Those skeptical of the degeneration of America’s royal line need look no further than Robert Kennedy Jr. His grandfather bedded Gloria Swanson. His father scored Marilyn Monroe. He mounts any rando who passes by. Like the Spanish Habsburgs or the Royal Tennenbaums, Camelot ain’t what it used to be.
The diary of Robert Kennedy Jr., detailed in the New York Post this week, begins by announcing the pregnancy of his wife. By its conclusion, the 2001 journal references 37 women other than its author’s wife with whom he messed around that year. Slightly less than half of the women he physically encountered proceeded to engage in intercourse with him. (The demise of womankind has been greatly exaggerated!) On a single day in November, he recorded three adulterous encounters, one of which resulted in sex.
The most amazing part of cramming a single man’s sexual career into a year in the life of a husband is that Kennedy spent one month chronicled by his journal in a Puerto Rican jail. “I’m so content here,” he says of his sojourn behind bars after protesting the Vieques bombing range. “I have to say it. There’s no women. I’m happy! Everybody here seems happy. It’s not misogyny. It’s the opposite! I love them too much.”
Sure. It’s not misogyny that enabled him treat women in a utilitarian rather than a humane manner. It’s just that he loves them too much! That really is too much.
And like so many misogynists, Kennedy blames Eve for his fall, euphemistically describing how he “narrowly escaped being mugged by a double team” or how he succumbed to getting “mugged” by a strange woman. Blame the temptresses. Those publicly crusading against a “war on women” often conduct their own private war on women, leaving numerous casualties.
Perhaps Kennedy reserves more contempt for himself than for the anonymous maidens he passes through. The need for constant affirmation through sexual conquest suggests this as a possibility. His diary’s negative assessment of so many people, including his political allies, indicates an angry guy, a vindictive spirit, a madman even.
Kennedy deems Al Sharpton a “buffoon” more harmful to blacks than George Wallace. He confesses, “His transparent venal blackmail and extortion schemes taint all black leadership.” He similarly portrays Jesse Jackson as suffering from “a desperate and destructive addiction to publicity.” In the period following 9/11, when Americans united, Kennedy remained his divisive self, calling the president a “puppet” bent on “revenge” and the mayor of New York a “little despot.” People who don’t like themselves have an impulse to drag others down in the gutter with them.
The sad postscript to the diary, which may explain how it got into the hands of the New York Post, is that the wife celebrated in its opening pages for ultimately giving life to Kennedy’s youngest son ended her own life last year. Her philandering husband used the eulogy for his wife to exonerate himself from her downfall.
Sycophants pressed his morbid public relations campaign. “Yes, of course he’s an adulterer,” Camelot court historian Laurence Leamer told a tabloid television program. “But he’s an adulterer because he said he couldn’t get a divorce. What was he going to do, when he asked for a divorce, and she threatened suicide?” Might Mr. Leamer have the cause and effect backwards here?
When Inside Edition and TMZ rather than CNN and Meet the Press increasingly report on your family’s activities, you know you’ve made the transition from politics to celebrity. Both fields overflow with narcissists who keep diaries. The offspring of important people often mistake the importance of their parents for their own importance, hence the “dear diary” entries.
Dynastic politics in a democracy can’t help but end decadently. People bred with the sense of entitlement to run the lives of others so often can’t run their own.