Though the election panned out in ways very few of us expected or hoped, America chose President-Elect Donald Trump for the 45 President of the United States. On Wednesday morning, just 12 hours after the official call had been made, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a touching, poignant speech to voters across the country, her fanbase, and a packed New York hotel space thanking everyone for committing to her campaign and fighting to put her in office. But it was Clinton's message to women that spells out the legacy she'll leave behind, and illuminates just how inspiring and impactful her campaign and her work for the past 30 years have been, especially to the women she's dedicated her career to fighting for.
To all the women... who put their faith in this campaign and in me, nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
And though many will highlight that she appeared to be "choking back tears" or had "red eyes filled with tears" or that her voice "cracked" when she delivered the words, it was the power, the force, the trust, and the pride in her words that struck me most as a female voter. Clinton has been an incredible champion for women, both during this election and during her storied 30-year career in public service. Time and time again since announcing her candidacy, she has fought back against the belief that women are incapable of taking care of or making decisions for their bodies. She has done her best to ensure that women from all walks of life are heard, defended, and trusted. She has been the champion we not only deserved, but the one we so deeply, desperately needed in a political climate that entrusts women's futures to the decisions and policies of old white dudes.
You can say whatever you want about Clinton and the notorious emails and her policies over the years. You can love her, hate her, feel completely indifferent toward her, but to ignore how hard and how deeply she has fought for the rights of women — beginning in the '95 speech where she defiantly declared that women's rights are human rights — is to disregard one of the most important advocates of our time. In an election that often felt more like a mockery of our election process than a democracy, Clinton stood up for women at every turn. She defended a woman's right to a late-term abortion, stood stubborn and bold in support of a woman's right to choose, and did not back down when faced with an opponent who degraded, demeaned, and belittled her at every turn.
If that is not someone to be proud of, I don't know what (or who) is.
In the hours following the election results, Clinton's commitment to the women she's so nobly served stands as a beacon of hope in the fight ahead. No one will deny that women, most notably white women, have miles and miles of work to do when it comes to being the advocates and the partners they should be in the fight for equality, but as someone who proudly cast her vote yesterday for a better future, for a promise of equality, for change in the deepest way, I am in awe of Clinton's ability to continue on, even in the face of defeat.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, a year from now, four years from now, a decade from this moment, I will still be proud of the work she's done, the lives she's touched, the paths she's paved, the sweat, blood, and tears she's given for the future of women. No matter how many seconds, minutes, and hours separate me from this moment, from this feeling of utter loss and frustration, I will still be proud of my champion. And I hope one day we'll make her proud, too.