Around 150 years ago, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his regiment of the 20th Maine stood on a hill called Little Round Top and prevented the Confederate Army from flanking and destroying the Union Army at Gettysburg. When they ran out of ammunition, they fought with rocks and bayonets. There was not a single smooth-talking politician amongst them.

About six months ago, I saw interviews of several US Navy SEALs who were running for Congress. After becoming disillusioned with our political exploits over the previous year and a half, they decided to fix bayonets and take on the politicians in congress. They all said that it was not their ambition — it was their duty. One of them is ex-Navy SEAL Ed Thelander, who is running for Maine’s 1st Congressional District against the incumbent Chellie Pingree. Among other things, he favors legislation that calls for term limits of politicians, like Pingree, who go to D.C. promising everything for everybody forever, and then do nothing except collect their paychecks. Our incumbent politicians would rather face bayonets than a bill for term limits.

I very much approve of a US Navy SEAL who has previously picked up a rucksack and a rifle to stand on the frontiers of freedom against our enemies rather than a glib tongued politician who has picked up her champagne glass and caviar for her entire life. Oh, wait, she did write five knitting books between 1986 and 1992, which makes her eminently qualified to make decisions about what happens with Russia’s threat of nuclear extinction. Like Joshua Chamberlain’s Mainers, I’d prefer the leadership of one who has already faced the ultimate decisions of confrontation rather than one who has faced the ultimate chicken cordon bleu. Perhaps if Chamberlain had had a regiment of SEALs, they wouldn’t have needed the rocks to achieve victory. Half a world away, Ed Thelander fought for us once and, if given the chance, will fight for us again in the US House of Representatives. On the Democrat side, it’s more caviar for the incumbent, please.

Kris Kristiansen