Thank You Ed Markey -- A Message From Young People

That’s courageous
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Pictured above: Ed Markey, wikimedia public domain


Let me tell you something about my good friend Ed Markey (with whom I’ve never met). Ed Markey is a god damn legend. Alright, now that we have that out of the way, I can go back to professionalism and we can get on to this article. 

When I was first introduced to the Massachusetts senate primary, I never really thought much of it. It wasn’t until a realization I had about 3-6 months ago, that I realized that this will, in retrospect, be seen as one of the most consequential races in early 21st Century politics.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) endorsed Ed Markey fairly early, which seems like a given, considering that Ed Markey introduced the Green New Deal in the senate. 

Now, let’s examine that further. What I failed to appreciate at the time is that Ed Markey wasn’t Bernie Sanders. Ed Markey, in many respects, was a good liberal senator. A senator who was good on a lot of issues, but not someone who was really willing to buck the party leaders and political establishment. I didn’t realize that context. 

So for him to have that reputation, which is respectable but definitely not revolutionary, and to completely take a chance on an issue that is critical to mostly young people, with a new congresswoman who represented us young people. That’s courageous. It’s more than respectable, its admirable and inspiring. Thank you for doing that Ed Markey.

Then I realized that at the base of his campaign, was young people. When he went out on the campaign trail, you were walking away, not having any misconception of who he was representing and fighting for, from here on out.

His campaign communications and organizing was largely made up of people under thirty. The Sunrise movement brought in a large organizational energy and momentum that you wouldn’t be able to get in any other context, as well as a large base of phone bankers and activists. 

He not only allowed young people to lead on the issue of climate change, he trusted us to win him a seat in the United States Senate. Thank you for trusting us Ed Markey.

After his victory was certain, I felt something that I haven’t felt in some time, certainly this year. I felt joy. I felt a sense hope. And for the first time in my six years involved in politics, I felt validation.

After feeling that because I hadn’t balanced a mortgage with two jobs spanning sixty hours per week, that I was a crazy idealist, that my political philosophy wasn’t just wrong, but inherently invalid. After hearing for the first eighteen years of my life “Just wait until you get to the ‘real world’, then you’ll understand”, I had finally felt like my ideas - my generation’s vision - was acceptable. 

Thank you Ed Markey, for making me and millions of other young people all across America, feel not only accepted, but worth something. 

I’m not claiming to speak for all young people in America, but I think our inherent dismay and apathy comes from the fact that all we’ve ever truly wanted is a sense of mutual trust and respect. A sense that our leaders would listen and trust us as much as much we trust and listen to our leaders. When our leaders disregarded us, we disregarded them.

But Ed Markey broke that cycle last week in the Massachusetts Senate Primary. He trusted us with his political career (seems trivial, actually pretty important), and in turn we fought back from a 6% deficit to beat Joe Kennedy III. 

Ed Markey v. Joe Kennedy III was a moment in history. And in the history books they will use this primary race to mark the beginning of a new era and the end of an old era. 

Thank you Ed Markey for trusting us and in turn allowing us to live up to our generational and revolutionary challenges. 

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