No one should face discrimination. Rich or poor, urban or rural, old or young, black, white, or any race, creed, orientation, identity, or origin… all individuals deserve equal rights, and an equal opportunity to thrive.

The vast majority of regular people in both major parties believe this, but we sometimes allow ourselves to be divided… divided by the people at the top who financially benefit from civil strife. For example, extraction tends to be concentrated disproportionately on vulnerable populations like the rural poor.  And as another example, minorities receive stiffer sentences for identical violations, with identical criminal histories.

Bought Republicans and bought Democrats incite divisions between us for political purposes, and it keeps us from the “more perfect union” that would set us on a swifter path toward “liberty and justice for all.” That division between us strengthens the oligarchy in charge of this country right now and keeps corrupt, greedy people in charge. It strengthens extraction industries that use stereotypes to enrich themselves by using the years from the lives of rural people to line their pockets—we hillbillies deserve what we get, right?— and it enables for-profit prisons to transform the liberty of minority people into money for themselves.

That’s wrong.

In this district, we are regular people. Good people. We love one another despite our differences. I will always stand for that.