MCGRATH: I was 13 years old, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I sat at this table, and I wrote a letter to my senator, telling him I wanted to fly fighter jets in combat, to fight for my country, and that women should be able to do that. He never wrote back.
I’m Amy McGrath, and I’ve often wondered how many other people did Mitch McConnell never take the time to write back. Or even think about.
A second-generation steel worker who found out his mill is shutting down, leaving no jobs behind. A woman suffering from diabetes who fears losing her health care and coverage for her pre-existing condition. A coal miner forced to retire by black lung disease who's looking for someone to offer more than words. A student who can only afford college as long as she can get her federal loans and has no idea how she’ll pay off the debt.
Everything that’s wrong in Washington had to start someplace. How did it come to this? That even within our own families, we can’t talk to each other about the leaders of our country anymore without anger and blame.
Well, it started with this man, who was elected a lifetime ago. And who has bit by bit, year by year, turned Washington into something we all despise. Where dysfunction and chaos are political weapons. Where budgets and health care and the Supreme Court are held hostage. A place where ideals go to die.
I’m running for Senate because it shouldn’t be like this. I learned as a daughter, a mom, a Marine and a fighter pilot that the mission can never be forgotten. That protecting our democracy requires courage. That our freedoms are never assured. And the best way to lift someone up is a job.
The challenge of today is inside each of us. How do we reconcile our belief in basic human decency, with our anger at those who block progress at all costs?
There is a path to resetting our country’s moral compass. Where each of us is heard. And we can become, once again, the moral and economic leader of a world in disarray.
But to do that, we have to win this.