The Electoral College vote today is the formal ratification of Trump’s presidency. But the Clinton votes are far from meaningless. They are the last resounding echo of a majority of our citizenry who cried “no” when hate came calling for our American soul.
Today is another landmark in Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign. It’s not the day we’d hoped for when she declared her candidacy in 2015, but it’s still one for the ages. For the first time in American history, Democratic electors across the United States will be casting a vote for a woman.
It would be a miracle if today we could claim “only in America.” But we can’t. Ironically, the nation that claims to be the land of opportunity has again denied it to so many who were clamoring for equality. In fact, we told a lot of them that we literally wanted to build a wall to keep them away from it.
If we weren’t one of the last industrialized nations on earth to have a female in the highest office, I might even buy the “but Hillary Clinton was so flawed” argument. But come on. Look at Trump. He makes even the unfounded allegations against Hillary seem like the kind of petty crimes your five-year-old could dream up, and America isn’t batting an eyelash.
Today we’re in last place when it comes to being that shining city on a hill.
The Democratic party took a tough loss in 2016. But it’s still the party that gave more Americans - men, women, and those who identify as neither, of all colors and abilities - a fighting shot at walking the halls of power than Paul Ryan could handle in his worst nightmares.
December 19, 2016 is a horrific day in our history. It’s the final ratification of a national agenda that denies every single part of what makes me proud to be an American, despite all the other atrocious truths that also define us. But there’s a tiny little piece of good. There’s Hillary Clinton’s two-hundred and thirty-two voters who have the opportunity to say “not all of us.”
Turning from Hillary Clinton today won’t make Republicans think twice. It won’t persuade the very people who fought for Trump’s victory to back off their agenda. Bullies do not respond well to appeasement. Blood in the water only makes it worse. Make no mistake. They want this. And that’s a terrifying thought. On the other hand, make no mistake that there are sixty-five million of us out there, a majority of voting Americans, who said “No.”
The electoral college vote today shouldn’t be a last-ditch effort to find peace in our time. The vote today should be a ratification of Hillary Clinton’s agenda. It’s about Democrats who will say, “This is where the line is. I’m the line, and you’re not going to cross me.”
Every single one of those two hundred and thirty two electoral votes count. Every single one of them represents millions of Americans who oppose Trump. How dare we Democratic electors try and silence them?
For progressives, the fight has come to our doorstep. The Republicans as a whole aren’t ashamed of Trump. They’re proud of him. Don’t pretend otherwise – because that’s the real losing strategy.
America today needs compromise, and we need to work together for the greater good. But we also need people to stand by the ninety-three percent of black women who voted for Hillary Clinton. We need people to stand with the Muslim and Hispanic citizens who are terrified. People who will say, “I remember when we interned our own citizens, and there are things I’ll never compromise.” We need to take actions that demonstrate to those with the least power that we won’t blame them, and we won’t abandon them. That includes the planet we live on.
Democratic electors should not tell our LGBT Americans that we’ve decided Mike Pence is an acceptable alternative. We won’t tell binders full of women that Mitt Romney is their new leader. We won’t tell millions of black voters who fought through slavery and Jim Crow and so much worse that we went ahead and decided to pick Kasich, even though he wasn’t even on the ballot. Because Republicans sure aren’t doing that. They’re standing by their man.
The Democrats are so often accused of being weak by those inside and outside of our party. We aren’t. Today I’m not going to be weak. I’m not ‘throwing away my power’ by voting for Hillary. I wasn’t in the primary, or at the DNC, or in November, and I’m not today. I’m keeping my power and using it effectively.
I’ve been in the minority of Americans for thirty-nine years. I’ve worked for decades for choice, and affirmative action, and LGBT rights and for female candidates and everything else that faced a symbolic knockout blow this year. When we did lose, our solace was our solidarity. We came together to affirm our commitment and our community for the next campaign. I’m not afraid to be outvoted. I’m not afraid to be small but mighty.
By sticking with my Clinton vote, I’m saying to everyone who backs the Trump agenda that I’m still here. And there are things that will never, ever be okay by me. Hillary Clinton might not have won. But the agenda she put forward of an America that’s stronger together is one I still believe in.
Today we aren’t celebrating the shattering of that ‘highest, hardest glass ceiling.’ But those eighteen million cracks are now over sixty-five million cracks. And we’re not stopping or giving up or rolling over until that ceiling is totally obliterated. We’re still here, we’re still proud, and we have a lot of work to do.
You don’t lose when you get knocked down. You lose when you don’t get back up.