Dear Secretary Clinton,
As I write this America will to the polls to elect a new President in barely 90 days.
The likely victor will be either you or Donald Trump.
I will not vote for Donald Trump.
But, that does not equate into a vote for you.
To be honest, I wish it did. I wish that my alternative was you. Eight years ago I could have found myself voting for you.
Despite my admiration for your historic achievement in becoming the first woman nominated by a major party to run for President of the United States it doesn’t outweigh my disappointment in your policy and political failures these past eight years.
Perhaps it was the weight of coming so close in 2008 and coming up short that undermined the judgement, maturity and wisdom I had always come to admire in you.
I know it is fashionable for people who do not support you to demonize you. To make you a caricature. A one-dimensional character incapable of being genuine and authentic.
I believe you to be too accomplished and intelligent to characterize you in that way. I believe you love your country too much to minimize the good you have done in your public life to improve the lives of others.
I think you failed in Benghazi. I think you failed in securing classified information. I think you are failing in presenting a compelling case to the American people about why you should be the next President of the United States of America.
Being the default choice of Americans who cannot stand the thought of Donald Trump being our next President is nothing to brag about.
There may be victory.
But, there will be no mandate.
All of this being said I believe you will be elected America’s next President.
Not as a result of my vote.
That said, I believe that given the choice between Donald Trump and you– America is in far better hands with you leading the nation than Donald Trump.
If I thought the guy running as Independent had a chance of actually getting elected I wouldn’t even be writing this note to you.
And, if you do win, as I believe you will win, you will be my President.
To that point I want to be abundantly clear: You will be my President.
As an American – who did not contribute to your victory – but believe you when you say that you will be a President for every American – including those that did not vote for you – there is something I must ask of you.
In the movie “Saving Private Ryan” as Tom Hank’s character, Captain Miller prepares to take his last breath after spending his last moments on Earth attempting to return Matt Damon’s character, Private James Ryan, home to his parents, he whispers “James, earn this… earn it.”
Secretary Clinton, you must earn this.
America needs you to earn this.
As one American I want you to know that I don’t need you to apologize.
There’s no more need to explain why you risked America’s national security for your personal convenience. I don’t believe it was ever your duty to take the blame for President Obama’s failed policy in Libya and what happened in Benghazi.
I also don’t believe it was appropriate for you to help him cover up his failure of leadership.
Here’s what I can’t stand the thought of: Four years of Congress doing nothing but launching one investigation after another to get to the bottom of all of these things.
Let’s accept that your role in each of these areas was a failure of leadership. You cannot erase these things from the historical record.
There’s no perfect President or candidate for President. To demand a standard of perfection from you is unfair, it is sexist, it is unreasonable and it is beside the point.
Ultimately, long from now, history will judge you for what you did – and did not do – when America needed you to be the leader you say you are prepared to be if you are elected our President.
As our President it is up to you to earn this. Not us to forget what you have done and failed to do.
Help us move beyond it. Move past it. To embrace the promise you are making to us that you are prepared to lead. Prepared to bring America together to get things done. That you will focus on rebuilding our economy. Restoring our place in the world. Recalibrating the appropriate role of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.
I don’t know if you are up to the task. I hope you are. I want you to be.
Despite my reservations and my decision not to vote for you I want you to be successful as our President. For my sake. My children’s sake. And, for my country’s sake.
Winning this election has become easier every passing day. Despite millions of people who support Donald Trump hoping he is the right choice for America’s future he is making every effort to disrespect and dishonor their faith in him.
Their choice should not be disrespected or dishonored by those of us who do not share their belief in Donald Trump. We should respect it even if we cannot agree with it.
And, it would be my hope that once the election is over with those who cast their votes for Trump or someone other than you will find we must all come together to support our President.
Secretary Clinton, America will need you to be a successful President.
While there will be many who voted for you.
There will be millions who deliberately cast their vote against you.
It would be a failure of leadership to ignore that reality.
You must be their President, too. To be their President will be difficult. And, for many of them no matter what you say, or do, or accomplish, they will never accept you as the legitimate leader of this nation.
At that point those Americans have become mirror images of the very things they have accused you of being: self-absorbed and more interested in their personal agenda than they are in America’s need for leadership.
Secretary Clinton, I will not vote for you.
But, if you are elected President I will support you as my President.
For the millions of Americans who will not do so as easily as I will I do not envy the work you have in front of you.
They will need far more convincing