In 1955, then-U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy authored his famous book, Profiles in Courage, in which he wrote brief vignettes about eight U.S. Senators who took unpopular actions during the course of their careers, placing the good of the country above their own political fortunes.
Kennedy begins Profiles in Courage with this sentence, “This is a book about that most admirable of human virtues — courage.”
Whenever we look back at the career of Senator Edward J. Markey, courage is the one word that best describes his 46 years of service in public office.
From the time that he served as a state representative from the City of Malden, Ed Markey never failed to exhibit political courage. As a young state rep, he took on the entrenched power of then-House Speaker Tom McGee. When Markey introduced a bill that McGee disfavored, McGee exacted his retribution by taking away Markey’s office space in the State House and placing his desk — literally — in a hallway.
When Ed ran for Congress in 1976 to succeed the late Torbert Macdonald (who was a college roommate and close confidante of JFK), Ed’s signature tag line that made him stand out from the crowd of a dozen or so candidates was this, “They may tell me where to sit,” he said, “but nobody tells me where to stand.”
Markey did not have the support of the big politicians or the big money interests in that campaign, but the voters of what was then the 7th Congressional District recognized that the 29 year-old Markey possessed what JFK identified as that most important — yet elusive — quality in a politician: Courage.
Throughout his lifetime of public service in Washington, Ed Markey has exhibited a degree of courage that is unmatched by any of his peers. Whether taking on the telecommunications industry or national banking interests, Ed Markey has been in the forefront of placing the interests of the American people ahead of the special interests.
However, Ed’s signature issue during his years in Congress has been the protection of our environment. His recent co-sponsorship of the Green New Deal with dynamic New York Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was especially-fitting, because Ed has been in the forefront of fighting against polluters and on behalf of our environment before Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was born.
At a Markey campaign rally recently in Weymouth, our correspondent, a 20 year-old college student, commented that she was highly-impressed with Senator Markey because of the detail with which he spoke against the proposed gas compressor station at the Fore River Bridge that poses a threat to the health and safety of everybody in our region. No member of Congress has shown a deeper commitment to our environment than Ed Markey.
However, despite his attention to the “big issues,” Ed Markey always has been highly-involved in the local issues of his constituents, from spearheading the designation of Revere Beach as a National Park, to securing funding for the Winthrop ferry pier, to countless other projects, both large and small, in Chelsea, Malden, Everett, and the other cities throughout his state and district.
The bottom line is this: Ed Markey has been an outstanding U.S. Senator who has represented all of the people of Massachusetts with dignity, integrity, and a deep understanding of the issues that matter to us.
We are supporting Ed Markey in his campaign for re-election because during this unprecedented time in the history of our nation, Ed’s experience, wisdom — and courage — are needed more than ever.