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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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