Former first daughter and SheKnows’ #BlogHer17 speaker Chelsea Clinton may not have an office in the White House like the current first daughter, but she’s not letting her opinions go unheard. In a letter published in Teen Vogue, the mother of two addressed the current political state and constant battle against “people with racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic views” by penning a powerful letter to her kids, Charlotte and Aiden. In the letter, Clinton says all the things that she fought for in the 2016 election can still come to fruition — as long as we all keep fighting for what we believe in.
“While your grandmother’s name was on the ballot, for me, it was an election fundamentally about our country’s future, about your future. I am so proud to have campaigned for her — and fought for you,” she starts.
She explains that her two kids are lucky in many ways. They don’t face hunger or fear for their safety, so they’re already better off than so many kids growing up in this country and around the world. Clinton also tells her children she wants them to form their own opinions about what happened in 2016, because while historians (and their grandmother) will certainly have their own memories and views, it’s up to Aiden and Charlotte to decide their own.
The most powerful part of the letter, however, comes halfway through, when Clinton explains just how personal politics have become.
“I foolishly used to believe that the political and the personal could be separated,” she writes. “I no longer believe that. We have a president who excuses neo-Nazis, who wants to ban members of our military because of who they are and keep out immigrants because of who they worship; that’s personal regardless of our religion, our gender, or where we’re from. We have a president who denies science, whether it’s vaccines or climate change or evidence that, yes, health insurance helps save lives; that’s personal, too, because it’s about protecting our public health today and in the future. The marked rise in bullying in our schools, with some kids citing President Trump’s words to taunt others? That’s personal, too. Protecting children isn’t someone else’s job; it’s all our jobs — even if the president doesn’t think it’s his.”
Clinton adds that everything that kept her going through last year’s election cycle — speaking out against hate speech, fighting for civil rights and trying to ensure that everyone has access to health care and education — are still motivating her. She closes the letter with a particularly strong statement: Her hope for her kids’ futures hasn’t changed. To make sure they — and all kids — get the bright future they deserve, Clinton’s not backing down.
“It’s never occurred to me to pull the proverbial (or actual) covers over my head. There’s no such thing as neutrality or opting out when everything is at stake,” she says. And if Clinton — who saw the election from an angle few others did — can keep fighting, so can the rest of us.
Watch Clinton’s panel with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards at SheKnows‘ #BlogHer17 conference below.