Dear People Demanding to Know Why Hillary Clinton Isn't Doing Whatever It Is You Think She Needs to Be Doing in This Moment:
Hillary Clinton doesn't owe you a goddamned thing.
Hillary Clinton ran for president. She ran despite a hideous game of cajoling her to run, only to shame her for running. She ran despite the fact that the media has treated her like garbage for decades; despite knowing they would treat her like garbage again—which they did. She ran despite knowing, as keenly as any other woman in the country and more than most, the hellscape of vicious misogyny that would be unleashed against her. She ran despite the fact that she knew, should she win, she would face Republican obstructionism and vitriol so vast and relentless that it would take a tenacious beast to govern. She ran knowing she would have to be that tenacious beast, and could be.
She ran for president on the most progressive Democratic platform ever, and her campaign was remarkably devoid of the typical unforced errors in most presidential campaigns (including her previous one). She showed herself to be a candidate capable of learning and willing to learn—when she changed positions, it was because she came to the more progressive one.
Which is not to suggest that she was a perfect candidate, but she was a damn good one. Yet her insufficient perfection was somehow considered a fatal flaw by people who now demand she dance at their command.
She wanted to lead this nation—and, more importantly, she wanted to govern it. And she had the knowledge and capability to do it, and do it well.
She put out an enormous number of policy papers and factsheets, so we could see exactly what she wanted to do and how she would do it. She gave detailed policy addresses, and she answered voters' questions with both compassion and seriousness and details.
She conveyed, in every conceivable way, that she had the experience to be our president, and an abundance of talent, and she was offering both to us.
And we passed.
More of us voted for her, of course, but there is a reason she is not our president. And it's not just because of Russian interference and James Comey being a colossal wanker. It's also because enough votes for Jill Stein threw key states to Donald Trump, and because millions and millions of people voted for Trump despite his reprehensible platform.
I am hardly the first person to observe that I would much rather be spending my days encouraging Hillary Clinton to be more progressive than documenting the fall of the republic under the presidency of Donald Trump.
But here we are.
And now there are people—many of whom are self-identified Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for Stein in those aforementioned key states, or who voted for Trump, or who didn't vote at all—who are demanding to know why Hillary Clinton isn't "doing something" to stop Donald Trump and his authoritarian onslaught.
She did do something, you ungrateful wrecks. She campaigned for 18 months, the last of them against Trump himself, day after exhausting day, keeping up a ruthless schedule that would drive most people half her age to collapse after three weeks, no less a year and a half. She gave up time with her family, her grandchildren; gave up anything resembling free time; gave up her privacy. She made countless sacrifices on behalf of this country in order to prevent this exact outcome.
You took a hard pass, and now you have the unmitigated temerity to want more from her? Fuck you.
I note with all the mirthless laughter in the universe that one of the incessant criticisms of Hillary Clinton was that she was entitled.
She gave it everything she had already. You don't get to ask for even more.
And what, pray tell, do you expect her to do, anyway? Crash the confirmation hearings? She's not a sitting Senator anymore. That's not the way it works. Show up at a protest, dragging the Secret Service with her, constantly on the lookout for people who sent her death threats; chanted that she should be locked up or killed? That's not the way it works, either.
Even if you could name some meaningful action that you'd like her to be taking in this moment, this darkest of moments in our nation's history, she doesn't owe it to you.
It hurts my heart when I think about how not only did we reject her in favor of the shitlord who currently occupies the Oval Office, but we sought to humiliate her, over and over, for even trying to defeat him.
And now, to add breathtaking insult to that grievous injury, people are mad at her for not showing up?! She tried to show up. And a bunch of progressive purists told her to GTFO and spit in her face for good measure.
Hillary Clinton doesn't owe you shit.
She warned you that it was a bad idea to set your house on fire, and now you're mad at her for not letting you crash on her couch? How dare you.
Seriously. How dare you.
It isn't Hillary Clinton's fault that you didn't take seriously what was really at stake. And I wouldn't blame her for never showing up again for a country that disregarded her warnings and rejected her so callously.
But the thing is: She probably will show up. Again. She's probably hatching some sort of plan as we speak, because that's just the kind of indomitable human being she is—a patriot of unfathomable measure.
And the fact that we almost certainly haven't heard the last of Hillary Clinton is not only testament to her extraordinary fortitude and her profound loyalty to this nation, but is the primary fucking reason that she deserved our votes.
She deserved them way more than we deserve her.
So if Hillary Clinton wants to spend the rest of her days walking in the woods and playing with her grandchildren and eating delicious things and never, ever, putting herself in front of a camera and subjecting herself to abominably unjust scrutiny no person should ever have to face, more power to her.
I hope she does exactly what she wants to do, whatever that may be.
Because she has already given me an enormous amount of her time, her energy, her very self. She doesn't owe me another goddamned thing.
And she doesn't owe you anything more, either.
P.S. Stop asking women to be your clean-up crew.
P.P.S. Maude save us all.
[Note: In case it's not abundantly clear from the address line on this letter, it is directed only at people who are demanding something from Hillary Clinton. It is not directed broadly at progressives who didn't vote for her, for reasons such as not feeling as though her platform to address police violence against Black people was sufficiently robust. As I have repeatedly made clear: My vote is mine, and your vote is yours. Please understand, as you head to comments, that the issue is not having voted, or not voted, for Hillary Clinton, but people who are demanding she show up for them now, in the exact way they want, irrespective of for whom they cast a vote.]