Dear Hillary Clinton,
[I already wrote about this back in 2016 (skip to the second-to-last para), but here I am again, writing about it now.]
When the World of Men demands that women be undeniably good—not just better, UNDENIABLY GOOD— before even being given an ear, the world ends up with you, Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman who is undeniably good and still, somehow not good enough. I finally read your book What Happened. And you know what? The disappointment I feel about how this book was not written before the election makes my heart ache. Not that a need to dwell on the past exists, but I am suddenly awed by the woman you are.
Out of respect for the Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady, that you are, this is the first and foremost problem for me. Have you not had enough? Do not misunderstand me. The women of the world thank you, every day, for the gifts you have given us simply by being YOU. What I mean is, you have carved this path so hard and fastidiously that perhaps, at some point, people do not want to cheer for the person who always gets it all. As you have risen through the heights of American Democracy, have you ever stopped to think, “Hey, maybe there’s some other woman who could do this better than me?” Have you fully understood the immense privilege you’ve held as the “first woman fill-in-the-blank” when there have always been other women out there suffering, needing a firm hand. This does not diminish your accomplishments. We women are truly grateful.
You ask in your book what it is about you that people seem incapable of connecting with, relating to. As a millennial female, I used to see you the way that we are trained to see you: Ambitious = Bad. Of course, I understand and accept that you were the most qualified person in this country for the job. But you are right; the stigma of a powerful woman was too hard to defeat. Even in someone as young as myself, I could not shake the feeling that you were somehow too perfect to be authentic. I fell prey to the lies girls are taught. And so did you. You, one of the strongest among us, lament way too often about your likeability (in the book).
You learned and clawed and learned and clawed and learned and clawed again to be the woman you are today.You successfully played in the World of Men. I, for one, am so grateful to you. Women are courageous; we have been deceived. Women are strong; we have been deceived. Women are capable; we have been deceived. Women are whatever we want to be; we have much still to achieve.
And if you do not mind too much, I would like to present you with this warning: As the women of the Democratic Party begin to campaign, we cannot fault them for playing by the rules of men. Please, tell them, the Public. Be different. Be thoughtful. Read up on the ACTUAL FACTS of each candidate’s political positions, and do not rely on their public image. Accept nothing less than proof of their plans and proof of their intentions. The women of the fight will have to get “nasty” if they are going to stand a chance. Once one of those women is being sworn in, let them know that the rules of men will no longer apply, and that “nasty woman” will be just The President. At this time, The President will no longer need to fight like a man.
But a long road still lies before us all, as women, as people, as a nation. To me, your loss was no failure of yours. If anything, your loss revealed the failings of the citizens of America. It is our duty. It is my duty to demand the America in which I want to live, the America I want to support. The choice is mine. It always has been. This is the greatest gift your book gave me. You made me realize that you are not the one who has failed America. I am. I am the one who did not take hold of my responsibility as an American citizen to dive, head first, into politics. Politics is not a realm in which politicians play. Politics is citizenship. As citizens, it is our duty to shape this world. When a nation’s citizens rely on politicians, politicians will either do nothing or they will do whatever they are told by whoever says something and asks for something and presents a plan to get what they want. We, as citizens, need to make our politicians work for US. The corporations are winning, have won because they are the ones who have shouted the loudest about what they want. Sure, we can sit here and blame corrupt politicians, but we can also vote that corrupt politician out of office. We have always had this power. I know that I’m the idiot. Hence this letter.
You, Former Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, have pointed at the gaps in my intellect, my character, my being as a dutiful responsible citizen of this Beautiful Home of the Free. I will forever be grateful. I cry in the face of my shame and ignorance. I shout in frustrated anger that my education never instilled this knowledge and duty within me, and I grew up in a very well-off area of the world, despite it being quite rural. America has failed us because we failed America. The disease that is crippling America is US, her citizens, the guardians of the American Dream.
And so, I suppose this letter is really an apology. An apology from one lazy citizen to the G.O.A.T. Hillary Clinton, you. I’m sorry. I deeply apologize for not being the best citizen of my own nation that I could be. I apologize that my own ignorance got in my way, got in the way of protecting the American Dream. I understand my failings, now, because of you. You are the spark of this here flame, and I hear you. Even more so, I’ve been activated along with the millions of other women and new men who have stood up to be counted in favor of an Equal America.
Thank you, and I’m sorry.