Having made calls and canvassed for Hillary Clinton over the weekend (and joked about her seeming a bit stiff –like cardboard–in the photo to the left), I’m saddened, confused and a bit shocked by her loss to Donald Trump. I’ll be writing more about this in days to come, but for now, thought I’d share her concession speech, which I received in an email from her campaign, so that you could read it in its entirety. I found it eloquent and inspirational.
–Anita M. Harris
Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.
This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.
But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together –- this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
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 about building an America that’s 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, too, 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, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things –- the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too — and we must defend them.
And let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.
Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.
I am so grateful to stand with all of you.
I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. It gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front-lines of our democracy, representing Virginia in the Senate.
To Barack and Michelle Obama: Our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude for your graceful, determined leadership, and so do I.
To Bill, Chelsea, Marc, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers, and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.
You crisscrossed this country on my behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most –- even four-month old Aidan traveling with his mom.
I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country who poured their hearts into this campaign. For you veterans, this was a campaign after a campaign — for some of you, this was your first campaign ever. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anyone has had.
To all the volunteers, community leaders, activists, and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook – even in secret or in private: Thank you.
To everyone who sent in contributions as small as $5 and kept us going, thank you.
And to all the young people in particular, I want you to hear this. I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks -– sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.
This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.
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.
I know that we still have not shattered that highest glass ceiling. But some day someone will -– hopefully sooner than we might think right now.
And to all the little girls watching right now, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.
Finally, I am grateful to our country for all it has given me.
I count my blessings every day that I am an American. And I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation -– our best days are still ahead of us.
You know I believe we are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never be sorry that you fought for that.
Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
My friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. For there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and god bless the United States of America.
Anita M. Harris, a writer and communications consultant, is the author of Broken Patterns, Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity. Broken Patterns is about women of the baby-boom generation in relation to their mothers and grandmothers. It presents a spiral theory of change, which, Harris believes, goes far in explaining the current election results.
New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group, based in Cambridge, MA.