Why is Martin Long running to be the Democratic nominee for the 5th Congressional District?
Although there are many easy responses—to assure that progressive, liberal values are preserved; to continue the representation of the District’s core values—the first response out of his mouth is the key to his campaign: “To end gridlock in Congress. To provide the necessary leadership in attaining that goal. To bring new ideas to some of this nation’s most pressing problems.”
According to Martin, gridlock is the defining issue of our day. “If we can’t end gridlock in Congress,” he says over and over again, “we won’t be able to do anything. No budgetary solutions. No balanced approach to national defense. No successful implementation to the Affordable Care Act. No adequate protection of Social Security and Medicare benefits. No response to global warming. No progressive agenda. Zilch. Zero. Nothing.”
He recognizes that he alone can’t undo gridlock, but he has the vision to provide both a near-term and a long-term plan for its solution. And to constantly work for its eradication.
Besides his plans for ending gridlock, what other new ideas does he bring to the campaign? He wants to amend the War Powers Act so that 120 days after American troops are committed to any military action, a surtax would automatically kick in. No more trillion-dollar wars on the nation’s credit card. Military need would be counterbalanced by economic prudence.
Another new idea is “truth-in-authorship.” This legislation would require any special-interest group or lobbyist that writes or contributes to a bill for a legislator to acknowledge its role.
Martin feels that his life experiences have led him to this point in his career. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois (Urbana), where he majored in political science and minored in math & computer science. His master’s is in government from the London School of Economics. After his undergraduate studies, he traveled throughout Eastern Europe and South Africa at a time when communism and apartheid still held sway. What struck him most forcibly was the bizarre, almost Kafkaesque quality of those regimes—the cruel consequences that any form of absolutism inevitably takes.
He has been a successful sales and business manager professional for such technology-centered companies as Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) and IBM Global Services. He has also helped guide newly formed entrepreneurial firms, been an executive in several startups and continues to be involved, as a mentor and judge, in the MassChallenge global startup competition, as well as in the broader Boston startup community. While living in Lexington, he was elected to its School Committee. He also served as a Town Meeting member.
He was laid off from IBM during the Great Recession and went through the same grief and frustration that thousands of other high-tech workers felt when their jobs were eliminated. However, he took control of his life and investigated the causes of many of the country’s problems. The result was a book (see About Martin’s Book), and the determination to do something. He decided to run for Congress.
His life story contains the elements of a successful Congressional leader: political science interests, extensive foreign travel to troubled countries, high-tech leadership, sales and negotiating experience and dogged determination. How many members of Congress can actually understand the complicated bills on energy, technology and science on which they must vote? How many actually have a patent to their name? How many actually bring new ideas to the table? How many have studied the causes of gridlock and committed themselves to its dissolution?
About Martin’s book
A turning point in Martin’s life was his research into, and analysis of, what went wrong with America. The economic mess. The erosion of the middle class. The inevitable march toward gridlock. The result was his book The Reagan Memes: The Path from Reagan Conservatism to Modern Day Gridlock (and how to get out of it). It traces the development and application of six persistent Republican themes, created by Reagan and still used today. They’ve been transformed into mindless memes—today’s situation is vastly different from the economic and political climate of the ’70s, when the Republicans presented them as new ideas to solve that era’s problems. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from pretending that they can solve ANY problem with them, now or in the foreseeable future.
The litany of these themes/memes can be recited by Republican politicians in their sleep: reduce big government, lower taxes, decrease regulations, trust the free market, provide for a strong national defense and support family values. They did not occur by happenstance. They were carefully crafted, repeated endlessly, distributed by willing media, accepted as Gospel by Conservatives—and by many in the middle class. Martin’s book provides an in-depth examination of their creation, application and shortcomings.
The most significant result of the Republicans’ acceptance of these themes, and turning them into thoughtless memes, is the gridlock in the House of Representatives. It obstructs any meaningful approach to political dialog between the political parties that might result in negotiation and compromise.You can buy the book by clicking here.]