Thank you, Madame President

Sabrina Suen, Opinion Editor

I was in the fourth grade when you lost the Democratic nomination in 2008. At the time, I was still too young to understand the magnitude of your accomplishment, how you had gotten closer to the highest office in the world than any woman before you. I didn’t understand the boundaries that you broke and the stereotypes you overcame. I didn’t understand that in order to survive in this political world you had to replace your bones with swords, your tears with arrows and your soul with a shield.
But in the years between then and now I think we’ve both changed. I’m no longer that little girl who innocently hoped for a woman to become president simply because you were a woman. And you’re no longer just another failed presidential nominee. I’m a senior in high school now, an empowered young woman who wants to follow your example of public service, a girl who has grown up believing that she can accomplish as much as any boy. And you, you’ve become the first woman in history to win the popular vote for President of the United States.
So, my dear Madame President, you may have lost the Electoral College and the presidency, but you won something so much more important. You won the people’s hearts. You are my president, the people’s president.
The days since the election have been hard, but I realize now we have to be stronger than ever, for ourselves and for you. For decades you led the fight for women’s rights, proving to the world that you could succeed in Washington, despite the vast male dominance. Your defeat doesn’t mean the death of your dream to make American a better and fairer place. It simply means that it’s time for the rest of us to carry the torch.
I know these years have been tough. You’ve had your share of scars and battle wounds. We all saw your strength and your stoicism, but I know how much words can cut, even when you’ve had almost 30 years of experience brushing them off.
I often wondered if the Hillary Clinton I saw was the same woman the world saw. Behind your stone hard resolve, where others saw coldness and unapproachability, I saw strength and dignity. Behind your speeches, where others saw a standard politician, I saw a genuine compassion and care. And behind your scandals, where others saw a criminal, I saw a woman simply trying to survive.
But in the end, Madame President, none of this really matters anymore. You’ve done your duty, fought your war. History will wash away your failures, and you will be remembered as a pioneer and a groundbreaker. I wish you nothing more than a long and peaceful life, filled with family and love, far away from the cold grips of politics.
So, thank you Madame President, for inspiring a generation of young girls, for letting us live with the privilege of knowing we could reach for the stars and not be afraid to fall. Thank you, for breaking down walls so we wouldn’t have to.