Ever since Donald Trump’s victory last week, the left wing media and blogosphere have been been very concerned about how our daughters will handle the news. How are we going to explain this to our daughters, they wonder. How? How?
Well, the easiest way to tell them is to say something like this: “Hi daughter, Donald Trump is president because Hillary Clinton is terrible.” You can make it your own a little bit, but that’s the basic framework.
I already had this difficult conversation with my three-year-old daughter, and her response was very touching: “What’s a pwessident?”
“No, president,” I clarified. “Trump is president now.”
“Oh. What’s a Twump?”
The conversation went in circles like this for a while but by the end of it I think she had a pretty firm grasp on how our democratic process works. At least she now has a firmer grasp on the subject than all of the college students who just apparently learned about the electoral college for the first time.
Liberals, though, have quite predictably made this more complicated and emotional than it needs to be. Thus, the internet has been clogged over the past week and a half with various left wing bloggers’ and celebrities’ melodramatic “open letters” to their daughters.
Aaron Sorkin wrote one to his daughters, explaining that “the world has changed in a way I can’t protect us from.”
A feminist writer in the UK wrote one to her daughter, lamenting that Clinton’s candidacy was a “swallow-flight moment of hope” that has not been extinguished by the villainous Donald Trump.
A writer at Elle Magazine wrote one to her daughter, urging her to take heart and realize that “the future is still female” (whatever that means), even if the country is overrun with drooling, bigoted misogynists.
And still another distraught feminist wrote one to her daughter, beseeching her to “never give up” or become disheartened by the fact that she lives in a country filled with monstrous racists and woman-haters.
One mother took it a step further and drew inspirational feminist art on a napkin to help her daughters through this difficult time.
Moved as I was by these poignant displays, I have decided to write a letter to my daughter as well. After all, I don’t want her to be the only kid at preschool whose father or mother didn’t write a clickbait blog post addressed to her but really designed to elicit approval and applause from an audience of like-minded adults. So as my little girl continues to mentally process the devastating defeat of the first major party female candidate, I hope you — I mean she — will find this useful:
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing you a letter on the internet when you don’t know have internet access or the ability to read, but honestly I didn’t know what else to do. I could speak to you directly but you’re all the way downstairs and I’m in my office on the third floor. This seemed like my only option.
I know, sweet girl, that you have many questions about last week’s election results. In fact, you hit me with a barrage of questions the morning after the election, as if you’d been up all night pondering them. You turned to me desperately, with a forlorn look in your eyes, and asked me things like: “Can I have some fruit snacks?” and “Can I watch Peppa the Pig?” But I knew, at a deeper level, what you were really asking was, “Why did Hillary Clinton lose the presidential election and what are the implications of her stunning defeat?”
As for the fruit snacks, no, I’ve already told you 100 times you can’t have junk food at 7 in the morning. As for the deeper subtext, let me try to explain.
Sweetie, Hillary Clinton lost because she’s a deceitful, corrupt, morally vacuous human being. There are a lot of good women in the world — women like Mommy and Nanna and whichever Disney princess you’re obsessed with this week — but Hillary Clinton is not like them. Whereas Mommy and Nanna and the Little Mermaid are kind, honest, generous, and selfless, Hillary Clinton is mean, conniving, selfish, and greedy. This is why we don’t have a woman president. Because the woman who ran for president didn’t deserve the honor.
She lost because that’s what always happens, eventually, to people who spend their whole lives using and abusing others for personal gain. They may win lots of money and power, but they will lose what counts: dignity, self-respect, friendship, joy, peace of mind. And there’s a significant chance that one day they’ll even lose the money and power, too.
There’s a very good lesson in this, daughter. Don’t spend your whole life, as Hillary Clinton has done, pursuing power and influence for its own sake. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal. Don’t mishandle classified information and then destroy the evidence. Don’t foment civil war in Libya and Syria. Don’t wage a campaign of slander and blackmail against your husband’s sexual assault victims. Don’t collude with the media to rig your party’s primaries. Don’t dress like a North Korean dictator who just took over the Enterprise. Most of all, don’t treat other human beings like ladder rungs to be stepped upon in your lifelong quest for absolute power.
If you do all of those things, it may very well backfire and one day you’ll wake up and find that you just lost a presidential election to a game show host. All of your years of plotting and manipulating will come crashing down, disintegrating into dust, and leaving you standing there as one of the greatest laughingstocks in the history of American politics.
But, daughter, even if your plans succeed, even if you become a ruthless sociopath, and — perhaps because you actually have charm and personality — you accomplish your goals and realize your wildest dreams, it will not have been worth it. You will be the woman on top, but a woman alone. A woman miserable and unhappy. A woman with a giant, gaping hole where your soul should be.
So, my sweet girl, I implore you not to follow in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps. You have seen where they lead. And it’s good that you’ve seen it. And, considering she had such horrible designs for our country, and she was driven only by contempt and self-interest, we can and should celebrate her loss. God has spared us from her. Let us rejoice and be glad. And let us take these lessons to heart.