Mid-afternoon on Day 1 of the North American Blockchain Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, was the moment that ‘Independent’ Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to speak. The audience was gathering. Only standing places were left. And, just before the nephew of JFK took to the stage, a video came on. A video where you could feel the heritage. An emotional video that immediately caught the audience.
The video was just one of the things that delegates came away with after RFK Junior’s talk. Importantly, the video highlighted just how big a decision it had been for him to choose to run as an independent. Rather than representing the Democratic Party like his father and uncle before him. Something that was not lost on the audience.
To set the scene Kennedy Jr. discussed some of the recent changes he had witnessed in San Francisco. A city, that he believes, has been destroyed by the challenges caused by homelessness. Something he would be looking to address if he got to office.
He explained how the average house price has leaped from 250,000 to 450,000 in the last few years pricing many young people out of the market. Which is adding to the disillusionment amongst younger voters.
According to Kennedy Jr. there was a poll in 2013 where 18- to 34-year-olds were asked if they were proud of the United States of America. The result was 85%. Apparently, the same poll was taken a month ago and the result was 17%. Kennedy Jr. believes that young people have lost hope in America.
Home Ownership is key to a more prosperous U.S.
When Kennedy grew up the foundation principle of the American dream was that if you worked hard. If you play by the rules. You could finance a home. You could take a summer vacation. And you could raise that money as well as put something aside for your retirement on one job.
“There is nobody in this generation that believes that it applies to them [the American dream],” explained Kennedy Jr. Home ownership will elude most of them. Something that he believes is critical to American prosperity today.
“If you own a home you care about your community, you care about the appearance of your home,” Kennedy Jr. explained. “But, more importantly, you care about if you have an entrée to the American capitalist system. Because, if you own a home, you have equity and you can borrow against it.”
Kennedy Jr. pointed out how after World War Two the U.S. had 50 years that economists called the ‘great prosperity’. It was a period during which the American middle class became the greatest economic engine in the history of mankind. The U.S. owned half the wealth on the face of the earth. Everybody wanted what America had.
“Today we are moving away from the ownership society to a renter society,” Kennedy Jr. highlighted. “And when you do that, you move away from citizenship to servitude.”
What about Bitcoin?
“If there’s something about Bitcoiners,” Kennedy Jr. elaborated. “It’s that they’re ideologically driven. They love freedom. They see it as a path not only to their own economic security, but as a solution to a lot of the problems that are afflicting our nation.”
He went on to draw parallels to the trucker strikes that took place in the U.S. and Canada during COVID. A story that Disruption Banking covered in detail at the time.
“We have a right to assemble and to petition the government,” Kennedy Jr. explained. “They [the truckers] weren’t violent. They were the opposite of violent. It was a kind, compassionate protest.”
“But the Canadian government and Trudeau refused to meet with them. They used AI and facial recognition systems. All kinds of surveillance technologies to identify the truckers,” Kennedy Jr. continued. “They weren’t charged with a crime. And, they didn’t notify them when they shut down their bank accounts. The truckers couldn’t purchase gasoline. They couldn’t feed their children or pay their mortgages.”
“It occurred to me at that point,” Kennedy Jr. highlighted. “That transactional freedom was as critical a human right as the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression.”
“If the government has the capacity to shut down your bank account. Starve you to death and get you thrown out of your home. It has the capacity to make slaves of us all.”
They told us that Currency is Dirty
Kennedy Jr. went on to explain how during the pandemic cash was called dirty by governments across the world. ATMs were closed and it felt like a totalitarian clampdown. Something that Kennedy Jr. had already seen in China where they have a programmable currency.
“That’s why I really started investigating Bitcoin,” Kennedy summarized. “And the more that I learned, the more I fell in love with it and fell in love with the community. Because basically there’s this huge overlap between libertarians and people who love freedom like the Bitcoin community.”
Talk move on to recent news about the release of Bitcoin ETFs. And, while not partial to firms like BlackRock, Kennedy Jr. doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with ETFs on their own as long as individuals continue to have their own wallets and control their own Bitcoins.
Importantly, he explained how if you have a Canadian dollar and it depreciates against the American dollar, you shouldn’t be taxed for that increase in value.
“We shouldn’t be treating Bitcoin as a commodity,” Kennedy Jr. concluded. “We should be treating it as a currency!”
The audience responded with nothing short of a standing ovation. His words were soaked up by the many Bitcoin miners and Bitcoin hodlers amongst the audience. And, just as Kennedy Jr. is an independent today, this policy resonates with the decentralized mission of Satoshi. And it resonates with the younger voters in the U.S. too. Voters who are looking for change and voters who need to believe in the U.S. again.
Author: Andy Samu