Open Letter to Hillary Clinton (2016)

Hats off to you, Mrs. Secretary.

   Perhaps you feel defeated? Don’t. You should be proud of yourself. You might not have become our first female president—it was my hope, and that of half the country, that you would—but in the process of seeking this high office, you have planted a seed whose germination will sustain future generations of young Americans. 

   You can rest assured: you are an inspiration to little girls and young women across American and throughout the world. They stand to reap the benefits of your labor, for you have shown them, with concrete examples, that they can still hope for a better future, one of their own making.

   It is a real bummer— Isn’t it? —that we do not always get what we want when we want it.

   I want to think that it was not all in vain, that everything isn’t lost. As you said on November 9th, our work is not finished.

   I think you love our country, and I know there is so much more you can do to help America move toward a brighter future. It is my hope that, inspired by your resolve, by your fighting spirit, by your erudition, American women will bring our country back from the pull of the black hole toward which it started drifting on November 8th.

   I’m not naive.

   I do not believe that you are perfect. As I indicated above, no one is. I am convinced you had better motives than Mr. Trump for wanting to be America’s next president; that, in your case at least, it wasn’t all about accumulating power. But as the election results showed us, older American men are not ready to have a woman lead them—even if that woman has more acumen than one hundred men combined. Patriarchy is too entrenched, both in our society in general—and especially in the psyche of older white males.

   Apparently, older white males are threatened by women attaining power; also, Anglo-Saxons of both sexes feel threatened by immigrants.

   It was one of the reasons you lost the election to an older white male. Sadly, I expect his cabinet to mirror this reality.

   Of course, other things were at play during this election cycle: the director of the FBI breaking protocol—to put it mildly; also, hate and envy on the part of too many white women. We can add to that the apathy of the African-American and Hispanic communities. It is mind-boggling that two segments in our society with the power to deliver the presidency turn out to be comprised of citizens who are convinced that there is nothing to be gained from exercising our constitutionally-protected right to vote.

   I am disappointed—ashamed even—with the results of this last election, and I am also worried. I’m worried not just because of the kind of individual whom Republicans have chosen to install as president, but by what his moving into the White House will mean for our country, too. I am worried because of what it will mean for our middle class, and for those who earn even less that someone earning a middle-class income. I am worried because what it will mean for women’s reproductive rights; because of what it will mean for Muslims, Blacks, and Hispanics, for illegal immigrants—even for those that entered our country legally. I’m worried because of what a Trump presidency will mean for our justice system, for our military alliances, for climate change, and for a myriad of other issues.

   Not a week has passed since the election, but from what I have read in the papers— can we still believe in the Fourth Power? —support for Trump has already devolved into acts of sheer hate.

   If we are to believe the press reports, white supporters of the president-elect having assaulting college students, going as far as spitting in the face of some African American students. Some of our fellow citizens would want us to believe that we were past “the problem of race.” I have been saying for a while now, that, as a nation, we need to acknowledge that we still have a problem. It is not a new problem. It is the same old problem, which we never fixed.

   The undercurrents of racial tension in America have for year been simmering under the surface. We have seen how, in recent years, this tension has been boiling over. It will continue to boil for as long as we do not take steps to fix the underlying factors. As we know, the first step in fixing any problem is recognizing that one exists in the first place.

   And there is another, bigger, issue; an issue which could harm, not just a segment of our population, but the entire nation.

   The thought of Donald Trump in the oval office makes me fear for our country’s national security. Starting on January 20, 2017, the United States will have as president someone with inordinate amounts of assets overseas; more troubling still, Donald Trump has much foreign-held debt.

   As a former secretary of state, you know first-hand how difficult it would be for anyone with such a record to get a top-secret security clearance, especially one suffixed with multiple dashes and code-words after the TS designation. Many metaphors spring to mind; to make a long story short, however, I will posit only that we will be entrusting our nation’s secrets to someone who clearly stands to benefit from the divulgence—rather than the protection—of those very secrets. No wonder Mr. Putin was so eager to get the Republican candidate into the White House!

   I pray that there are systems in place to limit Trump’s access to the most-strict need-to-know basis. In other words, I hope that despite him being the president we can—for the sake of our nation—find a way to assign a “cleared” group of nonpartisan Senators, Representatives, or military officers (men and women with, first and foremost, America’s interests at heart; as opposed to a so-called business man whose sole aim in life has been and always will be to enrich himself), to be in attendance whenever the newly-appointed president meets with anyone whom our intelligence agencies assess as having a vested interested in causing irreparable harm to the national security of the United States.

   I do realize that what I am here suggesting may be unprecedented, but, I submit to you, the current situation warrants the extra care. The American people cannot afford to give anyone, including the American president or those who endorse him, the opportunity to compromise the security of our nation by trading our national secrets for personal financial gain.

   Our counter-espionage gals and guys must remain ever vigilant.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *