In an open letter to Hillary Clinton, John Pavlovitz, a Christian pastor in Raleigh, NC, paid homage to the extraordinary work the former Secretary of State has done for the past five decades, expressing his gratitude for what she accomplished this year. Her “dignity in the face of undignified behavior,” her seriousness at the prospect of leading our country, and her campaign of diversity, equality and shared strength — which she ran with grace and continuously reminded us of America’s greatness, he wrote, adding that Hillary did everything she was supposed to do — everything she was asked:
You were prepared and balanced and cool under pressure.
You knew what you were talking about at every turn.
You saw the big picture, and you knew the countless small details that your opponent could never be bothered with.
You endured a relentless flood of misinformation by continually, plainly speaking your truth.
You had your character assassinated over and over—and in response, you simply showed that character.
You shouldered the kind of expectations that no man aspiring to the position has ever had to contend with.
You had to be both strong and sensitive, tough and warm, fierce and likable—and you were.
You never talked in nonsensical sound bites, never ranted like a lunatic at your detractors, never viciously attacked citizens on social media—and you never stooped to the inhumanity of your opponent.
Pavlovitz tells Hillary:
Despite the unprecedented viciousness hurled at you, you never responded in kind; you just kept on being decent, intelligent, thoughtful—Presidential. You alone had the experience and the temperament and the maturity to do the job of leading this country. That should have been enough. I’m sorry that it wasn’t.
John Pavlovitz, who has been very vocal about the misogyny of men like the president-elect, then states some apologies to Clinton saying he’s sorry that his 7-year old daughter won’t get to see the first woman President sworn in and instead his daughter will have to see a man who has complete contempt in shaping her future. Pavlovitz is sorry his 11-year old son will be reminded every day that “you can treat women with total disregard, that you can be a vile, filthy bully—and be well rewarded for it.”
The pastor apologizes to Hillary that more people didn’t recognize her diversity, strength and how her faith has always been the real, quiet, constant bedrock of who she is — and not a “one-time, cheap, campaign parlor trick designed to appear religious to the easily fooled.” And Pavlovitz is sorry that so many people chose to endure a “terrifying circus” instead of Hillary’s steadiness.
In his open letter, Pavlovitz reminds America how Hillary Clinton has served this country her entire life, and he knows she’ll continue to do the daily, difficult, unglamorous work of real leadership; “the kind that your opponent will never understand” or be interested in doing behind the scenes, “away from the spotlight; not fishing for compliments or pleading for adulation or begging to noticed.”
I know you’re a warrior and that you’re going to be fine, but I also know that you’re human and that this year must have taken a greater toll on you than anyone. I hope you realize that it wasn’t in vain; that you really have won (and not just the popular vote).
The pastor writes Hillary Clinton is the real winner of the election the winner because the nearly 66 million Americans voted for her “now have a vision and a reason to fight on, and we will.” Pavlovitz says, “We will be the strong, steady resistance to the bigots and the bullies.” He writes that most of all, Hillary won because she did what good people always do regardless of the cost or the pushback or the reception, she went high — where the real victory is.
Concluding his letter, John Pavlovitz writes:
So for all that you gave and suffered and endured,
for how you taught and cared and labored,
for the way you inspired and challenged and led,
for being the very best of this country and for this country—
Thank you, Hillary.
Pavlovitz did not mention Hillary’s opponent during his entire piece. Although social and traditional media is still consumed and obsessed with stories about the president-elect, how refreshing to read a piece that doesn’t include that person’s name and instead includes more about the good in this country and those work to make it better — and here’s to the the men and women of faith who speak out for that good.
You can read To read Pavlovitz at johnPavlovitz.com.
H/T: Daily Kos.