I hope this finds you well. I’ve been meaning to write you for a while. I was thinking of you again today and I guess I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you.
I appreciate how hard you’ve worked for this country for the past five decades.
I appreciate what you accomplished this year.
I appreciate your dignity in the face of the most undignified behavior.
I appreciate the seriousness with which you took the prospect of leading our nation.
I appreciate the campaign of diversity, equality, and shared strength you ran with such grace.
I appreciate you reminding America that it is already great.
You did everything you were asked to do this year, everything you were supposed to do:
You were prepared and balanced and cool under pressure.
You knew what you were talking about at every turn.
You saw the big picture, and you knew the countless small details that your opponent could never be bothered with.
You endured a relentless flood of misinformation by continually, plainly speaking your truth.
You had your character assassinated over and over—and in response you simply showed that character.
You shouldered the kind of expectations that no man aspiring to the position has ever had to contend with.
You had to be both strong and sensitive, tough and warm, fierce and likable—and you were.
You never talked in nonsensical sound bites, never ranted like a lunatic at your detractors, never viciously attacked citizens on social media—and you never stooped to the inhumanity of your opponent.
Despite the unprecedented viciousness hurled at you, you never responded in kind; you just kept on being decent, intelligent, thoughtful—Presidential. You alone had the experience and the temperament and the maturity to do the job of leading this country. That should have been enough. I’m sorry that it wasn’t.
I’m sorry that my 7-year old daughter won’t get to see you sworn in as the first woman President and won’t get to watch you represent her so beautifully each day; that she’ll instead have to see a man who has complete contempt for her shape her future.
I’m sorry that my 11-year old son will be reminded every day that you can treat women with total disregard, that you can be a vile, filthy bully—and be well rewarded for it.
I’m sorry that more people didn’t recognize that your faith has always been the real, quiet, constant bedrock of who you are; not a one-time, cheap, campaign parlor trick designed to appear religious to easily fooled.
I’m sorry that this country will be far less diverse, less civil, less open, and less compassionate than it would have been with you guiding it.
I’m sorry that enough people chose his sideshow over your steadiness, and that we now all have to endure the terrifying circus.
Most of all I’m sorry that you will not be my President, because like me I believe that you care for the full breadth of America’s diversity, not just the smallest sliver of it—and I would have been proud to have been led by you.
You’ve served this country for your entire life, and I know you’ll continue to do that going forward. I know that you’ll again be found doing the daily, difficult, unglamorous work of real leadership; the kind that your opponent will never understand or be interested in doing. I bet you’re already doing that behind the scenes, away from the spotlight; not fishing for compliments or pleading for adulation or begging to noticed.
I know you’re a warrior and that you’re going to be fine, but I also know that you’re human and that this year must have taken a greater toll on you than anyone. I hope you realize that it wasn’t in vain; that you really have won (and not just the popular vote).
You’ve won because you reminded us that our diversity is our greatest asset, that equality is the only way forward, that we really are stronger together.
You’ve won because you didn’t need to manufacture fear to draw people to you, and you didn’t have to create a villain out of someone’s religion or skin color or native language or sexual orientation.
You’ve won because the nearly 66 million people who voted for you now have a vision and a reason to fight on, and we will. We will be the strong, steady resistance to the bigots and the bullies; the kind that truly makes America great.
Most of all you’ve won because you did what good people always do regardless of the cost or the pushback or the reception—you went high, and this is always where the real victory is.
So for all that you gave and suffered and endured,
for how you taught and cared and labored,
for the way you inspired and challenged and led,
for being the very best of this country and for this country—
Thank you, Hillary.