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Typical for the long-timers to circle the wagons against the up-and-comers

Simply because Scot Lehigh doesn’t like Joe Kennedy III’s message (“Joe Kennedy’s muddled message,” Opinion, Feb. 21) doesn’t mean it isn’t there. For my generation of civil servants, Kennedy’s rationale is clear, familiar, and deeply resonant: We have been failed by current leadership. They don’t understand our fights, speak our language, or understand how let down we feel by the political status quo, which has saddled us with a mass incarceration crisis, a burning planet, housing we can’t afford, health care we can’t access, and a government profoundly out of touch with the needs of our families and peers. Kennedy is simply saying: I can use this Senate seat more effectively. I believe him.

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I am also familiar with how the establishment circles the wagons when one of their own is under threat. I am familiar with how an older generation is threatened by up-and-comers who reject the back rooms, inside baseball, and incumbent protection that have defined Massachusetts politics for too long.

Criticizing a young political leader for offering voters a choice is a classic tactic of the status quo protectors. Those voices should not be given cover or credibility on the pages of the Globe.

Andrea Harrington

District attorney

Berkshire County

Pittsfield

The writer has endorsed Representative Kennedy in his race for the Senate.


Challenger’s energy could be put to better use than taking on incumbent

If the contest between Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III and Senator Edward Markey were a soap opera, it could be called “The Young and the Restless vs. the Tried and the True.” The first debate’s main reveal is that there is very little daylight between these two Senate rivals on the main issues of concern to Massachusetts voters (“Markey and Kennedy square off, but don’t draw blood,” Page A1, Feb. 19).

Both candidates are reliable liberal standard-bearers, and Kennedy’s main pitch is that he’s a fighter who will bring youthful energy to the overwhelming task of defeating Donald Trump in 2020. But think about it: Where would Kennedy’s great energy and fighting spirit best be deployed in this time of national crisis? Would he be most effective by spending his time running around Massachusetts in a divisive campaign against Markey? Or would he better serve all of us by putting that energy and fighting spirit directly into the service of the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, and working at the national level?

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The Kennedy name still has resonance, even magic, in the rough and tumble of national politics, and Joe Kennedy looks and speaks the part. We must be grateful that, following the family tradition, he has committed himself to a life of public service; however, now is the time for him to be battling against Trump, not against Markey.

Markey is a tried and true senator, but not a tired one. Massachusetts still needs him in the Senate. I will be voting for Markey in the September Democratic primary.

David Rubin

Canton