Please, I Beg You, My Home State Does Not Need Another Kennedy

Photo: Elise Amendola (AP)

Rep. Joe Kennedy III is reportedly planning to announce that he will challenge Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey in the 2020 Democratic state primary.

It’s very disturbing how desperately some people want to elect politicians based on their family dynasty. In their opening line, the Associated Press called Kennedy “a scion of one of America’s most storied political families.”

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That seems like a really complicated way of saying he was born with as much money as he would ever need in his entire life.

The grandson of former attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy is heavily invested in fossil fuel companies including Chevron and ExxonMobil, according to the investigative site Sludge. He reportedly owns up to $1.75 million worth of stock in the fossil fuel industry.

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Markey, on the other hand, is the co-author of Green New Deal legislation alongside New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Last year, the aristocratic golden child had a bizarre viral incident where his lips appeared extra shiny during a nationally televised speech, almost like he was drooling. He told CNN it was ChapStick. Moving on...

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Kennedy has already shown us his strong leadership abilities by changing his mind about marijuana legalization, something that really ought to be an easy decision for any Democratic politician in 2019. He wrote in an essay that his “reluctance to embrace legalization stems primarily from one place: [his] ongoing work with the mental health and addiction communities.” Like, what? Shouldn’t that make you extra sure that criminalization and incarceration aren’t the ways to help those in need?

This election is going to be excruciatingly boring. Unfortunately, Massachusetts politics have always been a dumpster fire. I’m old enough to remember when Mitt Romney got elected governor of Massachusetts in 2003, if barely. I mean, who votes for someone whose real name is Willard? And goes by Mitt? It was all very confusing to my child brain. I obviously wasn’t allowed to vote yet. And what about current Gov. Charlie Baker? What is that guy’s deal?

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My congressman, Richard Neal, who is responsible for the rural side of the state, which everyone always forgets about, looks like the derpiest dog you’ve ever seen—and not in a good way. He’s funded by big pharma, and so of course that means the hospital closest to my parents closed down five years ago. It truly sucks. Neal is being challenged by Holyoke mayor Alex Morse, a progressive who was elected in 2012, when he was 22.

I’m not feeling super optimistic about my home state. Kennedy said last weekend: “I don’t think primaries are something that people should shy away from,”adding, “The idea behind it is that every seat, my own included, the one that I currently occupy as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s up every two years. It’s a two-year term. You have to go out and make that case to voters every two years.”

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The Markey campaign said in a statement: “In 2013, Ed Markey asked voters to send him to the U.S. Senate to fight for the people of Massachusetts. Since then, he has fought on the front lines to show them they were right. Now he wants to continue that leadership on the issues that matter most—climate change, income inequality, gun reform, universal health care, reproductive freedom, and immigrant rights.”

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