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“…And I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that our troops are worth more than pawns on Donald Trump’s chess set…”

Lindsey Simmons (D) – candidate in the 4th Congressional District – Sedalia, Missouri – January 25, 2020.

Lindsey Simmons, a Democratic Party candidate in the 4th Congressional District, held a campaign meet and greet event, including area and statewide candidates, in Sedalia yesterday evening. Throughout the evening the crowd of over a hundred individuals were able to speak individually with candidate and then listened to their prepared remarks.

Lindsey Simmons (D):

Lindsey Simmons (D): ….Here I have my mom [applause], she, uh, grew up, uh in [inaudible] in Saline County….according to, uh, a couple of people here we look the same…she was the first person in her family to go to college. She was a sophomore in college when I was born. And by the time she was thirty she had two more kids and a masters degree. So, if you want to know why I am strong, she’s sitting right there. [applause]

I have my Grammy over here who lived on that farm in Napton with my Pawpaw, working the same land his dad worked. She taught me how to pray, she taught me how to husk corn, how to snap beans, and how to cook better than my mom. [laughter] And if you want to know why I am optimistic, if you want to know why I believe in being kind to people, she’s sitting right there. [applause]

I have my dad…there he is…My dad is a small business owner, he runs his own farm. When I was a kid he used to throw football with me and my brother after school. He took me to the University of Nebraska when I was in high school to help me learn how to pole vault like the boys, because girls at my high school did not pole vault. And then, when I…tore up my knee, I had three surgeries in the course of six months, and my dad taught me how to walk again. And if you want to know why I am tough, and why a girl from a small rural county believes she can do anything a man can do, he’s sitting back there. [applause]

And my Grandma Simmons, who’s from Otterville, just short way away from here, with the same farmland that’s been in her family for over a hundred years. My grandpa was a Methodist Minister, and if you want to know why I believe we should take care of our neighbor as our own, why we help the least among us, why a core principle of society should be treat others as you would want them to treat yourself, she is right there. [applause]

There are people who have asked why I decided to have this event in Sedalia. Well, I learned every lesson I needed to know in Marshall, I went to church at Marshall Junction, and I spent every holiday over in Otterville. I am here because this is my home. [applause]

[….]

I have an amazing husband who’s the most honorable, kind, supportive human being I have ever been blessed to meet in my entire life. And together, we have a son who’s very good at those light saber lessons. [laughter] And if you want to know why I’m standing here and doing this, it’s because of them. Because this is for my family and this is for my home. And I have decided to take my home back. [applause]


Lindsey Simmons (D): …I, uh, had the great privilege of growing up here in Missouri. It’s a legacy from Harry Truman. I was a student in the public education system of Mel Carnahan. I’m a strong Missouri woman following in the footsteps of Claire McCaskill. And from the moment I was born until after I graduated college my representative was a man by the name of Ike Skelton. [applause]

Mr. Aull wrote my letter of recommendation so that I could intern wit Congressman Skelton in his D.C. office in 2008. And I went out to Washington, D.C….I got put to work answering phones, doing e-mails, giving tours, and my specialty was on agricultural policy in the 4th District and on rural communities.

But Congressman Skelton gave us special assignments, something that was really important to him, was that anyone who’s interested in public policy takes the time to learn history. And e had a long list of about fifty texts that he thought anyone in public policy or making decisions about national security could read. And he assigned each of his interns a book over the course of the summer to read those books….I ended up having book chats with the Congressman. First we read about Daniel Boone, then we learned about Lord Horatio Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, and I read ten books wit the Congressman that summer. And I can tell you that the highest compliment that he ever paid anyone was taken from his idol, which was Harry Truman. And that was – every day you work to do your damnedest.

And in the winter of 2009, uh, my grandfather got ill. And I needed an excuse to stalk my grandparents in Otterville so that I could help them. And Congressman Skelton let me work in the district office right here in Sedalia. And we helped veterans get access to the VA. We worked with people who were in the National Guard, helping them get Tricare. And we helped people with their Social Security benefits.

And, unfortunately, that winter my grandpa passed away. But Ike Skelton wrote a hand written note to my grandma thanking him for his service in Korea. Because every single day Ike did his damnedest for everyone. [applause]


Lindsey Simmons (D): …You know, in the 4th District here, I think that we are, and we must be, brave enough to believe that we have a representative who actually works for us and shows up. I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that our politics can inspire optimism. And that we can build communities instead of building walls. I think that we have to believe that we can grow and create alliances instead of division. I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that medical decisions should be based on medicine, and not the amount of money in your bank account. [applause] I think we have to be brave enough to believe that communities should be like here I grew up, where schools are fully funded, teachers are paid more than baby sitters, because when we have strong schools we have strong communities and strong families.[applause]

I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that consumers in the United States of America know where their beef is raised before they buy it. [applause] I think that local communities should have control over that community. I think that we need to understand that a trade war should not be borne on the backs of family farmers who are left as collateral damage. [applause] I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that we all deserve to breathe clean air, and drink clean water, and hunt healthy game. I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that investing in adaptation policy benefits our economy as much as it does our environment, and as much as it does our infrastructure. We have to do these things.

And I think that we have to be brave enough to believe that our troops are worth more than pawns on Donald Trump’s chess set. [applause]

You know, when Congressman Skelton gave his farewell address on the House floor…he talked about his time on the House Armed Services Committee. And he talked about how it was a great bipartisan group, because you get things done for the troops. You don’t play politics with our military. But, he said that in 2010 something really was starting to worry him. That as a result of that election, which was the tea party wave, there was a growing hallowing out of the center and a rise of politicians who were on extremes, making it nearly impossible to compromise on important legislation. He said that his greatest fear in this country was a growing chasm between those who protect our freedoms and the protected, this growing divide between military and civilian life. And let me tell you something, that chasm is real…


Lindsey Simmons (D):…When I was born the Berlin Wall hadn’t been torn down yet. And I am bothered that the United States of America is trying to build another wall. [applause] You know, I was five years old when I shot my first gun, and I was ten years old during Columbine. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why protecting hunters and protecting students needs to be mutually exclusive. [applause] I was six years old when the flood of ’93 turned my Pawpaw’s farm into a lake. And I was fourteen years old when I saved up my allowance, went to the library, and printed off, five cents a page, the IPCC report for the first time. I did. My mom is laughing at me because I really did that….I don’t understand why taking care of our environment and the planet that we all live on is a divisive issue. I really don’t. I was fourteen years old when 9/11 happened. And my husband’s about to go off on his third deployment. And I’d sure like to know when we’re gonna get out of these wars so that my son doesn’t end up having to go. [applause] I was twenty-one when we had the great recession. I was still in college, afraid to graduate because there weren’t any jobs. In my hometown tons of businesses shut down and rural communities have never recovered. And I would like to know why we can’t make investments in rural Missouri. [applause] And I’ll be thirty-three when I’m sworn in as the next congresswoman from the 4th District. [applause]

There are three things that you’re gonna hear a lot from me over the next several months. One, is about families. Everything that our campaign is going to advocate for is about families. About supporting working families, supporting unions, supporting farming families, supporting military families. Because when families have good jobs, when their kids can go to day care, when the schools are open five days a week and are fully funded, then our live are better, our communities are stronger, and that’s what we need to be fighting for.

We’re going to be fighting for fairness. Fairness in elections. You shouldn’t be able to buy your congressional seat. You shouldn’t be able to buy the presidency. We’re gonna talk about fairness in the tax code. You should not be a janitor, making thirty thousand dollars a year, paying fifteen percent in taxes, but then another guy down the street, making the exact same amount of money trading stocks, and his tax liability? Zero. [applause] Companies like Amazon shouldn’t be paying less in taxes than all of us. That doesn’t make any sense. [applause]

And we’re also gonna talk about freedom. The freedom to hunt, the freedom to pray, the freedom to love who you love, and the freedom of all people to be treated equally under the law. [applause]

[….]

Previously:

Lindsey Simmons (D): on a mission in the 4th Congressional District (November 26, 2019)