nov. 9: what do you want to say to hillary clinton today?
dear mrs. clinton,
i have so much i want to say that i am left feeling almost speechless. i have a feeling you may be feeling the same way. i can’t imagine how much wine and/or ambien you probably needed to ingest to get to sleep for a few hours this morning before giving your inevitably painful and disappointing speech. for my part, i am not saying the things to you today that i expected and hoped to be saying either.
first of all, i am sorry. i am sorry you have been so terribly thrashed by so many people in this country for the past… well, ever since you demonstrated that women can seek and be worthy of power. for whatever reasons: party bias, vilification by the media, the silent sexist majority… you have been criticized by being called a “bitch” instead of by attacking your political platform; the most sexist thing i can even think of. not to mention your wardrobe, your hair and make up, how much you smile or don’t… you know what it’s like to be a woman from the front effing row. you’re certainly not perfect and you have made some serious mistakes in your career. it doesn’t make it ok, but i’d challenge anyone to find a politician in the game for so long who hasn’t (besides maybe B). i am sorry you have done your best to stand by your man while simultaneously challenging outdated gender norms, advocating for women, children, and minorities, and we weren’t able to meet you half way. i guess we just aren’t ready. it feels so disappointing because it’s so personal. but the people have spoken, and they have chosen their “champion,” and we will all wake up in that world and must find a way to live in it; for better or worse, america has the president it deserves.
second, the results of this election don’t mean that the people who support you are going anywhere (besides, if possible, to canada – ha – kidding but not kidding). we are still proud of the work you did to advance difficult dialogues in this country. we were still proud, if awfully defeated, when you called to concede when the outcome became obvious, instead of dragging it out in a classless manner that we can imagine other major party candidates for the presidency might have done. though we had (and will have) our tearful moments, those moments where in safe company or in privacy we couldn’t force ourselves to “go high,” you still did. all of this was not unnoticed, all of this was not in vain. thank you.
but here’s the reality. you had a steeply uphill battle for so many reasons. the political pendulum was not swinging in your direction, and the force of that swing was especially immense given current local and global situations (8 years under a black democratic president, syrian refugee concerns, the ridiculous pitting of black lives vs blue – as if it’s an either/or option, the legalization of gay marriage, and the death of a supreme court justice, to name a few). i know we can both understand (though strongly disagree with) the fear-based, emotional, reactionist undertow that comes after such a strong tidal wave. yet it’s hard to understand how this particular figurehead was chosen to represent and advocate for the remedy to those more or less legitimate concerns. almost impossible, actually. but clearly, many people felt this was their only choice, and this has to be ok. this is democracy at work.
nothing is forever. maybe our hope to cling onto things is just selfishness, our mortal sense desperately clawing for immortality. barack obama won’t be president forever, your presidency wouldn’t have been forever, donald’s presidency won’t be forever, america’s position as a superpower won’t be forever. yet let us hope that we can forever stand together, as long as people inhabit the earth, with pride and love for the entire human race… even in the moments it feels unlovable.
today feels dark. we (your people) are scared. scared, but not hopeless. americans believe in different things. we may believe that other people’s beliefs will take away the rights of citizens who should be protected. human beings who should be protected. but we all want our country to be great. today, let us hope that class and kindness will still somehow win out. let us sincerely hope that the future “i told you so”s of the democratic base aren’t in the face of lives lost or liberties lost. let us hope that we and our daughters and sons know that while today wasn’t the day for women to break through the highest glass ceiling, the day is coming. (and know that if you don’t live to see it, some day your resting place will be decorated with “i voted” stickers as the first female president is elected to lead our country.) let us hope, in the face of what has happened today, that somehow, love will still win.
let us trust that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
with gratitude, and bruised but indefatigable hope, your fellow american, morgan
ps: to the black, mexican, muslim, female, disabled, mentally ill, young, old, gay, jewish, immigrant, and poor people of america… we see you. we hear you. we are still with you.