The Power of Storytelling | Former female Marine’s campaign ad tells an emotional story through revealing the truth

September 2, 2019

Amy McGrath is a former Marine fighter pilot, US Naval Academy and John Hopkins alum, mother to three children, and all-around badass. In 2018, she ran for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district and narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Andy Barr. Now, McGrath is running for Senate, and she’s challenging Mitch McConnell.

Her latest campaign ad, “10 Hour Bus Ride,” delivers a short, compelling story that is emotional and honest. The clip is only a minute long, and yet it stayed with me long after I watched it. There’s a significance to the brief time frame, too. But we’ll get to that later.

The video opens with voiceover narration from Jimmy Moore of Pike County, Kentucky, and we see a group of middle-aged men traveling together on a bus. “It was a ten-hour bus ride,” recalls Moore. “We were coal miners with black lung disease going to see our Senator, Mitch McConnell, to try and save our disability benefits. Ten hours on the bus, and we got to see him for all of one minute.”

One minute. The length of this video is all the time Mitch McConnell could afford to give this group of men who’ve sacrificed their lives to fuel our country. These are men he should want to represent, and yet he shirked that duty when they sought his support. They are ill. They are exhausted. They deserve a listening ear. They do not deserve to be left behind. But they have been.

What “10 Hour Bus Ride” achieves goes beyond telling the kind of story that generates serious impact. It inflicts one hell of a blow upon Senator Mitch McConnell and his reelection campaign. It creates a space for people who’ve been left behind to tell their truth, to tell their story, and to share their lived experience. And it shows us exactly where Amy McGrath stands. She’s a person of action and integrity who speaks out against injustice. She leaves no one behind and wants to be a support and a voice for those who have been — including the coal miners.

Toward the end of the video, she asks McConnell and his fellow congressmen, “Which side are you on?” In reality, this is a question we need to be asking all of our politicians, especially now. It’s also a question we should be asking each other.

I do wonder how Mitch McConnell would answer, though. Check out the video below…

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