We might assume that Kennedy, like Gilbert & Sullivan’s character Sir Joseph Porter, will “always vote at his party’s call and never think of thinking for himself at all.” In a debate against two comically amateur primary opponents, however, Kennedy was unable to answer even basic policy questions. The moderator cringed as Kennedy umm’d and ahh’d before announcing that he did not know where he stood on the question of medical marijuana (an important referendum issue on the Massachusetts ballot in November).
As Massachusetts Attorney General Edward McCormack quipped to another Kennedy 50 years ago, congressional seats should be “merited, not inherited.” Plus ça change. But for his name and the enchanted, princely aura with which the media has endowed him, Joseph P. Kennedy III is frightfully unqualified for the U.S. House of Representatives. He is engaged, however. And if he is elected in November, you can be sure that the media will report with excitement on America’s “Royal Wedding.”
Please, voters of the Fourth District, spare us that fate.
Jack Carlson, like Joseph Kennedy III, attended Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is currently a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University.