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‘I need an army’: Kennedy visits North Lake

Kennedy+addresses+the+crowd+at+his+rally+about+why+the+two-party+system+has+failed+and+how+it+inspired+his+decision+to+run+as+an+independent.
Rory Moore
Kennedy addresses the crowd at his rally about why the two-party system has failed and how it inspired his decision to run as an independent.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visited North Lake on Oct. 10, much to the enthusiasm of his supporters.

Kennedy’s visit to Texas marks the first stop on his “Independence Tour” following his announcement for presidential candidacy. His speech comes the day after he renounced his Democratic Party membership and chose to run as an independent, campaigning under the phrase, “Declare Your Independence.” 

“I will give you your country back,” he said, and the crowd responded with a wave of excitement.

In his campaign speech, Kennedy covered inflation, the cost of living and corporate consolidation. 

He also called out Republican candidates who focused on “culture war nonsense,” drawing attention to the Republican debate in September. 

“Locked in their habitual debates, the two parties are often blind to common-sense solutions,” Kennedy said in his Oct. 9 announcement speech. “This formula has left them barely able to govern.”

Kennedy denounced America’s involvement in international affairs such as the Ukraine war, claiming that it’s affecting the cost of living. His speech focused on every American’s bottom line: their paycheck.

“The price of everything is going up: food, childcare, living,” Kennedy said. “We’re paying $8 trillion for wars and COVID, money we don’t have.”

According to Kennedy’s campaign, his promise of economic prosperity starts with restoring ownership and property value, as well as reinvesting the military budget. 

“My kids all have good jobs, but none of them are considering getting a home,” Kennedy said. “Housing prices are completely out of their reach.”

Housing was an especially popular topic with Kennedy’s supporters as the crowd flared up when he raised the topic. Several families were in attendance as well.

For voters such as Angie Catalan and Manuel Sanchez, both 32, their three kids are their priority. 

“Investing in a house is really important to a family,” Catalan said.

In relation to corporate consolidation, Kennedy pointed to the housing market as a primary example of supposed corporate control in America. He proposes bolstering the middle class to safeguard America from investing companies such as Blackrock.

“What they’re gonna do is turn a population of homeowners into a population of renters,” Kennedy said.

According to a 2022 Stateline article, corporate investors purchased a quarter of single-family homes in 2022. In Texas, the figure increases to a third.

To a mother such as Catalan, this means gathering money for a home as quickly as possible before it’s economically impossible.

“We’re trying to buy a house, but with the price of housing rising, it’s really hard,” Catalan said.

As for their kids, Catalan said the road ahead is dark. The politics behind Kennedy don’t matter since they chose the candidate as the best investment in their kids’ future.

“There’s more that unites us than what divides us,” Sanchez said.

Sometimes the crowd would jeer contrary to Kennedy’s statements, such as his dislike for former President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, those individuals would jump up from their chairs and cheer for the candidate.

“We disagree with stuff in there for sure,” Sanchez said, “but I’d take him.”

Although the campaign trail was announced on short notice, Kennedy’s team celebrated the crowd of around 150.

Numerous times, Kennedy handed the microphone back to his audience to gauge their reactions on the economy and American taxpayer.

“We have so many Republicans and independents and Democrats that are just fed up,” Kennedy said.

Unity was the name of Kennedy’s game, and he called upon those from all sides of the political spectrum to support his cause.

“My wife and I are actually Republicans, but we are open minded,” Stephen Martin, 50, said. “He’s a good option for sure.”

Kennedy called upon his audience to spread the word about his campaign, pledging that his campaign would cover issues the “mainstream media” hasn’t.

“If I only read about myself from The New York Times … I’d have a very low opinion of myself,” Kennedy said.

Near the end of his presentation, Kennedy listed websites and podcasts, and even implored his supporters to start their own.

“I need an army and I need all of you to make the effort,” Kennedy said.

Regardless of differing viewpoints, Kennedy recalled sitting down at the kitchen tables of people from all walks of life.

“There’s not one thing he said today that I disagree with,” Martin said. “That was really inspiring.”

According to Kennedy, that starts with bolstering the middle class and bringing economic success in a manner similar to his uncle, John F. Kennedy, which his audience celebrated.

“When I was a boy, [America] owned 60% of the wealth on earth, and that was because of a middle class that didn’t exist anywhere,” Kennedy said.

During his closing remarks, Kennedy promised to make America the “peaceful nation” his family wanted.

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