Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dear Mrs. Clinton...

I had looked forward to writing you a letter of congratulations after you moved into the White House as the first woman President of the United States. I had hoped to see you in person some day and shake your hand and be just as exhilarated as I was when I shook Geraldine Ferraro’s, our first woman vice presidential candidate. As far as I’m concerned, you’re right up there with Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the countless women who stepped out of their traditional roles as women in order to make a difference to our nation and our world.

I want to thank you for your work as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State where you were intelligent, well-prepared, understood the purpose of public service and possessed the courage to sustain the terrible and strange negativity that was spewed out against you. You never backed down or cowered from your opponents. I know of few women or men who could have done that—on the national stage no less!

I also want to thank you for being gracious in defeat and conceding this election in the true spirit of our democracy after such a contentious and disappointing battle, especially after winning the popular vote.

I believe you would have been a good president America could be proud of, and I’m truly sorry more people chose not to see that in you. The misogyny that occurred during the campaign is so typical of what happens to women who dare to lead.

Some—both men and women—just can’t take the thought of a woman leader. It unsettles them. They believe something is wrong and out-of-whack, so they cook up hysterical excuses to slap you down. Any woman who has tried to assert or advance herself knows this to be true. Any woman who has an ounce of ambition has experienced what it is like to be called out and trounced. And yet, you found the strength to overcome these obstacles and persevere.

I believe you are a woman with a depth of soul and purpose. These are especially admirable qualities to have in politics, which is easily the most exciting, albeit dirtiest game around. Unfortunately, sexism took hold of the nation just as racism, homophobia and ethnic and religious discrimination are rearing their ugly heads again all over our country now. This is very disturbing, but maybe some good will come out of it. Maybe Americans will be moved to unite and fight against these injustices. Maybe more women will pursue political, institutional and community leadership. Maybe, we will become a stronger nation because women and men decided to work together to address the real issues of our time, namely, environmental degradation, economic inequality, tolerance for differences, student debt, poverty, violence and war, issues that were somehow overlooked during this campaign.

I am sorry about the election. You deserved to win. You would have been a positive, open and progressive force on our nation and our world, but we blew it. My gosh, almost 50 percent of Americans didn’t even bother to vote!

I hope you find peace in these next few months and over the years. And I hope you are comforted by the fact that although you didn’t win the presidency, you are like Susan B. Anthony who didn’t see the vote for women but cleared a path for other capable women in the future.

God bless you, Mrs. Clinton, thanks for your service--and I still hope to shake your hand someday.

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