Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and a Democratic candidate for the 2024 presidential bid, participated in a Twitter Spaces conversation on Monday with Twitter CEO Elon Musk to discuss the issue of free speech.
Musk invited Kennedy to speak in the second Twitter Spaces conversation involving a potential White House candidate after the first one featured Republican Governor Ron DeSantis from Florida.
During the conversation, Kennedy commended Musk for his efforts in fighting against censorship on Twitter, adding that protecting free speech is vital for a fully functioning democracy. Instagram previously banned Kennedy’s account due to his posts raising doubts about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines more than two years ago. However, the platform restored his account recently because he is currently an active presidential candidate.
Kennedy’s campaign has been gaining traction, with polls indicating that he consistently garners double-digit support of up to 20% in the contest for the Democratic Party’s nomination. Musk acknowledged that fighting against censorship is costly, stating that Twitter lost half of its revenue “simply because we insist on free speech.” He also emphasized the importance of “The Twitter Files,” which provided insight into the platform’s decision-making process behind content moderation.
Both Musk and Kennedy agreed that restraining speech and information would hinder democracy’s success and that the solution to bad speech is more speech. Meanwhile, a recent poll by Convention of States Action and The Trafalgar Group revealed that dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden’s job performance, particularly his economic policies, is boosting Kennedy’s challenge. Mark Meckler, the president of the Convention of States, noted that “many voters are seeing support for Kennedy as an expression of dissatisfaction with the Biden Administration.”
“There’s never been a time in history when we look back and say that the people who are censoring free speech were the good guys. They’re always the bad guys. It’s always the first step toward totalitarianism.”pic.twitter.com/hvrY3yRQ4E
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 5, 2023
Despite Kennedy’s rising popularity in the polls, his chances of winning the Democratic Party’s nomination remain slim, as candidates challenging incumbent presidents within their party have a poor track record.