For their own good, the Kennedys should stop running for office

In the wake of her tragic death, news broke that Representative Joe Kennedy III is seriously considering a primary challenge to incumbent Democratic senator Edward Markey. Few Massachusetts Democrats have much of a problem with Markey; a reliably liberal Democratic vote, who’s been in office since 2013. Even those organizing the “Jump In, Joe” groups say they don’t have a complaint with Markey. His main flaws, in their eyes, are that he’s 73 years old and not a Kennedy.

If you’re born into the Kennedy family, you’re instantly living with enormous expectations; in particular that someday you will run for elected office – or as they tend to phrase it, “go into public service.” That election to public office is expected to be a steppingstone, and someday you will be elected president and restore the storybook, heavily airbrushed image of “Camelot.” Your family’s beloved and departed elders had notorious flaws, but despite the fact that almost everyone in America knows about them, you’re not supposed to ever talk about them openly. Alcoholism, adultery, two assassinations, a forced lobotomy, a dead girl left to drown, a high-profile trial on rape charges that ends in acquittal, allegations of “waitress sandwiches” in restaurants near Capitol Hill, activism against vaccinations, conspiracy theories, relentless public scrutiny, one tragic sudden death after another, the list goes on and on. This is probably an extraordinarily stressful environment to grow up in. For all their wealth, fame and power, you’d probably never want to trade places with them.

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