Dear Secretary Clinton,
On Tuesday, I put on a white shirt and sweater in solidarity with the suffragettes who wore white while fighting for my right to vote, as well as because it hides the spit up that generally decorates my clothes these days, and walked with my daughter to our neighborhood elementary school to cast my vote for you. I'd been looking forward to it since we found out that our long-awaited unborn baby would be a girl. I would take my daughter with me to vote for the first woman president. I made sure to get a picture of us at our polling place, wearing our stickers to put in her baby book as a memento of that historic day.
I had not seriously entertained the idea that you might not win the presidency. Not when your opponent was Donald Trump. Surely enough of us saw the great gulf that divided the two of you in terms of intelligence, preparation, qualifications, temperament, and fitness to serve. Surely.
I overestimated the American people. It was with stunned disbelief that I watched the returns. That morning when I'd posted this photo on Facebook and wrote about my pride in voting for you, my friend Angela commented to say that she knows I'm not a cryer (I have a feeling this is something you and I share) so she had cried happy, proud tears for me. But on election night, when I held my baby, I cried as I fed her. I thought I'd be telling her that we as a nation had spoken: she can be whatever she wants to be. Instead, I thought what have we brought you into? Instead of a supremely qualified woman who would have worked to ensure you had full rights and the widest range of opportunities, we elevated a man who says by virtue of your sex, you are to be demeaned and by virtue of your brown skin, you are an acceptable target of fear, hate, and blame. That night, I cried because our country failed you and failed my daughter. The next day, I gave a donation to a charity helping Syrian refugees and started to get serious about finding ways to help them and everyone who will surely be hurt by our incoming administration. If you taught us anything, it is that one person can make a tremendous difference.
I want you to know that this photo will still go in Josephine's baby book and I will still tell her how proud I was to take her along with me to vote for you. I will tell her that you endured a lifetime of struggle against sexism and abuse from all sides to blaze a trail for me, for her, and for all women and girls here in the US and around the world. I will hold you up as an example of dedication to a life of service to make life better for women, children, and the disabled. I will show her how tirelessly you worked as Secretary of State to make the whole world safer.
Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for your example and your service. We know you will continue to work to make the world a better place. I intend to continue following your example that so I can be one for my daughter as well.