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Seth now serves the 6th District of Massachusetts, with an office just ten minutes from where he grew up, but he first began serving our country when he was 22.Read More
In the Marines, our division’s motto was “no better friend, no worse enemy.” That means your allies trust you, and your enemies trust your resolve. Our country should be no different. But over the last couple years, this administration has turned its back on our friends and cozied up to our adversaries. Donald Trump’s erratic foreign policy has weakened the country, left our allies in the lurch, and emboldened our adversaries across the globe. That needs to change in 2020.
When it comes to national security, our solution has too often been only “more:” more ships, more troops, more spending. But instead of always fighting with more, we have to fight smarter. No more building outdated, costly weapons systems—we need to make sure our troops have the best technology to defeat our adversaries and support our allies. That means dramatically increasing our investment in autonomous, hypersonic, and cyber weapons—and continuing to invest in basic scientific research, education, and immigration.
But to restore strong American leadership, we need to use all the tools at our disposal—from foreign aid to new alliances to diplomacy—not just the military. We should build new alliances, like a Pacific NATO, to counter the growing threats of Russia and China abroad. And we need to take care of those who take care of us, whether it’s an ally in the Paris Climate Accord or the veterans who fight our wars.
Our troops deserve it and our national security demands it.
America has always solved big problems through service. It’s how we climbed out of the Great Depression, won World War II, put a man on the moon, and responded to the tragedy of 9/11: everyone came together around a common mission and did their part. The challenges of today–a changing climate, a changing economy, a divided nation–are different, but the path forward is the same. We need all Americans to unite and do the work to make our country better, stronger, and more united than it’s ever been.
My plan will ask all young Americans to serve, launching a national recruiting effort to reach all 33.4 million Americans aged 17 to 24. The goal is to make national service not a requirement but an expectation of American citizenship, whether you serve in the military, AmeriCorps, or a new Federal Green Corps.
And if you invest in America, we will invest in you. Using the GI Bill as a model, we will provide education and job training benefits for everyone who answers the call to serve. If you serve for one year, you earn an education benefit of 60% of in-state tuition or a job-training benefit of up to $14,000; if you serve for two years, you earn an education benefit of 80% or a job-training benefit of up to $19,000; and if you serve for 3 years, you earn an education benefit of 100% of in-state tuition or $24,000 in training.
Our economy is changing fast, and we need to equip Americans with the tools they need to thrive in the new economy—not the old. That means investing in infrastructure, reimagining our education system, and rewriting the rules of our economy to build an America where hard work pays off.
We can rebuild our economy by rebuilding our country. That starts with connecting every house in America to affordable, high-speed internet. And it means not just repairing our roads, bridges, and water pipes but building next-generation transportation, like high-speed rail, because everyone should have access to good jobs in their region and a chance to make it home after work in time for dinner.
Zip codes or skin color should never limit children’s potential or determine the quality of their schools. To fix our education system, we need to pay our teachers what they deserve, truly integrate our schools, and give all of our country’s kids a public education that prepares them for the new economy—regardless of where they live. And secondary education, whether it’s traditional college, community college, or vocational school, should be within reach for every kid in America.
Our country was founded on the idea of equality of opportunity. But today, 1% of Americans have more money than the bottom 50% of Americans combined. That’s unacceptable. Our tax system should help grow the middle class and small businesses. Our family leave policies should make it easier for Americans to raise a family. And our investments should positively impact every community in the country.
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. All Americans deserve health insurance that’s affordable, that isn’t tied to a job, and that covers all pre-existing conditions—no matter who you are.
President Obama fought hard to pass the Affordable Care Act, which expanded healthcare coverage to millions of Americans, protected pre-existing conditions, and set the standard for coverage. But even under Obamacare, costs for healthcare are too high and climbing.
That’s why we need a public option, which would give all Americans a choice between public healthcare and their current insurance. Doing so would create competition in the market, driving down prices and giving Americans what they deserve: lower prescription prices, cheaper premiums, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and better care.
We’re facing two primary challenges in this country right now. The first is that our economy is changing faster than ever before, and Americans everywhere are being left behind. The second is climate change. That’s why we need a Green New Deal: because if we do it right, we can solve both problems at once.
The Green New Deal needs to be built around green jobs and clean energy, decarbonization and breakthrough technologies, and access to green energy for the developing world—and America should lead the way in winning this moral and economic opportunity. We can lead the world in green tech and green jobs, and we should set the standards for other countries to follow.
The New Deal paved the way for a strong economy and American leadership in the last century. Let’s shape the Green New Deal to help America lead this one.
For too long, we’ve had the same people in Washington thinking the same way about a changing world. It’s time for a new generation of leadership in America: leaders who will both unite the country and have the courage to change it.
Everyone should have the right to vote, and every vote should count. That’s the most fundamental requirement of a democracy, and it’s an area where our country has always fallen short. It’s time for that to change. That means a new voting rights act to enact automatic voter registration, put a stop to gerrymandering, and confront voter suppression across America. It means giving all Americans representation by granting statehood to Puerto Rico and DC. And it means getting rid of the electoral college and the filibuster, so no matter where you live or who you vote for, your vote matters.
We also need to bring accountability to Washington, and that starts at the top. In training for the Marines, you could fail a test or you could fail a run—and you wouldn’t be sent home. But if you lied once, you were gone. That’s the same level of integrity we should demand from our leaders, particularly our commander-in-chief. Because our leaders should solve problems, not create them.
Seth Moulton is a father, husband, Iraq War Veteran, and Congressman. He now serves the 6th District of Massachusetts, with an office just ten minutes from where he grew up, but he first began serving our country when he was 22.
It was the minister at his college church at Harvard who inspired Seth to serve. “It’s not enough to just support those who serve,” Rev Peter Gomes said, “You have to go out and do something yourself.” That advice resonated with Seth, and he decided to join the Marines.
9/11 happened a few months after his graduation, and little more than a year later, Seth was an infantry platoon commander in the first company of Marines to enter Baghdad in 2003. Despite his disagreements with the war, he insisted on returning for a total of four combat deployments so nobody would have to go in his place.
Seth went to business school on the GI Bill and worked in the private sector in Texas building the country’s first high-speed railway, but missed the sense of purpose he had in the Marines. Serving in Iraq with some of the best Americans he has ever met—while feeling let down and left behind by the politicians in Washington who sent them there—inspired Seth to run for Congress in 2014. He took on a nine-term incumbent backed by the party establishment, calling for a new generation of leadership in Congress, and overcame a 54-point deficit to win. He’s been keeping the promises of that campaign ever since.
In just three short terms in Congress, Seth has worked tirelessly to guarantee good-paying jobs for hard-working people—helping revitalize the biggest city in his district, the old factory city of Lynn, by organizing state and local leaders of all backgrounds. He’s become a leading voice on foreign policy and national security, serving on the Armed Services Committee and holding the Pentagon accountable while introducing bills to transform our national defense and combat foreign influence in America’s elections. And determined to lead by example, he held more town hall meetings in the 114th Congress than any other Democrat in the House or Senate—making sure that the voices of his constituents would be heard in Washington. He’s also fought for veterans health care while upholding his promise to continue getting his own care at the VA.
After the election in 2016, Seth recognized that America needs leaders who have faced challenges more difficult than losing an election or standing up to President Trump. So he used his organization, Serve America, to help change Washington by electing more service-driven leaders to Congress. Seth and his team mentored the candidates, raised millions of dollars for them, and campaigned alongside them in tough, Republican-held districts across the country. On election night, that hard work paid off: twenty-one of Serve America’s candidates won, accounting for half of all Democratic pickups in the House and flipping districts that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.
Seth lives in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Liz, and his daughter, Emmy.