Joe Kennedy for Senate: A true progressive leader  

Stefani Reynolds

Watching the Republican National Convention, a cult of personality promoting a politics of division and hatred toward Democrats, the case for electing Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) to the United States Senate becomes clear and compelling.

Donald Trump represents everything that the Kennedy family — and Joe Kennedy in particular — has opposed. Joe Kennedy represents an enlightened vision of America, where the rising tide lifts all boats, and every American should ask what we can do for our country, not what our country can do for us.

Sadly, Kennedy’s opponent in the Massachusetts primary suggests in a campaign ad that we should all be asking what our country can do for us.

In my recent column in The Hill titled “Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey,” I made it a point to be positive about both candidates. Today I amend that with only one sentence: I sadly but strongly disagree when Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) demeans the Kennedy legacy and ridicules the great patriotic call to action.

Joe Kennedy believes that those who are the most fortunate in life should give back to society, by working to feed the hungry, clothe the needy and lift the poor.

As a young man, inspired by the dream of John Kennedy, he joined the Peace Corps and went to the Dominican Republic to serve the needy, the hungry and the poor. He acted on his passion and carried America’s message of hope to the far corners of the world. 

When a black family comes to Kennedy for help when their sons or daughters are victimized by unjust crimes, and when civil rights leaders come to Kennedy for help championing their great cause, Kennedy is there, marching with them and fighting for them. 

That is why one of the great civil rights leaders in American history, the late John Lewis, endorsed Kennedy for the Senate, with ringing words about how he has seen Kennedy “time and again” standing up to fight “for the suffering, the struggling and the silenced.” 

Joe Kennedy walks the progressive walk as a true progressive leader. 

When 2018 began with Trump Republicans in control of the House and Senate, with no effective check and balance against the president’s abuses, Democratic leaders chose Kennedy to give the response to Trump’s State of the Union address.

When the epic campaign began in 2018 to elect a Democratic House, Democratic leaders and candidates across the country came to Kennedy for help. He answered the call.

Kennedy, who was named a regional co-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, campaigned tirelessly to elect progressive Democrats to the House and Senate, in Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, Texas, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Missouri and Illinois. He made multiple campaign appearances and hosted fundraisers for the progressive cause. Again Kennedy walked the progressive walk. 

This is one reason Kennedy was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who masterminded the great Democratic victory in 2018. And by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), whom Kennedy campaigned for against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. And by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. And by key members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the LBGTQ Equality Caucus.

After the 2020 elections, a Sen. Joe Kennedy would be a powerful voice for progressivism, campaigning for progressives running for the House and Senate across the nation in the 2022 midterms and championing a progressive agenda in Congress.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

Tags 2020 Senate elections Donald Trump Ed Markey Joe Kennedy John F. Kennedy John Kennedy John Lewis Mark Pocan Massachusetts Democratic Primary Nancy Pelosi progressives Ted Cruz

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