Adam Kinzinger, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the Republican Congress have passed one of the most senseless, barbaric, and needlessly cruel pieces of legislation that we’ve seen in this country in a very long time.

The silver lining is that we’ve learned a lot in the process. We’ve learned what Republicans’ values really are.

We learned that Republicans don’t understand the role public education plays in building and sustaining the middle class of Illinois. We know that’s the case because they – just like Bruce Rauner did here at home – just created irresponsible new giveaways for private schools, and parents who home-school.

And we learned that Republicans really do want to take healthcare away from millions of American families, including tens of thousands here in the 16th District alone. We know that’s true because they set the stage for the death of the Affordable Care Act by repealing the “individual mandate.” They’re also getting ready to take away our Medicare by pushing for hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary cuts.

Congressional Republicans like Adam Kinzinger and Paul Ryan could have fought for anything, since their party controls every part of the federal government. What they chose to fight for is the continuing assault on the American middle class.

That’s why we have to refuse to let Congressional Republicans lecture us about “tone” and “civility” in our “political discourse.” This isn’t about civility. It’s about values, and it’s about actions.

There is nothing civil about Adam Kinzinger’s continued support for political donors over Illinois families, no matter how pleasant his tone is. His record is ugly, and no amount of polite conversation will change that.

The early women’s rights activist Alice Paul lived by a simple motto: “Deeds, not words.” That’s my standard too, and that’s why I’m running to represent the 16th District in Congress.

We’ve got a long struggle in front of us. We all know it’s a struggle we have to win. Our communities, our senior citizens, and especially our children are all counting on us to be successful.