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Letter: Robert Kennedy — The man with the broken voice

Jul 26, 2023

While speaking with family members recently about the surprising success of the Robert Kennedy campaign, one of them made the statement “To be president you have to make a lot of speeches. You must be a talented orator. Someone with a voice like Robert Kennedy’s just isn’t going to be able to hack it.”

Initially my response was to agree and drop the idea entirely. However, after ruminating on it for several days, the following thoughts occurred to me:

First, we’ve had two presidents in the last seven years, both with perfectly “normal” speaking capabilities, yet both have managed to say all the wrong things to our nation and have contributed to the political divide that now exists between us.

Next, I remembered the Old Testament story of Moses. Whether you’re a person of faith or not, there’s a practical application that applies to all of us. After being told by God to go into Egypt and deliver the Israelites from slavery, Moses hesitated. His response: “Send someone else. I’m not a good speaker and I don’t have the capability to lead.”

God assures him by saying, “Through your weakness I will be strong. You will succeed despite your disability.” Moses then went on to lead hundreds of thousands of Israelites out of the slavery and brutality that they had endured for hundreds of years.

What if he had insisted and refused to go? How many lives would have been destroyed? The rich Jewish history and culture that exists today would be erased because of his personal insecurities.

I don’t know everything there is to know about Robert Kennedy and I can’t make promises about America’s future. But what if in our search for our next president we focus less on HOW he (or she) says things and more on WHAT they’re saying. Between now and November 2024 maybe the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Could a man with a broken voice be the one to heal our broken country?

Laura Johnson



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