Diane Studzinski   —  

Dear Hillary,
I'm sorry. I let you down. I live in Michigan. My state ruined everything. I didn't work hard enough. I let too many go into the voting booth and leave the President section blank. I couldn't convince others of just how bad the alternative would be, let alone convince them that you were EXACTLY the President they were looking for. Your story, your life, and your work are the American dream they all long for. Your policies actually help people. And yet they couldn't see it and I couldn't make them. I'm sorry.

I lay awake on Election night, not wanting to believe what was happening but simultaneously knowing something was off. I kept feeling that if I were going to throw an election, I wouldn't do it in a big way, but in a small, barely noticeable way, by margins just large enough - even when all indicators had pointed to a victory for my opponent. The election results gutted me. And I couldn't stop it. I'm sorry.

I went through the stages of grief like everyone else. I wore all black on January 20th. My work colleagues and I escaped to the movies to see "Hidden Figures" but kept peeking at our phones to see you at the Capitol. And then suddenly I was over it. I woke up, spoke up, and took action.

Your legacy became all so clear to me. You weren't supposed to win the Presidency. As painful as it felt at the time, deep down I knew you weren't supposed to win. Your legacy is larger than that. We are now you. Millions of us are emboldened by your example. Your decades of making America better have resulted in our awakening and we realize what we are capable of. Your legacy is the Women's March, the No Ban No Wall March, the Science March. It is my friend running for Drain Commissioner as a step into the arena. It is me defending my colleagues against personal and institutional bigotry. It is every single one of us standing up for what's right and not backing down, taking criticism seriously but not personally, shaking it off, and then taking the next step. You will be a far greater figure in history for waking us up and encouraging us to take action. This is larger than one person. You have carried the load for long enough. Take a break, do whatever the heck you want to do. We've got this. It's our turn now and we won't be silent anymore. We owe it all to you. But please continue to be there for us. We need your support.

You did good. We did bad. We will do better.
So thank you. And I'm still sorry.

Sincerely and with much love and admiration,
Diane S.