The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race Changed the World [OPINION]
Actually it was the voters of Massachusetts who changed the world when they elected a young Congressman over a powerful U.S. Senator with decades of experience.
The voters of Massachusetts took a chance on John F. Kennedy in 1952 and they changed the world. They had first elected Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to the U.S. Senate in 1936. The future President of the United States was just 35 years old when he was elected to the Senate.
The folks who voted that year in Fall River, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Acushnet were instrumental in changing the course of history when they came out strong for Jack Kennedy. It helped that the local Republican-leaning newspaper, The New Bedford Standard-Times, dominated the area and went with Kennedy, a Democrat, rather than Lodge that year. It helped that the most influential Republican, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, refused to campaign against Kennedy in that race. McCarthy appreciated Kennedy and his family more than he did party labels.
When lower Bristol County and the city of Boston voted strong for Kennedy, they set in place a series of opportunities. The handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Civil Rights Movement, the race to the moon, and the Peace Corps all were put in motion because of the election of 1952.
Will the Massachusetts election for the U.S. Senate ultimately bloom for generations the way the election of 1952 did? There is only one candidate in the race who has the time to follow in the footsteps of the last man elected president from Massachusetts. Are the voters interested in being part of history?
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.