A Patriot’s Grief

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton gives her concession speech, Nov. 9, 2016.

I didn’t cry, but I felt grief when I saw the election results.  I have passed the day in a state of blankness.

Clinton waited till this morning to give her concession speech.  At first I thought it an odd decision, but in retrospect it was smart. It stopped us looking for answers on the internet that just aren’t there. Listening to her at 10:30 a.m., I was impressed by her eloquence and common sense.  And I wondered whence the myth was born that this brilliant, pretty woman is unlikable?  Powerful American women don’t get a break.

I felt sustained by her words, and also realized how seldom I see women in strong roles even in the twenty-first century.    (On TV and in movies they are perpetually dissolving in tears.)  Mind you, I’m fine with crying,  but I don’t want to shed any tears for being a feminist patriot in the year when Americans inexplicably elected  Trump and the Republicans.  (The good news:  even George W. Bush didn’t vote for Trump.  He left the top part of the ballot blank.)

Clinton urges us to hold on to our ideals and never give up working for what we believe in. And she reminds us of the need for a peaceful transfer of power.

Here is an excerpt from her stunning speech.

I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this.

Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

We’ve lived through other Republican regimes, and we’ll survive this one, too.  Obama has invited Trump to the White House.  Let’s hope they can work together, because, as Hillary’s slogan says,

stronger_together

10 thoughts on “A Patriot’s Grief

  1. I feel for you all, Kat – I guess many Americans are experiencing what we had with the Brexit vote. “Going to hell in a handcart” is an expression being bandied around here a lot – let’s hope it isn’t an accurate one for the world right now.

    • In London someone mentioned to me that Trump could win, referring to Brexit, and of course I sympathized about Brexit, but assured them that Hillary Clinton would be president. It is a very sad world these days and we don’t know how to deal with it. I am listening to loud rock music, the solution.

  2. Kat, I took a Klonopin and my husband took a Xanax and we went to bed before it was over. I had spent the past 10 days in Texas visiting friends and going to the Texas Book Festival in Austin which was pretty good. I got home last night in plenty of time to vote though I wasn’t worried about NY. My friends and I are in total shock. Something was very wrong with the polls. I had no doubt of her win even while I was in Dallas. Didn’t the Dallas Morning News endorse her? Are there so many dumb, racist, misogynistic Americans? They voted for a man who made fun of a disabled journalist! Who said he grabbed women’s genitals! What is wrong with them? What happened to Michigan and Wisconsin? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of this country.
    Sorry for the rant.

    • Cynthia, I’m so glad you got to Austin! A nice change from this terrible election. I also went to bed before it was over; it was clear the whole thing was going south about 7:30 or 8. I don’t know what’s going on, but Hillary won the popular vote. I woke up at 3 and saw who had won. Sad. This whole thing gives me such a headache that I think my next plan is to work for legalized marijuana… which I haven’t smoked since I was 16!

  3. Oh yes, this speech showed us what we have missed: a great woman president. Truly. And the causes of women have been set back 40 years: look at that first lady. Consider that it didn’t matter that this man boasts of sexual assault, that a number of women including a minor have come forward with sexual harassment and rape charges. To me just as deeply destructive is his attitude towards the disabled. The very last day of his campaign a man with cerebral palsy peacefully protesting was kicked out of the rally and mocked. Then when Obama commiserated with and respected the man, Trump mocked him too. Trump was was of the initiators of the birther movement. His racism is egregious.

    • Yes, she made a great speech and was absolutely presidential. Very sad she didn’t win: we’re going to have to fight for Obama’s legacy. One thing I’ve learned: history doesn’t change. A lot of life is about fighting over and over to keep the same rights.

  4. Stephanie writes (she can’t access the comments!):
    The election results have been a crushing disappointment. She would have been a fine president.
    What to do now? Keep our heads up and try to stay focused on what is good and true, I believe

    • Very good attitude. I do agree we have to move on. Let us hope it goes better than we think it will. Fifty-four percent of us voted for Hillary (so I heard), so that is a significant number.

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