In her first public appearance after conceding to President-elect Donald Trump last week (walking the dogs in Chappaqua doesn't count), Hillary Clinton appeared at a Children's Defense Fund event last night and told the audience, "I will admit, coming here tonight wasn't the easiest thing for me. There have been a few times this past week where all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book and our dogs and never leave the house again."
Clinton had been invited to the event before the election—she worked for the Children's Defense Fund as a lawyer after law school—and reflected on the very real worries about discrimination after the election, "I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am, too — more than I can ever express. I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week, a lot of people have asked themselves whether America was the country we thought it was...
"I believe the measure of any society is how we treat our children, and as we move forward into a new and in many ways uncertain future, that must be the test for America and ourselves," she said. "No child should be afraid to go to school because they’re Latino, or African-American, or Muslim, or because they have a disability."
I wish I could walk down the aisle and find the little wooden seat where she sat, holding tight to her younger sister all alone and terrified. She doesn't yet know how much more she will have to face and even suffer. She doesn't yet know she will find the strength to escape that suffering. That is still years off. Her whole future is unknown, as it is for all of us, as she stares out at the vast country moving past her.
I dream of going up to her, and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms and saying, "Look, look at me and listen. You will survive. You will have a family of your own: three children. And as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a United States senator, represent our country as secretary of state, and win more than 62 million votes for president of the United States."
Clinton urged, "Believe in our country, fight for our values, and never give up... We have work to do, and for the sake of our children and our families and our country, I ask you to stay engaged, stay engaged on every level. We need you. America needs you, your energy, your ambition, your talent. That is how we get through this."