#ImStillWithHer: An open letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton,

First and foremost, thank you for always being so resilient. You have fought for human rights and equality throughout your entire life, and never gave up despite the many obstacles you encountered. Thank you for fighting for us. Even after losing the primary battle in 2008, you did not give up. You set your pride aside and worked with President Obama as his Secretary of State, traveling the world to enhance the status of women and speak on behalf of human rights for all. Thank you for fighting for us. Then, when the question of a 2016 Presidential run came up, you said yes; perhaps out of your own ambition, but I think more likely because of the tremendous mandate from your supporters.  Either way, I commend you, and I thank you for fighting for us.

I wholeheartedly wish I was writing this letter to a President-Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton, and it breaks my heart to face the reality that I am not. The glass ceiling is stronger than we all thought; as are the feelings of white supremacy, xenophobia, and all-around bigotry that catapulted Mr. Trump to success. In the wake of the election, millions of Americans (60,981,118, in fact, at time of writing) feel threatened by a Trump presidency. Personally, the threat I feel is not so much from Mr. Trump. I feel as though half of the promises he made were empty and he will meet an uphill battle all around; we’re already seeing that. The threat I feel is from some of his supporters; they cannot go unchecked. Already, we have seen hundreds if not thousands of examples of their bigotry manifesting in public spaces, work places, and school settings – from elementary all the way up to college. It is indeed frightening, heartbreaking, and un-American.

While it is true that it may only be a portion of Trump supporters that are acting in violent, un-American ways, it is also true that by not renouncing such behavior or a candidate that brought it to light, is a passive way of supporting those ideals. Still, I must have faith in us, because if I don’t, all I will have is fear. The most comforting fact of the election is that while the Electoral votes favored Trump, there were at least 600,000 more people who supported you, Secretary Clinton, and rejected Mr. Trump. That indeed is very telling; and what it tells is that more Americans believe love trumps hate.

So, what now? Over 4 million of your supporters have signed a petition on change.org asking the Electoral College to choose you because you won the popular vote. Will it work? It’s doubtful, but worth a shot. Thousands more of your supporters are protesting on the streets, in writing, on social media, and, most importantly, in their hearts and minds. We are standing up for love, we are standing up together, and we will not accept an America that accepts bigotry.

As long as we are standing together, it is indeed true that we are stronger – stronger together. Alone, we are in pain. Together, we are suffering. Alone, we are threatened. Together, we are protected. Alone, we are smart. Together, we are smarter. Alone, we are feeling low. Together, we must go high. Alone, we are weary. Together, we are stronger. However, we still need a leader. Secretary Clinton, nearly 61 million Americans chose you as their leader, and several million more voted against Mr. Trump, via votes for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or others.

We need you, Secretary Clinton. You cannot leave us now. Please. Your concession speech asked us to give President-Elect Trump his due chance to be a President for every American. And, well, I suppose we have no choice other than to do that. It is in our best interest to do so. Yet, just as Senator Sanders’ supporters looked to him after you defeated him in the primaries, we look to you now. Senator Sanders brought the collective demands of his supporters to you and your campaign, in search of compromise and unity. While I understand that speaking with Mr. Trump may very well be equivalent to speaking to that wall he so desires to build between the U.S. and Mexico, we need you to try. Please. With 61 million votes to your name, you hold a lot of power; and leverage.  However, it really is not him that we are so concerned about. It is his supporters. We need a leader with the resources to help us organize, mobilize and fight against the threats to our liberty. Call us a Pantsuit Nation, if you will; call it whatever works best, but your campaign for human rights cannot end here. Please.

In my heart, I know your campaign for human rights won’t end here. I know that because since you entered public life in 1983 as the First Lady of Arkansas, you were never one to sit on the sidelines. Whether as a the wife of a Governor, the wife of a President, a Junior Senator from New York, a Secretary of State, a Presidential candidate, or, now, once again a private citizen… Hillary Rodham Clinton does sit by idly. Of course, you deserve to finally retire and enjoy your life, but this next step may not require so much effort from you. Rather, we simply need the power of your voice to amplify our message. You have done the heavy lifting for us for the last 30 some odd years, fighting for us. Now, let us do it for you; let us do the fighting. Let us spread your message; our message. Let us be stronger together. Let our love trump their hate.

We can, and we will; but we need your help. Please. We’re still with you, and I know you’re still with us.

With the most sincere love and gratitude,

Vincent

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