“And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 was a night that will be remembered forever, a night that will stand for so much more than just electing the next president of the United States.
In her concession speech the following morning, Hillary Clinton expressed her gratitude for all the people that not only helped her come this far, but most importantly for believing in her. She is a champion of women. Clinton’s nomination as the first female candidate of a major party is only part of what made this year’s presidential election historical.
Hillary Clinton won the presidency. When you write this night down in history be sure to note that Clinton won the popular vote, the people voted for her. The electoral college failed her.
I’m sorry Mrs. Clinton.
I’m sorry that the odds were stacked against you just as high as they were stacked for you. Less than 100 years ago, women were granted the right to vote. The idea of running as the first female president of the United States of America is unprecedented. Only 50 years before, African Americans received the right to vote. Up until eight years ago, no one believed that we would have an African American president, but it happened and for this triumph, I will be forever grateful and proud but in the same breath, I am sorry Mrs. Clinton.
This country has a strong belief that men are the only people qualified to be in power. Eight years ago, we elected President Barack Obama to office and yes, he is a black male, but he is a male none-the-less. Your attempt to succeed the first African American president was the greatest strike against you. In a clip from CNN analyst Van Jones, he says defeat is appropriately termed “white-lash.” Essentially, one could argue that the Clinton campaign loss for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons could be because you were a women following a black president in a country that has yet to truly move forward.
Jones says, “This was a white-lash against a changing country and a black president.”
This was a way of saying we gave you your black president so now we’re taking our country back. We’re “making America great again.”
I’m sorry Mrs. Clinton.
Your concession speech was nothing short of everything I would expect from a person who has spent their entire adult life in politics, a woman so worthy of this position. You not only bowed as someone who was so grateful to have gotten so far but you left wise words for young women like me to hold on to.
“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
These words resonated with me as I began to think about how far I thought this country had come. I thought about how not so long ago I would not have been allowed to vote. I thought about how we as women have achieved so much and just because we suffered this one feat, we as a women will prevail just as we have before. You are an inspiration to many of us. You are an example of what our nation has worked so hard to achieve and that is growth.
We watched our greatest champion of now suffer a small defeat but victory was still won. Our nation has elected its first Latina senator, first female Indian-American congresswomen, first female Vietnamese-American congresswoman, and first Somali-American Muslim woman legislator.
I want to say, Mrs. Clinton, I am sorry that we failed you, but thank you for everything you stood for in this election and one day the glass ceiling will be shattered so furiously.