Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dear Hillary

Dear Hillary,

First of all, I'm sorry. I am so, so sorry. You deserved so much better than what you got. Not just yesterday, but over decades.

The thought of you making that concession call to Trump is so painful to think about, and I'm just some Irish teenager you've never heard of. I can't imagine how it feels for you. I am glad you didn't give a speech Tuesday night -- it would be beneath you. 

I'm currently waiting for CNN to broadcast your concession speech. I hate this. I was so looking forward to what I'm sure would be a beautiful, inspiring acceptance speech for the first Madam President. I don't understand how you go on, how you have persevered through so much that would break a lesser human.

I just watched your speech and now I'm sobbing. You have worked so hard. Thank you. You are the first female major party nominee and the first woman to win the popular vote to be US President. We will not forget what you've done for us.

They're talking about how you have likely no future in politics now, much like others have been saying that the Clinton dynasty has ended and that you are now just a footnote in history. You are not a fucking footnote. Not only did you make 60 MILLION cracks in the glass ceiling this year alone, your whole life you have been a shining feminist beacon of hope and perseverance and fortitude. You have been so strong and admirable.

I don't know how Donald Trump won. I can't even bear to put his name and "President" in the same sentence. But it is wrong. Regardless of whether or not he turns out to be good at the job (which I doubt), this shows that tens of millions of Americans are cool with his disgusting sexism, racism, homophobia, lechery, fraud, mendacity, climate denial... 

Well, I understand how, even though I don't think he should have. People wanted change. I read that your campaign was delighted when Trump was nominated by the Republicans, and so was I -- I thought it was a sure victory for you. But then we discovered that America is a media nation that has now propelled Trump, media manipulator extraordinaire and king of branding, to the presidency. Trump and Bernie were so successful as these exciting change agents that your good policies, steady hand, intelligence and work ethic got left in the dust. I don't think that's fair, but I guess we all have very low attention spans now so that's how it worked.

Of course, the thing that lost you the Presidency was the Electoral College. Your coalition was mostly located in safe states, like Texas and California, so you drove up the margin in California and got within ~3% in Texas (!). 


That headline. What a way to add insult to injury. It's strange that, in the end, your much-vaunted campaign infrastructure didn't deliver the presidency for you despite your winning the popular vote. The media just constantly talked about Trump's lack of a ground game and your stellar GOTV effort. Bad tactical decisions were made regarding Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, I guess. This is one place where the pundits were less wrong - 538 predicted a 10%  chance of you winning the popular vote but losing the presidency. 

Hillary, there's a reason I'm calling you by your first name rather than Secretary Clinton or Senator Clinton or First Lady Clinton or Professor Rodham. I hugely respect you for your work in all of those roles, but I'm calling you Hillary because I identify with you, and though I will likely never know you, see you as a kindred spirit. I say it to fight back against all the pundits who say you're just unlikable. I like you. So many people should. That so many don't is testament to the rancor and division of American politics. 

I resent having to start every complimentary sentence about you with "She's a flawed candidate, but". It's bullshit. Everyone is flawed, but we don't talk about them like that. We love Obama despite his dodgy surveillance laws and drone strikes killing innocent civilians. You never get anything like that benefit of the doubt.

I have seen some of the hideous propaganda against you - Photoshopped images of you hanging from a tree, cartoons from white supremacists of your face and hands twisted into anti-Semitic caricatures; I've only been politically engaged for the last two years and it's hurting me so I don't know how the hell you stand it. 

You have led an incredible life, and I believe you will continue to. Not only have you been a feminist icon - we will not forget that you are the first woman to win the presidential popular vote - but you are one of the most experienced, impressive, intelligent people in America of any gender. It breaks my heart to think of your rejection letter from NASA saying they didn't accept girls as astronauts to now, when the nation is still so appallingly sexist that they'll elect a racist Cheeto over an eminently qualified woman.

Not all votes against you were because of sexism. But all votes for Trump did excuse and allow for his disgusting and well-publicized sexism. So people who say this isn't about sexism can back off.

There is more that is tragic about this election than the pain it has caused you and your supporters. This result is horrific for the environment, the economy, for marginalized groups including women, racial minorities, LGBTQ people, immigrants, for common decency, for the belief that the President should be a moral example to the people ... but I'm avoiding thinking about those right now, because the more I think about them the worse it gets. 

Dear Hillary, thank you. You will go down as a pioneer, as a fighter, as one of the most underrated Americans of all time. I refuse to respect Drumpf. I hope the Electoral College rebels and refuses to elect him. If not, I hope his presidency is not too destructive -- but I know that you would be a far better President in every way. I'm sorry that owning a penis is apparently still a requirement to lead the USA. You'll always be Madam President to me.

Thank you for your struggle. Thank you for being the first woman to win the popular vote. Thank you for showing us all the horrific difficulty a female candidate for President faces. You were not a bright shiny idealist like Obama in 2008 - because who would've listened to a female Obama? You had to be an establishment candidate. You had to claw your way up. The boot of misogyny kicked you off at the last hurdle, but you have done us a great service. Now we know what we're up against. We can no longer deny the sexism that faces America. Our next candidate for President - if we can possibly find someone as steel-made as you - will know the path because you have mapped it out for us. And someday soon, she will make history as the first female candidate to reach 270 electoral votes.

The honour of first woman to win the popular vote, to have most of the nation believe she should be President -- that goes to you. Thank you for being our champion.



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