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RFK Jr.’s Creepy Claim About Jeffrey Epstein Hints at a Darker Story

How Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s bizarre viral moment helps explain his appeal to disaffected young people in the “manosphere”—and what that says about our current political mess.

Photo by John Nacion/Getty Images
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in New York City on February 18

This week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. triggered an online explosion with a very weird defense of himself for spending time with Jeffrey Epstein. Everyone laughed, but we believe this saga is more revealing than people think: It opens a window on his underappreciated appeal to disaffected young men. So we chatted with Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a New School professor who specializes in politics and culture and has dissected the Kennedy phenomenon in surprising ways. Petrzela helped us uncover the darker undercurrents driving Kennedy’s popularity and the ugly truths it reveals about our politics.