BOSTON (CBS) — Eighth District Congressmen Stephen Lynch is running unopposed Nov. 6. He joined Jon Keller Sunday to discuss the current political atmosphere.
Over the past week, top Democrats and democratic supporters were targeted by a serial bomb maker who mailed explosive devices across the country. Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested Friday in South Florida.
“I think it’s very sad when you see violence threatened against people who run for political office,” said Lynch. “I think in some cases the rhetoric and the passion overrides, I think, common decency. Obviously, the letter bombs are the extreme example of the passions that run today and may illustrate some mental incapacity there, some psychological problems with that individual. But also, when you go online, you go on social media, people are so cruel to each other. I mean every spectrum of the political view. There’s a lot of hate there, there’s a lot of criticism.”
The Representative said empathy was an important trait to have when it comes to eliminating a toxic environment. “Use compromise as a tool to bring people together. It doesn’t always work, it seems like the energy seems to be on the far right and on the far left, not necessarily with the people in the middle who are actually trying to get something done.”
Keller asked if Lynch believed the Democrats would take the House back. He responded, “From what the experts say, and I’m no expert, is that there are about 46 toss-up seats on the Republican side that are held by Republican members and six toss-ups held by Democrats. So I think it does look like the Democrats may take the House by a small margin maybe by a dozen votes.”
Lynch is unsure how the Senate seats will fall because there are fewer toss-up seats. Could a split Congress mean gridlock, though?
“No, it’ll mean that we finally, in the House actually, try to hold the president accountable,” Lynch said. “Actually rebalance the relationship between the Congress and the White House. Up to now, I think the Republican chairmen and chairwomen have basically abdicated their responsibility to be a check and balance on the White House. And we’ve seen some pretty ridiculous policies come out of the White House in terms of foreign policy and the people who are now our enemies used to be longtime allies.”
Lynch is also an active member of a delegation that works with airline policies and tries to deal with noise complaints that a new landing pattern at Logan Airport has created. “The real problem in the way the airlines are operating is that NextGen RNAV system which puts those planes over the same house every single day, every single hour basically, so we’ve got to move away from that model. But we did get a bill passed in the FAA reauthorization that will actually make a health study about the impacts of those planes relentlessly flying over the same airspace hour after hour…I think eventually we will be able to force them to go to another system because I do believe there are actual health impacts on the people who are dealing with that system.”