I feel that you were caught in an unfortunate pendulum swing within the U.S.—a pendulum swing that is exacerbated by the existence of the Electoral College. And none of this is your fault. The electoral outcome is disappointing to me, but the popular vote gives me a tremendous amount of hope. I look at the voting results of individuals under 35 and you would have won by a landslide. Our youth are listening and responding to you, Hillary. When I talk with my teenage daughter about the election, she talks first about this amazing woman that stood up to a bully—and that amazing woman is YOU.
I was introduced at a very young age to remarkable female figures such as Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Eva Perón, my maternal grandmother, and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few of the women who absolutely helped shape me into an empathetic critical thinker with a passion to contribute to society. And, at 10 years old, I vividly remember Geraldine Ferraro on the presidential ticket in 1984. These women did not always win the race, but they have a presence, like you, that continues to encourage and shape our society (especially our youth). I was very lucky that my parents presented me with examples of thinking about much more than myself. History will remember you, Hillary, as so much more than a 2016 presidential candidate.
In my house, you are one of few public figures that I am confident that we will be talking about for much longer than four presidential years. We will be talking about not only your tremendous strength and response during what seemed like a grueling campaign. We will talk about how Hillary Clinton did not just coast through life after serving as First Lady. We will talk about how you built upon each experience and opportunity that you have been given: from mother to First Lady to US Senator to Secretary of State to grandmother to phenomenal presidential candidate name only a few. We will talk about the remarkable dedication that Hillary Clinton showed in all that she has done and hopefully, all that you continue to do. For my children, you are one of the great women that have and will shape their futures and lives forever.
I wrote an article right before the election discussing how no matter what the outcome of the election, the conversations about narcissist personality disorder, gender, class, bullying, opportunity, misogyny, and women’s rights are unprecedented, long overdue and absolutely changing the landscape of U.S. democracy. Hillary, you have shattered a glass ceiling. It may not be the glass ceiling leading to the Oval Office, but it is a more important glass ceiling: a ceiling of indifference that continues to dampen the forward movement of the United States and in many ways, the world. The results of this election illuminate a spotlight on the very ideals that you champion for, have championed for throughout your entire career, and that you especially championed for throughout this campaign. That spotlight illuminated because of YOU.
I think many females (and feminist supporters) took it for granted that progress was being made toward women’s rights. But the election was a wake up call that there are many who still want to suppress difference in many shapes and forms. And equally as concerning, there are those that are so complacent they can ignore historical failures and vote for an insecure, unqualified bully. You are a champion for human rights and in my house, in my family, and for generations to come it will be Hillary Clinton that shattered multiple glass ceilings with her patience, poise, positive presence, and ability to think about so much more than herself.
I admit that it looked like you were doing what was needed to win this election and I got a bit comfortable. I was confident that citizens would and could not validate the other candidate for so many reasons. I believe and hope that you will continue to work really hard to pave a brighter future for ALL children. I have realized that I cannot just ride on your coattails. I have to be more vocal and champion for human rights well beyond my own family and home. Thank you for illuminating that for me.
I want to say a giant “Thank You” to you, Hillary, for running in the 2016 presidential election. What made you the best presidential candidate is that you have grown and adapted along the way, but the core of you (as you exemplified in your concession speech) has remained the same: ALL humanity matters! Your composed stance against that insecure bully is a model for all of humanity to aspire to. You have shown a resiliency of such a high caliber. I hope that the young women and men and those that don’t identify as either woman/man continue to follow the examples of resilience that you have so adeptly showed us. I have no doubt that your presence in the 2016 presidential election will continue to shape the world for years to come. Sometimes I weep that America has really missed an opportunity to move the country forward.
I have supported the work of the Clinton Foundation for years. I will continue to personally support the Clinton Foundation and I will take on a new role of encouraging more people to think beyond the borders of the United States, and your Foundation provides an opening to do that.
For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no desire to ever meet, see, or be near the current president-elect, but I do hope that someday circumstances work out where I can meet you and continue a discussion of how to move forward in a productive, inclusive way. I am so grateful that you have served the United States of America for so long and I look forward to assisting you as you continue. Thank you, Hillary!
Forever with gratitude,