The High-I.Q. Nonsense of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The hubris. The narcissism. The convenient and fraudulent anti-elitism. The out-of-his-mind theories presented as out-of-the-box thinking.

Many of us have noted how these fetching traits and tics connect Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is in some ways Trump with better manners, fewer lawyers and discernible pecs.

But we underplay another commonality. Like Trump when he made his 2016 presidential bid, Kennedy has zero experience — none at all — in elected office, a fact made comically clear in his interview last summer with the New Yorker editor David Remnick, who did focus on Kennedy’s lack of preparation for the presidency, asking the candidate about his credentials.

“I’ve been around government and studying government since I was a little boy,” Kennedy said, not so subtly stressing his bloodline — he’s a septuagenarian nepo baby — and casting proximity as seasoning. It’s not. I’ve been “around” many physicians in my life. You do not want me performing your appendectomy.

Kennedy added that he has attended most of the Democratic Party’s conventions since 1960, that he has visited every country in Latin America and that he “began writing about foreign policy” as a teenager. I began writing about movies as an adolescent. You do not want me directing another “Manchurian Candidate” remake.

I bring this up for three reasons. One, Kennedy exemplifies the degree to which family connections can act as distraction and shield, protecting someone from a kind of scrutiny that a person without a storied surname would receive. Two, his announcement of his running mate last week underscored his utterly cavalier attitude about experience. Three, he’s not going away. Recent developments, including that running-mate announcement, are reminders that he really could be a spoiler in this election.

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