My favorite 2014
campaign moment so far came at a primary night rally here in the 6th
Congressional District: Richard Tisei was enthusiastically
introduced by Libertarian Dan Fishman, whose third-party candidacy
had helped defeat him in 2012.
Fishman, who clearly regretted his part in re-electing Congressman
John Tierney for another two years, was then generously applauded by
Tisei supporters, including me, who welcomed his support. Dan said
that he has gotten to know Richard and learned that the Republican
candidate is more libertarian-leaning than he'd thought.
A small-l libertarian myself, as well as a grandmother of teenage
twins, I appreciate Tisei's emphasis on the national debt: "When it
comes to the nation's finances, we are living on borrowed money and
borrowed time. The greatest danger our country faces is to continue
down the road we are on: spending and borrowing well beyond our
means while accumulating massive debt that will be passed on to
I checked out the website of Tisei's Democratic opponent, Seth
Moulton. It gives his position on numerous issues, but never
mentions the national debt that will prevent most of them from being
That's all I need to know before making my decision about any
national candidate: that he's indifferent to a national debt of
$17.8 trillion, which has increased an average of $2.44 billion per
day in just the past two years. All government functions, from
national defense to the human service safety net, are threatened by
this unsustainable burden.
Speaking of Seth Moulton's website, those national and state
anti-gay groups who are targeting Tisei should visit it. They'll
learn that Moulton is emphasizing his support for all the things
they most hate. He states that: "The Supreme Court's June 2013
repeal of DOMA was a good first step at the federal level towards
ending marriage discrimination, but there is much more work to be
done… I will fight to extend the leadership my own city of Salem is
providing on transgender laws to the rest of the country."
So, why do the anti-gay groups want to elect Moulton instead of
Tisei? Could their eagerness to defeat Richard merely reflect
bigotry toward him and his happy marriage? I have a hard time
understanding why people who are pro-marriage, pro-family, don't
appreciate gays who share those values with them.
I agree with both major candidates on choice and gay marriage, so
I'll be voting for Richard Tisei, who also agrees with me on the
need for fiscal sanity, or just sanity in general, which seems to be
in short supply everywhere.
Which brings me to this
year's independent candidate with his delusion that he can rise like
Aphrodite from the waters off Marblehead, make naked landfall on the
beach of politics where his footprints have never been seen, and win
a congressional election.
Who is this
"Christopher Stockwell, Independent" I see on signs around town?
He lives in Marblehead but, active as I have been in local politics,
I'd never heard of him until this past July, when he announced his
candidacy. He admits this is his first foray into the political
I never heard of Seth Moulton before this year either, but recognize
he was serving in Iraq; what is Stockwell's excuse for starting his
political involvement by running for Congress? Where was he when we
needed a state legislative candidate? A voice at Town Meeting?
Someone to hold a campaign sign?
At first I assumed he was a straw, encouraged to run as an
independent by the Democrats to take votes from Tisei so that
Tierney could slip through as he did the last time. But I've come to
realize that he is serious about his candidacy and actually thinks
he can win.
I feel a twinge of empathy; I recall when I started my political
involvement by offering to run for Congress here when no one else
was willing to challenge the incumbent Mike Harrington. The
difference is that I was 30 years old, not 53, yet still inexcusably
naive; thank heavens a Republican candidate did step forward before
I thoroughly embarrassed myself.
Perhaps Stockwell cynically expects to win just because he has the
word "Independent" on his campaign sign, hoping that some voters
will choose him because they like that word, which may represent
their own chosen voter registration. Well, as an independent myself,
let me assure you that all independents are not alike.
It seems Stockwell was once a Republican, but switched parties to be
with Barack Obama. That's all I need to know. Later he became
disenchanted and writes in his manifesto: "Washington is broken and
simply can't fix itself. We've been locked inside this nightmare
together for years now, with no relief." True enough -- which is why
this election is too important for egoistic amateurs to take up as a
He calls for the architects of the nightmare to levy higher taxes
and use the money to pay down the national debt. That's not how it
works, Christopher; they'd levy new taxes, and spend them on growing
the nightmare. Please, get out of the way and let the grown-ups deal
with the broken reality that is Washington, D.C.
Voters in the 6th District have one possible choice: Seth Moulton or
Richard Tisei. I hope I'm finally going to have a fiscally
conservative congressman I can call about the issues that matter to
me and my grandkids' future.