, Newburyport, MA

June 19, 2013

Vote Markey for life, liberty, pursuit of happiness

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Someone asked me how Ed Markey will improve her standard of living, and I said:

That’s an interesting way to state criteria for supporting a candidate, and I must say I’ve never before thought of it that way.

Our Declaration of Independence outlines the responsibility of our government: We have certain inalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Further, we are to institute a government whose job it is to secure those rights.

And so evaluating a candidate vis-à-vis “standard of living” means assessing how well that candidate will work to ensure my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s easy to see Markey’s positions as he has been doing this work for a long time. One summary place is, and I agree with most of his positions. Markey works hard, and has a long track record in support of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Gomez is difficult as he has no voting record. He seems to be pro-life, he is opposed to legalizing undocumented aliens until our borders are completely secured, which will never happen, he is in favor of the Keystone pipeline, which I am not, and others. Most statements he makes about social, foreign and other policy issues are somewhat reasonable but mere generalizations because he has no real experience or agenda.

In 2013 the election is really more about party than about individuals. Our government, by its nature, includes many points of view on every issue, and government moves forward constructively by active, good-faith negotiation.

Alas, for some years now, the Republican party has refused to participate in any negotiation unless forced to do. In Barack’s first term, Republican Mitch McConnell said his main agenda was to make Obama a one-term president, a consummately irresponsible way to govern. Obama was re-elected, but now the Republican agenda in both houses of Congress is to ensure he accomplishes little, and looks bad in the process; this is observed fact.

In other words, the Republican Party has become nothing but an obdurate obstacle to progress in virtually every area, an insurmountable opponent to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Mr. Gomez tries to sound (as did Scott Brown) as though he will be a different kind of Republican: open to working with Obama, in favor of all the right issues, etc., but that’s not the way it works in Washington. As a friend once said to me: “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line,” and that’s exactly the case. Despite Scott Brown’s campaign intentions, when in the Senate he voted with Republicans and against John Kerry on every issue that supported life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It would be the same with Gomez: If he expects to get anywhere in the party (committee assignments, etc.) he would vote as he is told to vote by the Republican leadership.

This is why I shall vote for Ed Markey for U.S. senator on June 25.

Bob Keller