Why Does RKF, Jr. “talk funny?”
As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. becomes more widely known to voters (as if the Kennedy name were not enough), many people hearing him speak for the first time, will wonder, what is the matter with his voice.
The excerpts below are from an article in the Epoch Times where RFK recounts the history of his vocal condition.
First, on a personal note, I shook hands with his father in May of 1968, just days or weeks before he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet in Los Angeles on June 5th. RFK had arrived in Columbus, Ohio for a campaign stop in his bid for the presidency that year. I was among the throngs of fans along the chain link fence at the airport to welcome him to Columbus. I was 18 years old.
At that age, my understanding of politics and Constitutional conservatism was akin to the majority of the still blue-pilled among us; i.e., virtually nil. But I was enthralled to meet and greet this person who seemed to me to embody everything good about America. How little did I know!
It is said that the Democrats today are so radically to the Left that if JFK and his brother were alive today, not only would they be appalled, but the JFK/RFK policies would be considered “moderate.” But not by us.
While RFK, Jr.’s family mystique may gather many independents and some Democrats to his present presidential campaign, we find, upon doing our due diligence, that his policies and his understanding of the proper role of government as a Constitutional republic are found seriously wanting.
So, if you should choose to read his policies on his website or wherever you read about him, caveat lector. (Let the reader beware.)) While he is taking on Big Pharma, we have heard him state that he is not against vaccinations. Moreover, he is far from being a Constitutionalist (i.e., centrist or moderate). (All comments in [brackets] are ours—JWB)
When Kennedy was 42, in 1996, he learned he had a neurological condition that causes the muscles that power his voice to experience periods of spasm, making his voice tremble.
At the beginning of a town hall in Chicago on June 28, NewsNation [a relatively new Left-leaning internet news group] moderator Elizabeth Vargas got straight to the point.
“Your voice is raspy,” she said to the candidate. “Why don’t you explain to our audience why?”
“[In the 1990s], I was making a lot of my income doing public speaking and I could speak to the large halls without any amplification,” Kennedy explained…
“At first, I didn’t know what was wrong.”
Then, Kennedy said, people who heard him speak wrote letters telling him about spasmodic dysphonia, and suggesting that he visit Dr. Andrew Blitzer, a physician known for treating that condition.
Blitzer, a Senior Attending Otolaryngologist and Director of the New York Center of Voice and Swallowing Disorders at Mount Sinai West, confirmed the diagnosis.
“I think it makes it problematical at times for people to listen to me. I cannot listen to myself on TV. I will never listen to this broadcast. I feel sorry for you guys having to listen to me,” Kennedy told the audience with a grin.
“My throat was much worse, and I went to Japan about six months ago and had a novel surgery in Kyoto. It made my voice much better, which you probably won’t believe, but it was much worse than this before.”
Dysphonia International, formerly the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association, reports on its website that “people with spasmodic dysphonia initially notice either a gradual or sudden onset of difficulty in speaking.
They may hear breaks in their voice during production of certain words or speech sounds, breathy-sounding pauses on certain words or sounds, or a tremulous shaking of the voice. They may feel that talking requires more effort than before. Often people say that their voice sounds as if they have a cold or laryngitis.”
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. On its website, the organization explains, “When we speak, air from the lungs is pushed between two elastic structures—called vocal folds or vocal cords—with sufficient pressure to cause them to vibrate, producing voice.
“In spasmodic dysphonia, the muscles inside the vocal folds experience sudden involuntary movements—called spasms—which interfere with the ability of the folds to vibrate and produce voice.”
The disorder is rare and typically starts appearing between the ages of 30 and 50, the NIDCD explained. Symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia generally develop gradually and with no obvious explanation, according to the organization.
Spasmodic dysphonia affects one in 100,000 people, the Cleveland Clinic estimates. There is no cure for the disorder, but it can be treated through a Botox injection into the voice muscles, voice therapy, and surgery.
When the question arises about a candidate’s fitness to serve, President Joe Biden’s age—80—and health are frequent talking points in the 2024 presidential election. Kennedy, who is 69, noted that spasmodic dysphonia does not impact brain function and thought process, nor does it impact physical ability…
Kennedy’s vocal challenges have not prevented him from gaining support in the early stages of his campaign.