WILMINGTON, MA — Just two days prior to revealing to the national news media that he was seriously considering a run for President, Congressman Seth Moulton held a Q&A with constituents at Wilmington Town Hall on Saturday afternoon.
After an introduction from State Representative Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury), Moulton discussed what led him to becoming a Congressman.
“I wouldn’t be in Congress today if not for my time in the Marines. And that all started, more than anywhere else, at my college church with the most important mentor I’ve ever had in my life — Reverend Peter J. Gomes,” said Moulton. “[Gomes] talked a lot about the importance of service — about how it’s not enough to just believe in service or to support others who serve, but you ought to find a way to give back yourself.”
“As I was approaching graduation, I looked at different opportunities. I looked at the Peace Corps. I looked at teaching overseas,” continued Moulton. “At the end of the day, I had so much respect for the 18-year-old kids who got out and put their lives on the line for country in the United States military that I decided that’s how I’ll do my part.”
“Now this was the Spring of 2001, I had no idea that September 11 would happen a few months after graduation, or a year after that, I would end up in the first company of Marines into Bagdad or do four tours during the course of that war,” concluded Moulton.
Moulton discussed how his time in Iraq taught him several important things in life, including the true value of some of the principles held dear in America that aren’t always appreciated — rule of law, freedom of the process, a democratic government. Moulton also learned how much he valued and enjoyed service. The “toughest” lesson Moutlon learned was what it felt like to be “betrayed” by your own country — being sent to war for the wrong reasons and not being supported by the politicians in Washington.
“Today, people are feeling frustrated with our government. Because wages haven’t gone up. Because the economy is moving past us. Because the opportunities you had as children you’re worried your children won’t have,” observed Moulton. “And Washington seems to be doing nothing… There’s a lot of places where government has let us down. Where politicians in Washington aren’t fighting for the people their charged to represent.”
Moulton is encouraged that more women, people of color and veterans were elected to the Congress in 2018.
“I was very proud to be a part of that in the last election with a group of candidates I supported through a group called ‘Serve America.’ I focused on veterans. Of the 40 seats that Democrats flipped to take back the House, 10 were veterans I supported. And these are amazing veterans who are going to make a difference in our country,” said Moulton. “Their is a new generation stepping up to get this country back on track.”
Moulton told the crowd of approximately 50 in attendance that it was a privilege to represent them and that he worked for them, not the other way around, and was proud to serve them.
Moulton fielded questions on President Trump’s response to Saudi Arabia over the murder of the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi; existing caps on green cards; Trump’s wall proposal and government shutdown threats; what Congressional Republicans really think about Trump’s policies; infrastructure improvement needs; and cybersecurity.
Watch the Q&A, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:
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