When presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. missed the Moms for Liberty conference, was he merely citing “family reasons” or making a more profound statement of his principles? Moms for Liberty, a parental rights group with a conservative approach, didn’t get to host RFK Jr. Instead, his spot was filled by Republican candidates President Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Kennedy’s rejection of the conservative-leaning group and his recent pro-LGBT stance call his allegiances into question.
Moms for Liberty, an organization founded in 2021, has built a reputation as a potent force in conservative politics. Its central mission is simple: to empower parents to defend their rights against governmental overreach in education. Though misrepresented as a group intending to dictate parenting methods, Moms for Liberty stands for parental transparency and freedom from undue pressure in how they choose to raise their children.
Here is RFK Jr throwing Moms for Liberty under the bus https://t.co/5y3UgNpz6u
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 30, 2023
However, Kennedy, during a town hall, distanced himself from the group in response to an accusatory question posed by James Williams, a social media consulting firm CEO. RFK Jr. conceded that he had initially accepted an invitation to speak at the Moms for Liberty conference but later withdrew. “When I found out that that was Moms for Liberty’s position,” he said, “I declined to go.”
Unfortunately, his explanation lacked clarity, leaving one to wonder if he was responding to the group’s misrepresented goals or its actual mission. Was he suggesting he disapproves of parental rights or the intention to prevent government-mandated child indoctrination in schools? His remarks certainly implied this.
Similarly, he pledged his staunch support for LGBT rights, expressing that he would be an unswerving advocate in the White House. “There will be nobody in the Oval Office who is more supportive of LGBTQ rights than I am,” Kennedy pledged, highlighting his Catholic family’s history of campaigning for these rights.
I woke up this morning thinking seriously about endorsing RFK for president
I go to bed tonight absolutely certain that I will not
His flip on
-assault weapons ban
-Mom's for Liberty
+supporting affirmative action nonsense
Makes him a non-starter for me
— Liberty Lockdown w/ Clint Russell (@LibertyLockPod) June 30, 2023
However, this expression of support seems to sideline an essential aspect of his supposed stance: parental rights. Kennedy’s disapproval of Moms for Liberty’s beliefs, coupled with his avowed support for LGBT rights, suggests an unsettling compromise on his part. By siding with Williams, Kennedy turned his back on a group primarily invested in protecting children from unsolicited indoctrination in schools. His acquiescence might be construed as a win for the “rainbow mafia” and a disregard for parents who only want to shield their children from undue influence.
As a Democratic candidate, Kennedy attempted to appeal to both sides of the aisle, championing an anti-interventionist foreign policy and criticizing the handling of the Covid pandemic. However, his dismissal of Moms for Liberty, a group that has successfully influenced legislation, supported school board members, and rallied a substantial base of concerned parents, might pose a setback to his bipartisan strategy.
While the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Moms for Liberty an “extremist group,” many have questioned the credibility of such designations, given the SPLC’s history of labeling even moderate conservative groups as hate groups. Thus, Kennedy’s retreat from this group and his alignment with a more liberal stance might further estrange conservative voters.