Last night I lay down on the couch, with my head in my mother’s lap, and together we watched Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. And though she wasn’t my first choice, it was a profound moment.
My mother was an immigrant. And she is the granddaughter of immigrants. And there we were, with my own sleeping daughter on both of our minds, as we watched a woman move one step away from the Oval Office.
A moment for my mother, who was so often called “mouthy”.
A moment for me, who was incessantly bullied with the words “aggressive” and “bossy”, and who is still told way too often to “tone it down.”
A moment for my young daughter, whose legs and mouth and mind never stop moving.
And now Hillary Clinton, the mouthy, aggressive, boss lady, who has been told way too often to “stop screaming” and “smile” is one step away from being President of the most influential country in the world.
It was a moment where I understood in a unique way that my daughter’s life will be fundamentally different because of the barrier that was broken tonight. And all of a sudden, all I want to do is buy her a Hillary doll wearing a white pantsuit.
I can’t pretend that it doesn’t matter to me that a woman is up on that stage. It does. Maybe she wasn’t my first choice, but now she is the only choice, so I’m moving forward with optimism. It’s a “Fine, I’m With Her” instead of a “Hell Yeah, I”m With Her”, but I’m with her just the same. And not just because it brought tears to my eyes to see a woman up there, embracing her own daughter, before accepting the responsibility of running for the highest office on the planet. But because the alternative is unthinkable.
Because it is likely that the next President could appoint up to 4 Supreme Court judges. Those appointments will shape the future of the next generation of the United States, and that could shape the next generation in the world. I do not want my daughter to be a citizen of a country whose next door neighbour, largest trading parter, and biggest influence, thinks that a bunch of white men reading from a mythical book of metaphors should decide what women can and cannot do with their bodies.
It is no secret that I am a huge fan, supporter and adorer of Bernie Sanders. His authenticity, his compassion, his unadulterated belief in the goodness of people and our ability to rise above our base fears to work together for each other is both inspiring and liberating. I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say that I love him, and that he changed my view not just of what’s possible in politics, but of what’s possible in people. His movement brought out of the shadows millions of people who believe that the more you give, the more you get. They worked so hard for him, and they can’t stop now.
Here’s the thing:
Hillary is not the world’s greatest orator, but some moments of authenticity really shone through last night. I appreciated them, and I’m hanging on to them as I jump onto her bandwagon. She said a lot of things I wanted to hear – a lot of things that many of Bernie’s supporters wish she had been saying all along. But she’s saying them now. And I hope so hard that all of the people who worked tirelessly for Bernie will work for her. Help her win, and reset the course of the country. And then hold her feet to the fire. Make her honour her word, and demand justice when she doesn’t. Get involved in any way you can in the engine of democracy in your country. The revolution that Bernie started was never about him, it was about everyone. Get behind Hillary now, and move the revolution forward.