Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Scott Brown: Rooting for the Underdog

By Matthew Lowe

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In 2009, following the departure of the illustrious Ted Kennedy, the “people’s seat” opened up. Because of the generally democratic nature of Massachusetts, it’s not surprising that the last Republican senator to hold the CLASS I title was when Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was serving in the Senate (1947-1953). It is also worth mentioning that Lodge had taken his position following the 21-year-run of Sen. David I. Walsh (D-MA).

Courtesy of wbur.org

As such, many would have figured the people’s seat would go to a Democrat to serve alongside Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Still, against the odds, and to many people’s surprise, a Republican by the name of Scott Brown ended up taking the seat.

As of right now, any political pundit would be hard-pressed to conclude anything other than “Brown’s got a tough fight ahead of him.” His prime competition – Elizabeth Warren – has a reputation that far precedes her. Indeed, much of the marketing for Warren has already been done.

You may recognize her from appearances on mainstream liberal programming, such as “Real Time with Bill Maher” or “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Or perhaps you’ve audited a class of hers at Harvard University, where she is a law professor. Or maybe you’ve come across a few of her books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble or your parents’ coffee table. Regardless of where you’ve seen her, two things are for sure – she’s knowledgeable and accomplished.

But the question is: are her impressive qualities those needed right now in the U.S. Senate? And more importantly, are they needed more than Brown’s qualities?

It’s crucial to understand some of the main appeal of Warren is similar to the appeals of Brown. The difference? Warren’s fan base has formed based on theoretical principles; they’ve formed in the hopes that Warren will be able to exercise an independent mind in the senate. However, Brown has, for the last two years, come through on those very same promises of being an independent thinker by actually putting it into practice.

The fact of the matter is that he made it to the people’s chair because he earned it and because he represents all an American should aspire to be. As of late, I can’t help but recognize the familiar sighs of relief that come with the prospect of change. Still, through the fog, I can’t help but rely on the familiar adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Many would like to believe that the “American Dream” is nothing more than a social construct designed to keep the working class working. I don’t. I think Brown is the breath of fresh air Massachusetts has been looking for because his story is one that speaks to the American Dream firsthand through his triumph over struggle.

There’s something to be said about a man who grew up in relative poverty, was sexually abused by a camp counselor at the young age of 10 and physically abused by stepfathers for most of his childhood and then proceeded to attend top universities and eventually win a bid into the United States Senate. It’s something to be inspired by.

Some criticize Brown for having attended private schools versus Warren who attended public, thus concluding that she is more of an average citizen and far more representative of the citizens of Massachusetts.

Well, first and foremost – since when has academic achievement become a negative quality in a politician? And why do lines need to be drawn between receiving public versus private education? Should we, as public school students, believe that we have to inherently work harder in life because our school provides fewer opportunities for us? Or should we instead take solace in the idea that opportunity is presented to those who simply work hard, regardless of circumstance?

To all those who root for the underdog, I implore you to reassess Brown as your state senator. The facts are clear to anyone who’s been awake for the past decade: the political system in this country is in turmoil and it’s going to take nothing short of heroic efforts to bring it back to global prominence. It’s going to take independent thinkers – which Brown has proven time and time again that he is – and individuals who are willing to compromise rather than further polarize in order to actually fix things.

Is it the best strategic move for long-term recovery to oust one of the few Republicans in government that is willing to budge on major issues for the greater good? One can commend Warren on her appeal as “a real person” with good intentions all they’d like, but when the game’s on the line, regardless of political affiliation, we all have to recognize the truth – we need more than what Warren is throwing down on the table. This country needs a hero.

Matthew R. Lowe is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

1 Comment

One Response to “Scott Brown: Rooting for the Underdog”

  1. Marilyn on February 28th, 2012 6:40 pm

    Scott Brown voted against three jobs bills that would have brought thousands of jobs to Massachusetts. He did so, because it would have meant a 0.4 percent tax increase on millionaires.

    Sorry, but he lost my vote. I’m voting for Elizabeth Warren in November.

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