This is a time for a new voice to lead us
The Globe endorsement of Senator Edward J. Markey was fair-minded and reasonable (“Send Ed Markey back to the Senate,” Editorial, July 28). Here’s why I disagree. Markey has been a reliable progressive. But an election is not a reward. It’s not payment for services rendered. Likewise, making a persuasive case for removing an incumbent helps politically, but it’s not in itself the point of an election.
Elections are serious bets on the future. Voters in a Senate race should ask: In the six years to come, which candidate is likely to handle the challenges ahead in a way that advances my causes and the interests of the nation? These decisions are about the future and should never become awards ceremonies for valor in past battles.
Purely legislating is no longer sufficient to keep us out of the muck of corruption and racism. We need new leaders, with strong voices across all media. New leaders are on the ground where real people struggle every day. They campaign not just for themselves but for like-minded candidates around the country.
New leaders are coalition builders courageous enough to stand up for the voiceless. To defeat social media tribalism, new leaders are building a new politics of connectedness. That doesn’t happen in Washington alone, or at all, it seems.
I respect Senator Markey. But for the future, my bet will be on his primary opponent, Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III.
Senator’s record on climate is a key asset
If there is a single reason to reelect Ed Markey, it is his leadership on climate change (“Send Ed Markey back to the Senate”). The Globe is correct to highlight Markey’s record on climate issues as a key asset. Looking ahead to 2021, there will be an abundance of challenges confronting the new Congress. The pandemic, health care, immigration, and relations with foreign powers are on that long list. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, it will be crucial to have lawmakers such as Markey who will work to ensure that climate legislation gets the attention it is due.
Other issues may have more immediate political resonance, but facing climate change must be a priority. Markey has the commitment, the vision, and the experience to deliver the policy initiatives the nation needs now to secure our environmental future.
We’ll need a proven advocate to wage battle vs. global warming
The Globe’s endorsement of Ed Markey’s reelection to the Senate is a good reminder that after we have come through the current public health and economic crises, there will be an even bigger challenge ahead of us. Climate change is bearing down on the whole world. The United States is ridiculed and pitied for our pathetic response to COVID-19, but as the world’s biggest economy, we are still essential in the international effort to change the deadly trajectory of global warming.
With the prospect of Joe Biden as president, a Democratic-controlled Senate, and an increased Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, we will be given what might be a last chance to address this existential threat.
Markey has been the leader in the Senate for policies to lower carbon emissions. He has been fighting this battle longer than anybody else in Congress and has played an essential role in building the coalition that will finally lead to real action. What a terrible message it would be if Massachusetts were to take him out of this fight just when we need him the most.
The writer served in the House of Representatives, along with Markey, from 1979 to 1985.