Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Contemporary Liberalism
In his book, The Real Anthony Fauci, RFK, Jr. writes at one point, in a section entitled “Gays Join Fauci:” “Blind faith in Saint Anthony Fauci may go down in history as the fatal flaw of contemporary liberalism….” [p. 231] Nice thought but he’s wrong.
This blind faith in Fauci won’t be the fatal flaw of contemporary liberalism because it is, from a progressive perspective, not “a flaw” that undermines the legitimacy of contemporary liberalism. And it won’t be considered a fatal flaw of contemporary liberalism even if it turns out that “Saint Anthony Fauci” was wrong and RFK, Jr. and other dissenters were right. Just as from a progressive viewpoint, the Vietnam War or Bush, Jr.’s invasion of Iraq weren’t considered flaws that undermined the legitimacy of contemporary liberalism or progressivism. Why not? Because these wars demonstrated US hegemony – cultural and military – and demonstrated that even as unjust and inhuman as they were that hegemony could survive and, eventually, even be fortified. Why? Because it is taken as an article of faith that contemporary liberalism is just and humane and that the arc of history bends towards its dominance.
Similarly, what Anthony Fauci was doing regarding HIV/AIDS was a demonstration of his power, power he was using in the service of fortifying contemporary liberalism with its commitment to science and the modus operandi of contemporary medicine. And that, of course, is Fauci’s goal, preserving the hegemony, cultural, political, and scientific, of contemporary liberalism which is also the basis of his power, prestige, and wealth. So even if Anthony Fauci proves to have been wrong regarding the connection between HIV/AIDS, that won’t be allowed to undermine the legitimacy of contemporary liberalism, just as the Vietnam War and Bush’s Iraq war did nothing to undermine the legitimacy of the progressive mindset that underlay contemporary liberalism.
And the gays who joined Fauci, as RFK, Jr. put it, did so because they are committed to that progressivism and to contemporary liberalism. And they will honor that commitment even it means that some gays would die as the result of thinking HIV is the sole cause of AIDS, just as many Americans died in Vietnam and Iraq to honor the nation’s commitment to contemporary liberalism. Progressivism and contemporary liberalism require such sacrifices. Whether those sacrifices are justified depends upon whether progressivism and contemporary liberalism are in fact just and humane.