Wednesday morning I got an influx of emails, texts and calls from various family members, friends and even relative strangers. They mostly expressed disappointment about the election, but nearly all of them said that despite the devastating result, they were excited to see what I would write about it.
Some were hoping for a scathing analysis of where we went wrong, laced with piercing jabs at Trump or his supporters. Some hoped for a rallying cry to our nation’s outraged youth — a passionate plea to pick ourselves up and take action not only against the candidate our nation has elected, but against the hatred he represents and facilitates.
To be totally honest though, I hadn’t the slightest idea what to say.
There’s a time and place for all of the things I just mentioned, and that time is probably now, but I just didn’t have it in me. It’s a rare occasion that I’m totally speechless on something of such tectonic significance, but for three days I was completely blank. So I did nothing. I passed the time reflecting on what had happened, and attempted only to think about what had happened — not to form opinions, or work on column ideas, or build up frustration — just think.
I believe I’ve figured it out.
Of course action must be taken. Our voices must be heard, and the voices of inequality, hatred and bigotry must be challenged and eradicated from our country with crushing passion and clinical efficiency. Make no mistake, the searing flame of intolerance and hatred is heating a revolution, one that looms ubiquitous over the nation, burning incandescent with intent.
So of course we must fight for our future, we must move on, and we must stay and fight for what is right. But first, we ought to pause and recognize the person that most have already forgotten.
If I ever have a daughter, I cannot think of a better role model to hold up to her than former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
She has shown perseverance, kindness, dedication and intense care for others, and I cannot think of anyone who better represents achievement in the face of adversity and hatred, and who has shown what is possible for women and girls everywhere. I would be proud to watch my daughter grow and succeed with her as inspiration, and not because there are no better options, but because she represents the best aspects of what our country, and people around the world, can be.
I won’t come out and defend all of her policies and decisions, and I won’t say I agreed with her on absolutely everything, because I definitely did not.
But I will say that there are very few, if any, people who have done as much to help those truly in need, and who have showed such genuine empathy mixed with such furious determination and execution.
I will defend her character, her intentions and the values and ideals she represents as a person, and will take no shame in doing so.
After the election, I have heard time and again that a truly exceptional woman will be needed to win the White House for the first time, just as President Barack Obama was the truly exceptional candidate to do that for African Americans.
Yes, her comic stylings leave something to be desired. And yes, she is about as smooth as burlap, but she was our exceptional candidate. It’s really time we cut the bullshit, and I direct that at liberals perhaps more than anyone. What Clinton needed was not a lesson in authenticity. She needed a country that could take some pride in getting educated and not voting completely uninformed.
I recently read an article entitled “Why So Many Women Abandoned Hillary Clinton.” It’s such a shame that this article even has to be written, because Clinton hasn’t abandoned women, she has done just the opposite.
This is a woman who has dedicated her entire career to improving conditions for those who need it most. This is a woman who is brilliant, qualified and caring. She is compassionate in her plans and surgical in her actions.
To Hillary Clinton:
Thank you for everything you have done.
Thank you from the little girls around the country who see hope in you and fall asleep clutching your action figure.
Thank you from the millions of children who, because of you, have the confidence to be brave in the face of intense hatred and stand up for what is right in the face of injustice.
Thank you from the women around the country who were able to go into the voting booth and cast a vote that brought them true pride, and from the men who stood up, admiring you.
From those who don’t have the voice to say it, but who undoubtedly want you to know: thank you, Hillary. You will go down in history. You already have.