(Letter originally written on January 16, 2016)
Dear Mrs. Clinton,
My name is (real name), and I’m (real age) years old. I’m not exactly sure how to begin, or if I even want to. I know that once I begin, it’s not only begins this letter, but the beginning of letting go.
On behalf of girls everywhere, I believe there simply aren’t enough words to express how grateful we are for you. Not just that you were an outspoken first lady who wasn’t afraid to articulate your thoughts on how the country should be run. Not just that you were an impassioned senator who served as a backbone for an entire state during one of the world’s most gruesome terrorist attacks on the United States. Not just that you were the first female presidential nominee. But that you gave girls like me, hope.
Mrs. Clinton, facts and polls and websites and tallies may claim that you were “defeated,” but in my opinion, you have won. You have won for the LGBT community. You have won for African Americans. You have won for immigrants. You have won for millennials. You have won for women. And most importantly, you have won for the United States of America. Just look at how many supporters you gained throughout your campaign. If facts and polls and websites and tallies think that 65,844,954 votes is considered “defeat,” then they may have to look at a dictionary. Being defeated is when you have given up hope. Let me tell you, my, along with 65,844,954 people’s hope is far from given up. It is stronger than ever now, because we have realized, thanks to you, that we are stronger together.
I have noticed a change in how boys at my school treat girls. Thank you. I have noticed a change in how girls treat their education. Thank you. I have noticed a change in how people interact among races, religions, and sexualities. Thank you. Thank you for taking that one small step for (wo)man, so the rest of us could take giant leaps for (wo)mankind.
Over the summer, I was a part of the Edward M. Kennedy Senate Camp, where students learned how the senate works, and we took on roles of different senators. I was given Patrick Leahy. We learned about different speech mechanisms, (…) and how to incorporate them into our very own speeches to create a persuasive argument. Our goal was to create a comprehensive immigration bill, once and for all. After much debate, I proposed a new bill. It allowed Republicans to get their way on border security, and Democrats theirs on allowing immigrants already residing in the U.S. to embark on a path to citizenship without having to worry whether their families would be torn apart. A vote was taken in the subcommittee that day, the vote resulting in an overwhelming amount of support from senators of all parties. The bill passed that day. It coincidentally passed on the same day that I realized what I wanted to make of my future. I wanted to do this for a living. I wanted to make change, for the better.
I am writing this letter to you today, with more hope for the United States than ever before. People you have inspired, myself included, will stop at nothing to passionately continue the fight for peace and unity among our people. Your influence has without a doubt reestablished our country’s core values, and ensured the limitless futures of every single person. I feel honored to have supported you throughout your candidacy, and still support you today. Remember how I said, that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to begin writing this letter, because it would signify the beginning of letting go? What I am letting go of is anger, and disgust and fear. Those feelings felt safe to me, because everyone else was feeling them. One of the most important lessons I learned from you, is that a true leader shouldn’t waste time on dwelling and regret. I believe you said once, that, “Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.”
As a girl just figuring out the world for the very first time, here is my vision so far: America is simple, yet incredibly complicated. We are grooming a future generation of believers, and go getters. Quick-thinkers and even quicker typers. We don’t rush to judgement, or our senate to decisions. We absorb knowledge, and thrive off of growth. We see different points of view, and will most definitely revive the lost art of compromise. We are not perfect, but strive to create a more perfect union. Together. Together we are stronger, and stronger we are together. I am changing my feelings of anger, disgust, and fear, into those of wisdom, empowerment, and love. I will follow through on my dream of making change for the better by speaking up about global issues, advocating for peace, and encouraging my generation to lead lives of eternal kindness, and forward thinking. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for changing my vision, and thank you for changing the world.
~The Legally Brunette
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, I decided to write a letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not because I felt obligated to, or that it was in my best interest to say that I had done so, but I needed to finally let go. And I write this blog post to you today, after stampeding among crowds of women (and men,) determined to be heard.
I will never forget the tumultuous ball of feeling molding inside of my stomach on the night of the election. I was angry, and sad, and scared, all at the same time. I didn’t know what else to do, so I cried. I cried and cried, until my eyes were so bloodshot it reminded me of thin streamlets of red watercolor paint slithering across a naked canvas. My point being, my love for melodramatic writing aside, the immediate physical reaction I endured left me no time to cope with the severe mental reaction I would soon come to face.
I pondered why I was so shocked that Donald Trump was elected president for awhile, before collecting my thoughts. Could it have been because Hillary was leading in all of the polls? Was it because it meant nearly 62 million Americans really did believe what he was saying? Have 62 million Americans really lost hope in our nation? Or was it because I never stopped to imagine a world without Hillary Clinton as our nation’s 45th president?
Where I live, I am surrounded by Democrats. When I tell people that I’m a resident of one of the nation’s most liberal states, they’re in shock. They act as if I’m from another galaxy, or I’m speaking another language. They make assumptions, and judgments. I get the infamous head-to-toe scan and the all-knowing head nod. But why? What really makes me so different? I am American too, aren’t I?
To be honest, I’m not really sure what I would do if I met someone from a very conservative state. I mean, I’ve met plenty of Republicans in my day, but never have been surrounded by them. My opinion has never been outnumbered an-And that was where I stopped. That was exactly it. Our country has become so incredibly divided, we can hardly peacefully converse amongst ourselves, let alone other political parties.
What I’ve come to realize over these past few months is that, being the President is not political. As much as people like to think, they are not the President of the Republicans. Or the President of the Democrats. Or Independents, or Socialists or Green Party members. They are the President of the United States of America. United States of America. Overseeing Americans who wake up every and pledge the same allegiance to our flag. The same Americans who work tirelessly at what they do, to ensure roofs over heads, food on tables, water from taps. The same Americans who make up one nation under God. The same Americans who don’t stop until their individual American Dreams have been achieved. The indivisible Americans. The ones who all have liberty and justice.
Our new president’s actions are outright un-American, and un-Presidential. We need to raise our voices, now more than ever before. We do not need to yell, or shout, or scream. Unity speaks for itself. We will show our new president what it really means to be American. That we are a nation of immigrants. That no human being is “illegal.”That women’s rights and LGBTQ rights and African-American rights and veteran rights and millennial rights are human rights. Never to be disputed or ignored.
This is not a curse. This is a sign. A gigantic, flashing sign being shoved in our faces! We will not mope or slug or meander or trudge for the next four years! Ladies and gentlemen, we will hold our heads high, and prove that unity is an extraordinary force to be reckoned with. Let us not profess that opinions that are not ours are wrong. Let us not denounce others of their wrongdoings. We wouldn’t want others to do the same to us. But most importantly, let us not forget why we wake up every day and pledge the same allegiance to our flag. Because we have not given up hope. So if you are willing to go on this journey, and rise above, you need not desire the righteousness of power, but you need to desire the righteousness of unity.
In order to create change, there needs first to be an attitude change. We will agree. We will disagree. And we will compromise. In this past year, I have become active in politics. But I held onto my beliefs so tightly, that anyone, even within my party, who had slightly different beliefs would automatically be seen as a threat, or someone with poor morals. But at the end of the day, don’t we all want to live in a more perfect union, among people who long for the same as well? In this coming year, I will write out topics of debate. I will research both sides of the argument, and create my own solution by weighing out all of the options so that the resolution is a compromise between the two sides. Everyone one will have to give a little, so they can get a lot. That’s just how an efficient government must run. I want to hear perspectives from both sides of the arguments. I want people to engage in peaceful debates by backing their arguments up with facts, not displaying their insecurities for the world to see by calling people names.
Hillary, in my mind, would have made an outstanding leader of our country. Alas, she is not. We know who we’re dealing with, and I believe Hillary’s campaign alone gave us the tools we needed. This is our world, our country, and our government. Each one of us has more power than we even know. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: As hard as it is to see right now, I strongly believe everything happens for a reason. And whether we use this time to drain our energy through hatred, or we use this time hold what we know is wrong accountable, and redefine what being ‘American’ is, well, that’s up to us. I have made my decision, and I hope you’ve made yours. The world needs our voices. So stand up, speak up, and use them! This, is only the beginning.
~The Legally Brunette