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She knows now that progress isn’t inevitable.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) worked closely with Teen Vogue as this month’s guest-editor, praising the publication for taking “teen girls seriously.” And her daughter Chelsea Clinton is going viral after Teen Vogue shared Chelsea’s letter to her children about the 2016 presidential election.
The letter, which was originally printed in December’s edition, addresses Chelsea’s children Charlotte and Aidan and discusses the future for both of them in the wake of President Donald Trump’s victory. In particular, Clinton stresses the presidential election was “most of all about you and the world I wanted for you and your generation to grow up in.” And she says her mother worked “for a world in which more children are supported, cared for, encouraged, protected,” as the Clinton’s believe disenfranchised Americans should have access to the same resources that privileged citizens do.
“I saw that in Arkansas as a kid, in the White House as a teenager, in New York as one of her constituents and as an American when she served as our Secretary of State,” Clinton writes in Teen Vogue. “I heard it in every speech she gave throughout last year.”
I guest-edited this month’s issue of @TeenVogue. It was a wonderful experience, with lots of terrific contributions from people I love & respect. Read this letter that my daughter wrote to her children about why she’s still optimistic about the future. cc: @ChelseaClinton https://t.co/o438PENNvb
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 20, 2017
Chelsea Clinton then goes on to talk about the 2016 election itself, and how, even though she thinks her mother’s choices “were worthy of scrutiny,” she remains surprised that certain issues surpassed others in the national discussion. Like Clinton’s emails.
“I certainly think her choices—all her choices—were worthy of scrutiny though I remain flabbergasted that your grandmother’s emails were covered more than all other stories of the election combined,” Clinton argues. “More than children being poisoned by tap water, shot by those who should have protected them, failed by schools meant to educate them, or finally receiving health care thanks to President Obama’s signature legislation.”
Most of all though, Clinton stresses that her mother campaigned against the “racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic” views espoused by President Trump, and that she worked hard to create a clear and progressive vision for the U.S. And even though Hillary Clinton lost her presidential election to a man who “excuses neo-Nazis,” Chelsea says her mother’s loss only motivated her to work harder for her children’s future. That’s in part because she learned that one should never take progress for granted.
“What’s once again clear a couple hundred days into President Trump’s administration is that who is elected to office matters—for what is done, what is undone, and who and what are neglected through malice or incompetence,” Clinton tells her children. “A core lesson of this time in your early lives is that progress is possible, but it is not inevitable. It must be protected and advanced at the ballot box and beyond.”
Read the full letter from Teen Vogue here.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.