Walk Across Connecticut — Day 3
I’ve officially passed the halfway mark and I’m already in the twilight of my walk across the state. Today involved one giant hill and two aching legs, but ended with a really incredible town hall in Waterbury. Let’s get right to it.
Walking the state reminds me again and again that the headlines that dominate cable news at all hours of the day and night aren’t necessarily the things that are keeping people up at night.
No one waited for me on the side of the road because they wanted to talk about Anthony Scaramucci. They tracked me down to talk to me about health care, about our public schools, and about housing. I heard from parents who are worried that they won’t be able to afford health insurance for their kids. I heard from small business owners who have put so much of themselves into their businesses and who are struggling to keep their doors open. I heard from people who are working full time, who are doing everything we ask of them, and they still can’t afford to pay their bills. These are the issues that drive people and they need to always be at the front of my mind when I’m in Washington.
When I finally crested the hill, I saw my phone dinging like crazy and I stopped on the roadside to read President Trump’s latest remarks on the violence in Charlottesville this weekend. Honestly, what I read made me want to throw up. I heard the President of the United States offering a defense of white supremacists — and that chilled me to the bone. This moment is a harsh reminder to all of us that just because we’ve erased discriminatory statutes from our laws, it doesn’t mean we’ve erased the evils of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and sexism. These resentments are alive and well in our country and while they went underground for a long time, they are coming back to the surface. I’m still processing what the president said today, but I know that it’s going to be hard to come home to my kids and try to explain this to them tonight.
During my walk I’ve heard from a lot of people about how the issues raised by Charlottesville are weighing on their minds. I’ve been proud of how Connecticut has spoken out in the wake of the tragedy, but this moment is a call to action for all of us.
I’m past the half way point and on to the home stretch of this walk. My legs are hurting A LOT. But every step of this is worth it for the stories I get to hear and the people I get to meet. There’s a reason why, after walking 126 miles last year and dealing with an array of blisters and bruises, I immediately said, “Let’s do this all over again next year.”
I’ve got a day and half left on the road and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Onward through Waterbury, Middlebury, Southbury and Newtown.