be Impossible

Most of the unfairness and corruption embed­ded in the Democratic party nomination process is as bad or worse in the general election. Over 2+ centuries we’ve held 57 US presidential elections and never once did a third party come within a country mile of winning! This despite both major parties usually putting up highly flawed, compro­mised and/or outright despicable candidates. Usually at least one good-to-great third-party can­didate runs; none have ever won a single state. [Note 1-see comments]

As good a man and president that I believe you are and would-be, there’s no better American than Ralph Nader. Your base popular support, executive experience and resources do not compare with Ross Perot’s. And as loathsome as a Biden-Trump rematch between would be to a majority of 2024 voters, it’s no worse than the actual matchup of 2016 when the choice between the two most despised people in the country — literally! — was contested by two relatively strong, principled alternatives — Greens and Libertarians. The latter ticket consisted of two popular governors, both far more qualified to serve as Chief Executive than anyone on a major party ticket. Still, neither campaign even got off the ground.

Maintaining options

Staying in the race for the Democratic nomina­tion, does not preclude an subsequent third party / independent (3P/I) candidacy. Rather, the exposure, experience, and any success will greatly assist such an effort.

Publicity / Legitimacy

Staying in the race for the Democratic nomina­tion means every primary and every event leading up to them provides an opportunity to present your positions and the reasons you’re running. If you are cheated, that’s an opportunity to demonstrate to the public the debasement of the Dem­ocratic party and provide justification for a subsequent 3P/I campaign.

Without strong justification 3P/I campaigns are seen as illegitimate.

Voters may not understand deep politics, but they do understand that US election structures make it next-to-impossible for anyone outside of the two parties to win. A 3P/I run normally presents no chance of winning, only of playing a spoiler. We may understand all too well uniparty control over important issues, but occasionally there is a signifi­cant choice, and 2024 may well be one of those occasions.

Regardless, few voters understand the extent of uniparty anti-democratic action. The way to make the case of a 3P/I campaign necessity is to expose bias or worse in the nominating process.

Primaries and Caucuses will give you the chance to get some wins!

Every state and territory has different regulations and apparatuses of election control. Open primaries will be more winnable. Some states may have privately sympathetic party leaders. Caucuses are difficult to rig. In states where the party is weak, they may not have the capacity to rig elections or to prevent meaningful audits.

If you do well in the less-riggable states, that’s strong evidence!

If you’re not in the primaries, you’re not in the news …

You’ll wait for general election coverage that likely will never come. Even if you poll respectably, don’t count on participating in debates. Ross Perot and John Anderson were invited to participate when the League of Women Voters ran them. Now the debates are owned and operated by the duopoly; even if you do miraculously qualify, that too will be rigged against you.

Leverage (e.g., on Election Integrity)

Your candidacy is already making a difference. Maybe small, but something, both in public understanding and Democratic party politics.

Great podcast exposure has increased awareness of how far government and pharma science/policy stray from truth and public interest. You’ve generated some (small) space for common ground. Even hack jobs help … being so over the top that those whose thinking capacities haven’t been annihilated may finally see through the all-out attack on you for what it is.

Since you announced your run, cracks have cropped up everywhere in the Biden fortress. He (finally) faces mainstream media and in-party inquiry, as well as intensified Republican pressure. Appetite for Ukraine war funding seems to be grounding to a halt while resistance to WHO/CDC and other alphabet institution initiatives is getting kick-started.

Within the party, you can use this leverage for all our causes, perhaps most importantly on Election Integrity. One of the principles of the EI strategy I’ve laid out for you is contingent support.

Most Democratic party rank-and-file despise Republicans, especially Trump. Reluctance to pledge support to the party nominee prevents them from even hearing you. You can however offer a contingent pledge of support if and only if election integrity principles are established and abided. I’ve previously laid out such principles that until recently Democrats had been pleading for.

Will they accept and abide? Failure to do so justifies a subsequent 3P/I campaign. But perhaps they do … at least to some degree in some states. From within the party, you have the chance to do the otherwise impossible … tilt the playing field toward honest elections!!!!

Re-reform the Democratic Party

Finally, there’s the Democratic party itself. You have a strong claim to become a mantle-bearer. Want to “Reclaim Democracy”? The way to begin is to Reclaim the Democratic Party.

I’ve visited the DNC headquarters as well as sev­eral state Democratic headquarters. People would be shocked to learn just how amatuerish these outfits are — led by dilettantes, staffed by third-rate sinecures and worked by interns. Howard Dean, after his failed primary performances was given the chair as a booby-prize. His vice-dean wouldn’t have passed muster as a Dunkin Donuts shift manager. Trump was able to come out of right field to commandeer the Republican party; the Clintons slithered in from the bleacher seats to commandeer the Democrats.

You speak of fighting on behalf of “Kennedy Democrats”! Your candidacy has given hope to those who concluded that the USG was beyond hope … and that the Democratic party has been the place where hope dies.

Win or lose the nomination, reclaiming a central role in the party can provide voters with something even more important that has long seemed otherwise impossible: an option for decent, sane national leadership.



Steven F. Freeman

Expertise: crisis preparedness, resiliency, innovation, research methods & applications. Faculty Jefferson, UPenn+. PhD MIT. Advising industry, govnt, orgs, YOU