My Experience as a Kennedy Intern

Over the summer, I interned for the Joe Kennedy for Senate campaign. Under COVID conditions, I worked from home, phone banking for hours, calling hundreds of voters and texting thousands of them. I stood outside in town centers from Concord to Reading. I dropped off lawn signs and reported the results from the Fairbanks Center on election night. I interacted with countless voters, be it over the phone, texting, socially distanced standouts, or just a passerby on the street. 

GROSBERG interned for Joe Kennedy. Photo courtesy of 

One of the most important things that I took away from the whole experience is that, a large number of citizens are willing to be open-minded. Even if they don’t support the candidate, they will listen to your calls and address you with respect. That being said, there are definitely overenthusiastic voters, like a few Ed Markey campaign volunteers who slashed our lawn signs.

Throughout the entire campaign, I had a front row seat to democracy at work: especially on the last night when I reported results from the Fairbanks 

GROSBERG with Joe Kennedy. Photo courtesy of Jack Grosberg.

Center. That night will stick in my mind for years to come. There was no fanfare, no pomp, and no circumstance. It was me, a high-school student, and a middle-aged Markey volunteer. Going into that night, I knew we weren’t going to win and as the loss became apparent, the Markey volunteer remained respectful towards me and the Kennedy campaign.

“We are only separated by what our ideas of a better America look like”

When we had both finished reporting results to our respective campaigns, the Markey volunteer turned to me and said, “It is really something that you are doing this and getting involved, it’s inspiring.” She was respectful and took the time to acknowledge my efforts, something that is missing from today’s politics. If the two of us could have a respectful conversation, even though we were from opposing campaigns, why can’t others do the same? Sure, we were from the same party, but that should not matter. Why can’t all sides – Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians – show each other respect? We are all humans. Showing respect does not mean that you have to support their ideas or not stand up for your beliefs. Showing respect is listening to what others have to say, understanding where they are coming from, and acknowledging the efforts and time that they put into their work.

“Showing respect is listening to what others have to say”

It is really not a difficult task; it is actually quite easy– a simple, “I understand and I respect what you’re saying. In my opinion…” or “It’s really great how much effort you put into this.” In the end, we all just want to make America a better place. We are only separated by what our ideas of a better America look like. So, while you don’t have to enjoy the outcome, we should all be able to commend the journey.