To the editor:

It is time for Seth Moulton to step down. It has become blatantly obvious that he doesn’t want to be our congressman and it is becoming increasingly clear that he doesn’t deserve to be our congressman.

For most of Moulton’s extremely short career in Congress, I have been a cheerleader of his. Given the realities of the 114th Congress when the Democratic Party didn’t have control of Congress and the House was so bitterly divided, I didn’t expect much in the way of legislation out of my congressman. That said, I appreciated his statements on gun control in the wake of every awful shooting that has happened over the past few years. I loudly applauded his statements in support of Syrian refugees. I chuckled at his zingers about “witch trials.” When the Democrats took back control of Congress I was, perhaps naively, looking forward to seeing my congressman prove his leadership by working to pass legislation and build a united consensus among his colleagues on any one of the numerous critical issues that are facing this country. I was gravely disappointed.

He began the 115th Congress by attempting to cause division and infighting within the ranks of the Democratic Party for no other reason than shameless self-promotion. Regardless of where someone stands on whether or not Nancy Pelosi is a good fit for the job of speaker of the House, what Seth Moulton made abundantly clear by not having any plan for leadership was that he didn’t really care about the leadership of his party, what he cared about was making a name for himself. His behavior during his spat with Speaker Pelosi reeked of the same kind of infuriating political posturing that has come to define so much of the dysfunctional politics in Washington, D.C., and has only gotten worse with his quixotic campaign for the presidency.

On June 26, while his colleagues in the House of Representatives were grappling with the extraordinarily difficult question of how to answer the crisis facing the migrant children currently being held in unsafe and unsanitary detention centers, Moulton was sitting on a couch in an Airbnb in Miami, watching the Democratic debates on TV and trash talking those that actually made the cut to a reporter. This behavior is anything but leadership. It is nothing but grotesque self-promotion for self-promotion’s sake. In practice, it is not all that different from Trumpian Twitter rants.

His attacks against Warren for having an evolving stance on education were particularly revolting. Unlike Seth Moulton, Sen. Warren has been doing her job the entire time she has been running for president. Warren has only missed a handful of procedural votes since campaigning for president, whereas Moulton couldn’t even be bothered to show up to vote for the Securing Americas Federal Elections (SAFE) Act. When Warren called for the need for “political courage,” Moulton disparagingly said “Courage like writing a book about school choice and then doing whatever the teacher’s unions tell you to do every single time?” That’s rich coming from the congressman who was too cowardly to take a stance on Question 2 (the ballot question relating to charter schools) until the morning of the election and then came out in favor lifting the cap on charter schools.

While we’re on the subject of unions, it was very revealing of Moulton’s character that he chose to stay in an Airbnb in Miami rather than any of the five hotels represented by a union in Miami. The effect of Airbnb on gentrification of working-class neighborhoods and the company’s lawsuit against the city of Boston over short-term rentals has been well documented. Clearly Seth Moulton is incapable of seeing the connection between his own spending and the impact it has on the communities and workers he seeks the support of, just one of many examples of the kind of over-privileged cluelessness we’ve come to expect from him.

I truly love our home, and I truly believe that the North Shore of Massachusetts is a special place inhabited by a diverse population of unique and wonderful people. Our ancestors founded America, started the conflict that lead to its independence, gave birth to the abolitionist movement and the notion that all are equal before the law, so much more. We are a great people from all parts of the globe whose voice deserves to be heard in the halls of Congress. We have a right to representation in Congress and we deserve better than to be treated as stepping stones for higher office. We deserve a congressperson who actually wants to be our voice in Congress. We deserve better than Seth Moulton and it is time for him to step down. I’m sick of being stepped on.

Benjamin Winthrop

Salem