The Kennedy family and liberals as a whole were dealt a painful loss yesterday when Rep. Joe Kennedy, 39, lost to Sen. Ed Markey in the primary race. The loss marks the official end of the Kennedy family dynasty and also a significant blow to the Democratic Party’s future. It was widely assumed Kennedy would eventually become a candidate for higher office such as the Presidency.
Kennedy Rested on his Laurels
As is often the case with family political dynasties, Kennedy lazily campaigned, assuming his surname alone would justify a political victory. The setback is the first for the Kennedys, a family that had never lost an election in the state of Massachusetts. It is particularly interesting that Markey emerged victorious as he campaigned as the most progressive candidate in the race. Markey’s emphasis on his upbringing as the son of a humble milkman was enough to convince voters that he was a man of the people and willing to fight for Main Street as opposed to Wall Street.
It is particularly interesting to note Markey is 74-years-old while Kennedy is merely 39. Though Markey is a member of the baby boomer age cohort, he is clearly much more progressive than Kennedy. In fact, Markey even identified with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist known for causing political division amongst Democrats. Furthermore, Markey is the co-author of the controversial Green New Deal.
Kennedy’s Loss is a Monumental Upset
When Markey decided to run, most political pundits called him foolish. After all, Kennedy was a significant favorite from the start of the race. Kennedy narrowed his focus on economic and social justice while claiming Markey was out of touch with young people.
However, as time progressed, it became increasingly clear Kennedy could not identify a reason for running aside from enhancing his own political stardom. The loss brings an unceremonious end to the Kennedy family’s political legacy. The Kennedys arrived with a bang and exited with a whimper.
The Democrats Need a new Plan Moving Forward
It is clear the Democrats will have to turn to other candidates to advance the party’s cause and win voter support moving forward. After all, it is hard to believe the public will support a return to the political arena by Joe Kennedy or any other Kennedy in the years ahead.
As time progresses, voters are making it known they are tiring of political dynasties. Hillary Clinton’s loss to President Trump is indicative of the public’s distrust of political families. However, if Ivanka Trump were to run for political office in the future, the trend might not hold true. Ivanka is held in high regard by conservatives and moderates alike, possibly creating the potential for the Trump family to remain in the spotlight moving beyond the current election into 2024 and beyond.