16 Memories from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign That I’ll Hold in My Heart Forever

In my office there are 11 images of Hillary Clinton. One cover of Ms., one staff-produced image from Ms., two New York paper covers from the day she became the nominee, a birthday card made to look like a personally signed photo of her, a printed out image an intern left for me with a note, a photo of her I got at the California campaign launch, a book with her face on it, a tiny image of her poking out on the banner across a different issue of Ms. , a pennant with an illustration of her on it, a coaster that’s actually a printout of a Texts From Hillary meme forever cemented to porcelain. None of this includes her ephemera: a campaign sign, a campaign sticker, a campaign pin.

I didn’t realize how overwrought my tiny little space had become until I got back after the election and walked in, eyes still wet from crying, and looked out. It was overwhelming, honestly, kind of terrifying. I felt like I was wading into the dreams I couldn’t remember anymore, things so big and bright that the darkness had eclipsed them. On my desk there was an issue of TIME with Donald Trump on the cover. The contrast between the home I had built and the one I’d been made to live in was so stark I wept.

What I faced in the days after the election was a crisis of cause. My friends called me and texted me to tell me they were considering abandoning their fights, and I picked up the pieces I could find of their vision for the world on the ground between us and encouraged them to keep marching. People in my life who had never considered themselves activists came to me looking for redemption, as if apologizing to me was the singular way in which they could make peace with what happened, and I told them to never say sorry, that it was never too late to start rabble-rousing and fighting. But all along, I was struggling, too — struggling to find motive, to find reason, to find a purpose. I was embarking on the darkest week of my life. I was adrift. I felt alone. I felt guilty and regretful. I felt like I had failed.

I lost heart.

President Hillary Rodham Clinton. That was my rallying cry. It was the name I had assigned to my heart when feminism lit it on fire. It was the image that hung over the mantle of my movement-building. It was my cause. Underneath everything else, there was one fight that shook me to my core, that rebuilt me over and over again when I burned out or fell down and picked me back up. President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

When Hillary Clinton lost the election, I didn’t know how to believe anymore. I couldn’t see the path forward. But then she lit it for me. I looked back and realized her vision was my vision and that it was one that could carry every woman on its shoulders. I remembered how I felt watching her rise and realized she wouldn’t want me to sink down, to slide onto my side, to weep in the street. If fighting for her to emerge in white and claim the presidency can no longer be my rallying cry, she will be my rallying cry. Everything she is. Everything she stands for. Everything she was supposed to be, and do, and mean. Finding those things, fighting for those things, figuring out what those things look and feel like — that can be my rallying cry.

In 2008, I watched Hillary Clinton lose and it made me a feminist. In 2016, I watched her fight harder than I ever thought any single one of us could fight and it filled me with light and love and then rage and pain. In 2016, I watched her lose some but I also watched her win some. In 2016, I remembered why she was my one and only, my ultralight beam, my hero, my idol. In 2016, I built three walls for her. I’m not tearing any of them down.

Our future is uncertain. Here’s what isn’t: We will fight on. And as I march and scream and weep and breathe and work and work and work and work for what’s right, I will carry these memories with me. Forever.

Every Single Time “Fight Song” Played

I don’t remember the first time it happened but I remember they cut to Hillary’s rally, and “Fight Song” was playing when she walked offstage. I remember it made me cry. I remember it made sense. This was Hillary Clinton’s fight, one more time, and we were her warriors. This was her taking back her life one more time and showing us she was alright. This was her being strong. I don’t really care if nobody else believes ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.

Watching Women and Girls See Themselves in Someone Who Almost Became President

This will never stop being important. This will never not matter. This will never not move me.
I will never forget how it felt to watch women and girls become exhilarated and emotional and brave and excited and a little less alone because of this woman’s brave attempt to be first. I will never stop drawing courage and inspiration from the path she clawed her way past just so we could see the potential we all had to change the world.

This will never stop making me cry, so look at these pictures while I get a tissue.

When She Hugged This Crying Girl Because She’s Not An Evil Robot

Repeat After Me: Hillary Clinton actually cares about people.

A lot of folks saw the kind of work Hillary did — embedding herself in different communities and having conversations with people across the country — as “pandering.” She’s a soulless robot, after all, just trying to win an election so she can feel powerful. Right? Except that’s never what was happening. She was listening and asking questions because that’s what real public service looks like.

The Time We Took a Selfie Together But She Didn’t Actually Get Me In the Frame

I went to a Hillary Clinton rally, looked my hero dead in the eyes, handed her my shitty Android phone, and left the rest up to fate. Unfortunately, “fate” was a blonde woman I’m pretty sure had been hitting on me the entire time pushing me out of the frame of my own selfie with Hillary Clinton. I hope her bath mat is damp every day for no understandable or preventable reason.

The Night Every Single Primary State Went to a Woman

I’ll never forget how this felt.

The Time I Crashed the Best Democratic National Convention of All Time

Hillary Clinton’s DNC was one for the ages. It was uplifting, moving, diverse and historic. It was everything. It’s honestly hard to pick a favorite moment: Barack Obama? Cory Booker? Michelle Obama? Watching Bernie Sanders look like he wanted to cry? Sarah McBride? Bill Clinton? It was all amazing. It was all perfect.

It was the Fucking Best.

I will hold the 2016 Democratic National Convention in my heart for a few reasons, but one of them is definitely that I got to be there, using wi-fi in Panera Breads and running through the rain to get to feminist events and smoking cigarettes outside of the Politico HUB where all the staffers and media folks hung out and drank canned wine after-hours while the event wrapped up. I even live-tweeted it when I wasn’t busy spending my entire per diem on espresso!

The Video That Was Too Feminist for the DNC

Never forget. Always remember. This fight goes back over a century, and it will need to live on for centuries more. Women in politics make a difference, and Hillary — despite the outcome — has forever cemented her place in this nation’s history and in our movement’s history.

Watching a Man Weep for His Wife Because She’s Living Her Dreams for Five Entire Days

There was a lot, as I said, to enjoy about the DNC. My favorite part, though, was watching a former President of the United States, watching a white man, watching Bill Motherfucking Clinton, weep openly every single day of the DNC out of pride and respect and awe for his wife.

Her Convention Speech

Of course. Because fuck glass ceilings. Because fuck being first. Because fuck, I’m crying again. And because of how good it feels, still, today, to wait for the end and watch her exhale.

Watching Her Giggle at the Debates

I love watching Hillary Clinton debate men. She’s brilliant, and the forum of a debate gives her the space she needs — and wants — to showcase her depth of knowledge and incredible intellect. And the best part? Watching Hillary Clinton debate anyone means you’re watching Hillary Clinton have the time of her fucking life.

The Time She Listed Her Accomplishments for Donald Trump and I Literally Almost Fainted But Was Too Aroused to Do So

Remember when Donald Trump, living and breathing example of a Mediocre White Man, said time and again that Hillary Clinton had done “nothing,” or had “no idea” what she was talking about? I do! It made me homicidal! But the best part was when he dared to say so at the debates — and she took him the fuck to town. May we all remember this, and may we all do this the next time a man questions our authority and expertise about the things we know and do better than they do.

This Meme

Watching Men Endlessly Praise a Women

Hillary Clinton’s campaign put my favorite act of feminist praxis into work constantly: Enlisting men to lavish praise on a woman they had to admit, in many ways, was someone they simply were not.

Here’s Bill making me cry:

Here’s Cory Booker giving me life:

Here’s Tim Kaine thinking about how much he loves Hillary Clinton on the darkest day in recent history:

Her Speech at the Children’s Defense Fund

I watched this on my kitchen steps with my roommate. We were crying. The entire speech is beautiful, but Hillary’s reflection on her mother’s childhood gutted me:

I think about her every day and sometimes I think about her on that train. I wish I could walk down the aisle and find the little wooden seat where she sat, holding tight to her younger sister, all alone and terrified. She doesn’t yet know how much more she will have to face and even suffer. She doesn’t yet know she will find the strength to escape that suffering. That’s still years off. Her whole future is unknown, as it is for all of us, as she stares out at the vast country moving past her. And I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms and saying: “Look, look at me and listen. You will survive. You will have a family of your own, three children. And as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a United States Senator, represent our country as Secretary of State and win more than 62 million votes for President of the United States.”

Everything We Saw and Witnessed

We were here. We were here. We were here. And for one and a half years, we came together to demand progress. We came together and celebrated diversity. We were here. We still are. I hold that in my heart every single day.

…And Everything She Was and Is

It’s for you, Hillary. Always was. Always will be.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Let’s keep it coming yall! Here’s a guide on how to organize a few people in your congressional district and keep fighting for us. It’s written by congressional staffers, concrete, and perfect for someone for whom Hillary’s campaign (or Bernie’s) was the start of your political involvement: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

  2. Maybe it’s because I am a disenfranchised qpoc and Jewish, but I am getting tired of all the Hillary talk like she is a gift to us. Sure she was the lesser of the two evils, but when our choice is between Hitler and Mussolini(or Stalin), we still are going to be in hell. Remember she once called black youth super predators, and was against lgbtq rights for years before being for it benefited her needs. This post is kind of the last straw for me on this site. I use to come here for the action and the power, but lately(like within the last year) the fire has been curtailed. Have a beautiful day!

    • i do not actually share (but lovingly support) carmen’s insatiable passion for hillary clinton, but to call hillary the lesser of two evils between hitler and mussolini (or stalin) is frankly bananas.

    • I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the choice was like choosing between Hitler and Stalin, but I 100% agree that Hillary is not worthy of the amount of praise she gets in this article.

    • I’m not saying you have to like Hillary or everything about her as a candidate. It’s extreme hyperbole to say that she’s the lesser of two evils, though. I mean, comparing her to Trump, she is clearly clearly clearly the better candidate on pretty much all issues.

      She’s also the most exceptional candidate to ever run on the Democratic ticket, in my opinion, in terms of being truly qualified for the job and unapologetically liberal. Let’s not forget that Obama was against marriage equality in favor of civil unions when he first ran in 2008. Politicians are never as progressive as we want them to be and politics is gross. I believe we need to change the two party system and I believe we need to hold ALL Democrats accountable. However, Trump was literally a less-than-mediocre white man running against an exceptional white woman. I agree she wasn’t the strongest on race and on criminal justice reform, as well as several other issues. I didn’t agree with her 100%. But to say they are essentially both fascists is ridiculous.

      • It’s a lot deeper than being “not the strongest” on race, though. As First Lady, she actively supported Bill Clinton’s policies on welfare ‘reform’ and mass incarceration that devastated working-class communities, especially black families. (The same Bill Clinton who this article gushes over!) As a senator, she voted for the Iraq war- a racist policy if I’ve ever seen one. (Yes, I know she apologized later, but voting for a war that leaves millions dead and destabilizes an entire region isn’t something you just “apologize” for). As Secretary of State, she was personally responsible for quite a lot of the horrific acts committed by the US government abroad. Look at Honduras, just for instance: https://www.thenation.com/article/how-hillary-clinton-militarized-us-policy-in-honduras/

        I don’t think Clinton is “the same” as Trump, but I do think Clinton’s (and the Democrats’) policies of trying to prettify the current capitalist hellhole we’re living in create the conditions for people like Trump to thrive. If the Democratic party has no real change to offer, it’s not surprising that lots of people are going to stay home, some are going to turn further to the right, and the right itself will be emboldened.
        I also don’t know how we’re supposed to ever hold Democrats accountable or change the two-party system if we support every candidate the Democrats nominate. Change isn’t going to come from within the two-party system. I don’t accept the best that we can do is just accept the system is fucked and pick the least-bad choice.

    • hillary clinton was not the lesser of two evils. she was a typically flawed human woman who ran for office against a demagogue rapist who openly embraced hate groups and utilized hate speech to drum up crowds before he rigged an election.

      if donald trump is hitler, hillary clinton is honestly more likely the allied forces: fucked up in their own way, but in no fucking way the enemy.

      her platform was the most progressive platform of a major party in history. her campaign staff was the most diverse in terms of race and gender out of the entire field of gop and dem contenders. she fought tirelessly against racism, holding white folks accountable for it at rallies and in speeches, and shined a light on the murders of trans women of color, the need for police reform and an end to police brutality, the undeniable human rights of women, the families at the heart of the immigration debate, and every other marginalized group in the nation. she named the communities and issues the left has claimed to champion for decades, and she did so without pause or apology.

      hillary clinton used the word “superpredator” over twenty years ago to refer to gang members of every race and has since apologized. bernie sanders voted for the bill and never apologized. joe biden wrote the bill and never apologized.

      hillary clinton was the first ever first lady to attend a pride parade. she has consistently evolved on lgbtq issues much like barack obama and the democratic president before him, bill clinton. evolution is the heart of progressive praxis: to deny folks the right to evolve without shame, judgement, and fear is to deny that change is possible. to hold people accountable for having made missteps in the past instead of judging them on how they move forward is to fuel a toxic call-out culture which stops all of us from learning, growing, and changing.

      the fire is alive, sandy. in my heart, in the streets. we’re about to face four years of unprecedented political terror – a cabinet stacked against our rights as women, as queer people, as people of color. a cabinet stacked with abusers and anti-gay speakers and anti-muslim leaders and kkk sympathizers and neo-nazis. we’re about to face a president with an agenda to deport people and tear apart families, roll back abortion rights and gay marriage rights, build a stupid wall, whose surrogates invoke internment camps for muslims, who claims celebrating christianity is american, who bullies the media to turn them into propaganda machines.

      forgive me for mourning the woman who would have never done any of that, or even considered it. forgive me for mourning a shot at making history for women instead of electing someone who rapes and harasses them. forgive me for mourning an opportunity to advance progress instead of instill an autocrat who will force us to literally fight for our lives.

      i can’t apologize for writing this. i can’t apologize for feeling this. i am one person. it is one piece. i encourage you to read the site at your own discretion and avoid clicking on links concerning topics that don’t interest you.

      oh! and have a beautiful day.

      • “if donald trump is hitler, hillary clinton is honestly more likely the allied forces: fucked up in their own way, but in no fucking way the enemy.”


        • I will be using this analogy EVERY FUCKING TIME someone uses the ridiculous “lesser of two evils” argument. Dislike Hillary all you want, that’s your right, but putting her on the same level as Trump is creating the worse sort of false equivalency, and if you can’t see that, then I don’t know how to help you.

          Carmen, you’re incredible. Thank you for all your work on Hillary’s campaign, and on Autostraddle.

      • You are an outstanding human being, Carmen, and your response to this comment just reinforces your outstanding-ness!

          • I’m not telling you should listen to him but he lists why Hillary wasn’t a good candidate and I don’t know, unless you’d like to prove that what he says is not true it would be good to acknowledge that? Why should we listen to anyone then? He’s a journalist, by the way.

          • I’m not going to waste time disproving unfounded allegations by a dude whose credentials I don’t know, just because he published something on Medium, tho?

        • “She has made antagonizing Russia the central theme of her campaign, baselessly calling Trump a “puppet” of Putin, and propagating noxious conspiracy theories about Kremlin subversion of the US electoral process.”


        • You can, I don’t know, check his website? Then don’t, no one forces you. Though I’d like to hear how Hillary voting for Iraq, supporting Libya intervention and Honduras coup, demanding No-Fly Zone in Syria and all that is “unfounded allegation”.

          • I’m familiar with Michael Tracey and don’t really trust him, but it’s still a fact that Clinton supported the interventions into Libya and Iraq, wanted more intervention in Syria, etc. and that anyone even vaguely on the left needs to take these seriously as problems.

          • Could you tell me why? I personally find his work very valuable and if I’m missing out something I’d like to know.
            Exactly and I’m tired of dismissing these problems as her “mistakes”.

    • It definitely isn’t because of your queerness or your Jewishness because I also lay claim to both those things and I would never dream of insulting my forebears by suggesting that Hillary Clinton is on a par with the man who decimated their communities on the sole basis of my distaste for her tone. If your standards require that everyone whose service you will condescend to accept be unimpeachable (heh) from birth, you will be able to belong to no country for as long as you live.

      Congrats on winning highest horse at the county fair, though! That’ll surely be a real break for you politically in the years to come.

    • It is still possible to have supported Clinton as a far more desirable/less apocalyptic lesser of two evils while acknowledging the things that disappoint us about her.
      I can’t support her more hawkish foreign policy choices, but I actually think they’re informed by an insecure desire to avoid appearing ‘soft’ on terror. It’s a problem that plagues all Democrats and I don’t want to single her out. That said, Hillary Clinton lost much of my respect in 2008 with her behaviour toward Obama in the primaries. There was sketchy racist stuff coming from her campaign, like the claim that Obama had only gotten as far as he did because of blackness. Her supporters’ statements about women who supported Sanders doing it for the boys, or being destined for a special place in hell were insulting to women and feminism. Her comments at Nancy Reagan’s funeral were an insult to our friends and relatives who have died of complications from AIDS and her ‘apology’ didn’t even include an apology.
      And yet I would absolutely have voted for her in a heartbeat because the lesser of two evils STILL MEANS SOMETHING. I would have protested her inevitable inaction on DAPL etc. I still wouldn’t idolize her (and I think idolizing Obama has had very negative consequences for the liberal left). But at this point I ache at the thought that she could have been President instead of that bigoted man-child. It pains me to think that we will spend the next 4-8 years with that monster in charge instead of her. I hate the system too but I’d still rather have an adult at the helm.

      • Hello! I totally get you, and I am going to respond (even though you didn’t ask) on behalf of not just myself but also I imagine many ardent Clinton supporters who are cognizant of the legit points you bring up here, if only because I am slavishly incapable of letting things go and possess a pathological need to feel wholly understood by as many people as possible:

        1. I also was horrified by the way she ran her 2008 campaign! Unlike Carmen, I started this season’s primaries extremely wary of Clinton. But Clinton has always done an exceptional job of learning from her mistakes, and I see her 2008 primary campaign as no exception. Earlier this year I read an excellent analysis (I wish I could remember/find it!) of the way Obama’s influence has made her a better politician, including a beautiful evocation of the grace Obama showed by nominating her for Secretary of State after an ugly primary and a well-reasoned theory on how that grace influenced her politics. Anyway, I agree, and I love Hillary Clinton today in part because of how she made amends and moved on from that period of her career.

        2. I do not like most of Hillary’s foreign policy! I think this is largely, as dev wrote in a comment below, a failure of the U.S. political system (as are most of her other political failings). By and large, we cannot opt out of the things we don’t like about Clinton’s policies because they are woven into the fabric of this country. While Hillary is complicit, I also think she is one of few politicians who might actually respond–either in office or outside the system–to an appeal for peace by the citizenry. But at the end of the day:

        3. Centering Hillary’s flaws is not even remotely important to me. Thanks to the punishing standards of the progressive movement, which accepts ideological perfection and nothing less (pragmatism and tangible progress be damned), there will always be someone else to do it for me–and, because she’s a woman, she will always be excoriated first and foremost for flaws far more severely exhibited by her male counterparts (e.g. the frequency with which people bring up her “superpredator” remarks, for which she has apologized–unlike Sanders, who voted for the 1995 bill, and Biden, who *wrote the damn thing*). Maybe it’s not healthy to idolize a politician, but the truth of the matter is that someone will always be there to hold her feet to the fire, whether she deserves it (which she sometimes does) or not (which she often doesn’t), no matter what mea culpas I incorporate into my personal rhetoric of support. In the meantime, those of us who unabashedly admire Clinton and what she represents to us shouldn’t have to apologize for or feel ashamed of our ardor.

        • “I am slavishly incapable of letting things go and possess a pathological need to feel wholly understood by as many people as possible”

          By the same token, perhaps it would be equally desirable to try to understand where others are coming from. I responded to a black and white characterization of Clinton as evil with a reminder that despite her faults, she absolutely should have been president. I was defending her and arguing for a more nuanced understanding of her shortcomings. Why did that earn me a defensive reminder that you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of your position? I never said that you have anything to be ashamed of; I wasn’t even talking to you. I was challenging Sandy.

          I am not looking for a fight with Clinton’s passionate supporters. I understand that she means a lot to a lot of people, and that people’s support for her was/is valid. My arguments are also still valid and needn’t be taken as an affront just because they aren’t identical to yours. I don’t forgive her for 2008 AND I am so sorry that the presidency was stolen from her. I’m allowed to hold those thoughts at the same time.

          • Hey, I’m not trying to pick a fight–I totally understand why you and many others feel the way you feel and I’m not telling you to feel otherwise. I *have*, however, noticed a tendency among people critical of Clinton to (often sneeringly) write off her more passionate supporters as uninformed or blithely unaware of the criticisms leveled against her. I’m sorry if I was projecting in reading this attitude into your comment specifically, but I wanted to speak to the fact that Clinton supporters are almost always made to vigorously defend their appreciation for her–as evidenced by the very comments to this post.

          • And again, I would invite you to think about the fact that you directed your anxiety at a person who didn’t write you off or demand that you justify your appreciation for her. You took your issues out on me because I had the gall to defend Clinton to Sandy on different terms than you would have liked.

            If we’re on the topic of passionate supporters of Clinton and their relation to those who supported Sanders (and for the record, I am not a die-hard Sanders supporter) or who simply supported Clinton with less enthusiasm, I will take this opportunity to tell you a bit about my own experience of being defensively lectured at, given that your comment is part of that trend.

            I have long defended Clinton from criticism I felt to be misogynist or too decontextualized. I gave a specific example in my original comment, with regard to her foreign policy being part of a larger problem for Democrats, which I think was quite generous given that she skews to the right of Obama. And that last assertion, I want to reiterate, is not an outlandish conspiracy theory. Her own policy advisors refer to her as ‘more muscular’ and interventionist than others in her party. There is ample record of her positions on Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine.

            When I compare the way I am treated in conversations about Obama with those about Clinton, the difference is striking. If I say that I find it disheartening that Obama gave Kissinger a public service award, or that I don’t support his deportations or the drone program, or the fact that he will likely let Chelsea Manning rot in jail while the real war criminals go free, with full acknowledgment that yes, Republicans are worse, no one, not once, has ever accused me of failing to see that Obama is also a target of vicious racism and Republican obstructionism. I am white but no one tells me that my whiteness makes me prejudiced against Obama, though I will be the first to acknowledge that the current president, despite his privileges, experiences discrimination I can’t imagine from my own position. I cannot think of a single time when a POC has accused me of bad faith when I brought up a valid critique of his policies.

            I have had the opposite experience when talking with die-hard Clinton supporters. If I say that I don’t appreciate Clinton’s praise of Kissinger’s policies etc, the response is frequently condescending, accusatory, and hostile. Because I have failed to offer her my unqualified support, on the terms of her most fervent supporters, I have been told that I am a Bernie bro; accused of mansplaining; people online have accused me of lying about being a woman and about being gay; I am constantly reminded that Clinton experiences misogyny, as if this has somehow gone over my head, as if the only reason I support her with hesitation is that I simply don’t understand what misogyny is. ALL criticism of Clinton’s flaws can apparently be discounted because SOME of it is laced with misogyny. The end result is a climate in which there is no room for valid criticism from women (and other gender minorities) like me.

            Women and GLBTQ people are allowed oppose Hillary Clinton’s policies and be alarmed by her public statements. We are allowed to support her with trepidation. I DIDN’T write you off in my original comment, but you DID lump me in with a bunch of other people whose behaviour has nothing to do with me. I didn’t come here to sneer at Carmen’s celebration of Clinton, but to ask one of her opponents to cut her some slack. And you couldn’t resist giving me a lecture that would be better directed at someone else (why bring up Biden and the super predators when I didn’t even mention it?) Forgive me if I am sick and tired of getting responses like this while trying to have a respectful dialogue. Being dismissed by people with whom I’m trying to find common ground has really taken its toll on my patience.

  3. Yeah tbh I’m sick of hearing about “the lesser of two evils” like that’s a comparison that makes sense in any way. That shit has been all over my social media feeds for months and it’s melodramatic nonsense.

      • It’s like trying to decide whether to bbq with charcoal or napalm and saying “well I want to like charcoal but as far as fire risk goes, it’s only the lesser of two evils”

        • “I don’t want to damage my carpet. Do I want a puppy who might pee occasionally or to flood my entire living room with swamp water? I mean my instinct is to go with the puppy, but he’s really only the lesser of two evils”

          • “A glass of whiskey or a glass of hemlock? I mean whiskey is the lesser of two evils, but…”



  4. Oh, the power of propaganda. I’ve read this, watched videos and I actually felt moved. Then I remembered that she cares about people so much she doesn’t mind them dying. This is kind of frightening how easily you can manipulate people.

  5. I just want to thank you, Carmen, for being publicly and unapologetically excited about Hillary. I wish, in retrospect, I’d been more public and more outspoken in my support of her. I didn’t want to deal with all the trolling and Berniesplainer-debating and mostly kept my opinions to myself. I regret it now, so much.

    I was so moved when I took my newborn daughter (in her “future president” outfit) with me to the polls to cast a vote for the first woman president. I was so heartbroken and furious later that night. Thank you for never backing down. I KNOW you changed hearts and minds and you made us all a little bolder. <3

    • Yes – my deepest regret from this election is that it took me so long to be publicly enthusiastic about Hillary. (It took me until maybe May.) I so admire and am thankful for those who were super enthusiastic earlier.

    • I feel this really hard. I would not have expected to encounter a piece like this on Autostraddle (I seriously thought it might be satire for a second) but kudos to you, Carmen, and kudos to the editorial staff for posting this. There should not be shame in vocally supporting Hillary.

  6. Because nuance is important, I was drafting this before the election, trying to explain that we can love the role Hillary running plays in liberation (thank you Carmen!) while remembering her role in the Violent Empire (as Sandy reminds us to do): “Having Hillary Clinton in the role of Commander in Chief of the United States – a position inherently violent – opens up more working space for those of us resisting the American empirical project – the project that any white woman or person of color (including Obama) has to participate in in order to get to/infiltrate the Oval Office, a symbolic heart of that empire. Clinton’s participation in that project was a prerequisite for her to get into that office. . . . Having a person in that violent (symbolic and systemic) role who has mothered a child, is now routinely called a witch, and who, like Obama, has an incomplete but present and dynamic understanding of America’s violence is a step on the path to liberation . . . Maintaining nuance in times of polarization can be part of resistance. Creating a network of resistance that crosses the ‘inside/outside’ boundaries all the way from Standing Rock to the Oval Office challenges the power of the inside. Resisting the temptation to demonize a human for her symbolic role in an inhumane system, and focusing on inspiring & building her interest in the wellbeing of women, children, and maybe the earth, is part of my resistance to the American Empire she represents and plays a complicated part in.”

      • nuance is my boifriend, nuance is my girlfriend
        nuance is my dead end, nuance is my imaginary friend
        nuance is my brother, nuance is my great granddaughter
        nuance is my sister, nuance is my favorite mistress

        nuance is my beach house, nuance is my hometown
        nuance is my king size bed, nuance is where i meet my friends
        nuance is my hot hot bath, nuance is my hot hot sex
        nuance is my back rub, my nuance is where i’d like you to touch

        • Thank you so much for writing this post, and this song, Carmen! I think you said everything I was trying to say when you say “to deny folks the right to evolve without shame, judgement, and fear is to deny that change is possible.”

  7. The other day “Fight Song” played while I was driving and I go so teary eyed that I had to pull up.
    It had to have been her. Sigh. I’m still so fucking sad about this election.

    • i don’t think people realize that women don’t actually wake up and, against all odds, combat internalized misogyny and know their worth and decide to run for president every day. hillary clinton is one of the strongest women we’ve ever witnessed on the national stage. she is a beacon, an inspiration, and undying source of awe. i fucking love that woman. she’s my everything.

      i listened to fight song and wept in my car yesterday, too, jsyk. i take a lot of solace in knowing i’m not the only one.

      what happened in the election will never be okay. i honestly know i sound so melodramatic in my posts about her but it won’t. it just won’t. we’ll carry this one forever – the weight, the light, the pain and the glory. the best we can hope for now is that it fuels us, feeds us, nourishes us in the moments ahead.

  8. Honorable mention to when she was interviewed by Humans of New York and talked about being the only female prelaw student at Harvard and being told by her classmates that she should leave because she was taking a place away from a man.

    • THAT WAS WHEN I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON. That was the number one story that made me realize how much the patriarchy was informing both her public persona and my views of her.

      My mom always used to say “I met her once and she seemed so…hard. Like there was nothing in her eyes that I could get to and reach her,” or something along those lines. The last time she said that, I was able to tell her story. We put on armor for a reason, and emotional inaccessibility is only a negative thing when we perceive it in a woman.

  9. I just got goosebumps from simply reading the title “The Video That Was Too Feminist For The DNC”.

    Thank you as always for this and your constant leadership.

  10. My morning alarm is still set to Fight Song, as it has been since I got this phone in August, and every morning it wakes me up and every morning it depresses the fuck out of me and every morning I tell myself I need to change it, and every morning I decide that no, it’s better to keep it, and keep fighting.

  11. Thank you for this!

    And thank you to Autostraddle for being the only feminist publication I read that has published a few pieces that are by women (a woman) supporting Hillary without shame. Obviously the staff/editors/writers have a range of opinions (as you should!) but that y’all published any “I love Hillary” pieces is huge (though it shouldn’t be) and I’m super grateful.

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for this. It warms my heart.

    I was 13 in 1992 when Hillary Clinton made a splash onto my radar. For one reason or another, my 13 year old mind realized that she would be a spectacular president for this country. I supported her husband, and followed Hillary’s passions as First Lady. I’d always casually drop into any political conversation (& some non-political ones too) between friends that she would be the first female president someday. Soon. (My friends and I were probably a little bit nerdy, but even in our early teens, we felt like being educated about politics was our patriotic duty.)

    In the past 2 years, I’ve been shamed by even some of my most liberal friends for supporting her. They ridiculed me for voting for her in the 2008 primary. I love Obama, but I’d idolized her so long – and I felt it was her time.

    I don’t feel bad for supporting the most qualified presidential candidate in our country’s history. Not in 2008, and not now. I feel profoundly sad that Hillary will most likely never be my president. It rips my heart apart.

    But she has always lead by example, and her loss has spurred in me something I haven’t felt since I was an idealistic 18 year old.

    So I’ve committed to volunteering for several groups – LGBTQ, Women, literacy, and environmental groups.

    Her loss has renewed the fight in me, and I would give literally anything to meet her and thank her for the motivation and inspiration.

  13. Thank you so much for this. I am not an American but I cry watching these and I cried the whole day after the election. She was right in her concession speech: this will be painful for a long time.

  14. The gay left has become the very monster they once protested. They have become as intolerant towards ‘others’ as the ones that gave gay people a hard time in the past. The sentence “Remember when Donald Trump, living and breathing example of a Mediocre White Man..” says it all. It shows hatred and intolerance for ‘the other’ and therefore is a true testament of the wrecking of liberalism’s legacy by modern day leftists.

      • Hey! there is the gay gestapo hearing another opinion that needs to be bullied into silence! Shame on you, you utter embarrassment to the progressive legacy.

        • Additionally to your getting the power relations in this world terribly wrong, you should do some research on what the Gestapo (or Geheime Staatspolizei/Secret State Police) was and why it’s not okay to use this word in this context. The Gestapo was the Nazi’s ‘criminal police’, it was their job to detect political opponents and Jews in hiding, to coordinate and oversee executions. Speaking of a “gay gestapo” is a very cynical thing, as gay men were persecuted as homosexuals during the third reich (ever heard of the pink triangle?!), and lesbian (in total denial of female sexuality) were persecuted under the label “asocial”.
          Maybe at least check wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_triangle

          • “detect political opponents” and target them. You prove exactly my point. That same fascist tendency I detect in the gay community from time to time. It’s all about conformity. Making sure everybody conforms. And indeed it’s very cynical because after being the recipient of so much intolerance over time, you’d think they would always let everybody be themselves and have their own opinions. And there is no need to lecture me about the gestapo, because that’s just completely besides the point and I am well aware of their horrible practices.

        • Never mind the fact that LGBT people were TARGETED by the Gestapo. Never mind that your comparing marganilized people expressing their views to the systematic torture and murder of millions of innocent people. Never mind the feelings of Holocaust survivors and their families. Never mind that Neo-Nazis passionately support Trump.

        • No, my reply didn’t prove your point. If you’re not interested in engaging in a discussion, don’t enter the comment thread. You were not “targeted”. Someone criticised your argument. That’s not the same thing.

          Freedom of speech means you’re entitled to your opinion and that you should be able to state it. It doesn’t mean you can say whatever you like and not be criticised for it.

          And regarding the Gestapo – it was the comparison YOU made in the first place. And it’s even more shocking that you know about their practices and still think you can compare them to what you call the “gay left”.

    • The point is not that all white men are mediocre, but that an exceptionally unqualified rich white man effectively trounced the more competent candidate for president in a contest because misogyny and racism still dominate our culture.

    • lol I wonder how Donald Trump, about to assume the office of the most powerful person on earth, will ever recover from being “othered”, i.e. being accurately described.
      Also you’re incorrect. There is nothing “leftist” about this article, it’s liberalism through and through.

  15. Really disgusted Autostraddle, a site which purports to be “intersectional”, would publish a piece glorifying someone like Hillary Clinton. There are so many incredible women leaders, past and present, who you could be informing people about instead. She is not your problematic celebrity fave or your aunt who had trouble accepting your girlfriend at first. She is an immensely powerful person who, in her roles as First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State, has supported oppression everywhere from Palestine to Honduras to within the US. Equating sharp criticism of a powerful American politician with “toxic call-out culture” is just disingenuous. The next time Autostraddle publishes an article about something “revolutionary” I’ll remember this article and laugh.
    PS. I would never support the GOP or Sanders so don’t hit me with “other politicians are bad too.”

      • I’d be happy to, but as I described in my comment just below this one, it would be naive to think Autostraddle’s coverage of Clinton hasn’t been very one-sided.

    • AS talks about all sorts of amazing women all the time, no need for “insead”. There’s room for many different specific views and values within AS’s general progressive/intersectional feminist politics, and a team of people behind the site who carry a range of these views. Even if you don’t agree with this one piece written by one person, I don’t see how that detracts from everything else AS publishes.

    • wow, this gets tiring, but hey!

      i am a die-hard hillary clinton supporter who has worked in non-profit and fringe feminist activism for nearly a decade — since the moment i was old enough to begin doing so independently — and write often about intersectionality, what it means, and why it matters. all of those things encompass each other. i supported hillary clinton because she ran a campaign that centered marginalization, and especially compounded marginalization — her platform wove issues of gender, race, class, disability, immigration, and so on into every section, from veteran’s affairs to creating jobs and sparking innovation.

      politics is not always the most revolutionary system. that does not mean we exempt ourselves from it. politics is also not the place for progressive purity, especially when the alternative is exactly what folks on the left unwilling to “compromise” in voting for the most qualified person to run for the white house who had the most progressive major-party agenda in history handed us on a silver platter: donald trump, anti-christ.

      the bottom line, really, is that whatever criticism anyone had of hillary clinton, she presented an opportunity for multiple things in line with the progressive left’s ultimate goals: a leader who was flexible and willing to evolve on policy issues, a leader with a mainstream value system that was left-of-center and would have implemented policies that put big changes into place in a gradual way, and someone who was not a rapist, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, a transphobe, a homophobe, and blathering idiot! sounds chill, idk.

      i see myself in hillary clinton, and i’m not about to start apologizing for it in the weeks after an election where she – our last great hope, tbh – was defeated by an oompa loompa who quite literally has put us in place to begin fighting for our lives.

      i never said hillary clinton was perfect. no woman is. no person is. that does not mean she doesn’t deserve praise, or to be recognized for the myriad ways in which her career and her campaign impacted our culture and specifically the women in this country.

      i consider myself a revolutionary. i consider myself an intersectional feminist. i consider myself an activist. when i’m not writing fluff lists about how much i adore hillary clinton, i’m at work doing activism. when i’m not doing either, i’m at home doing activism. i’ve devoted my life to the fight for gender justice and equality. voting for hillary clinton was part of my revolution — a step toward the feminist movement finally realizing its fifty-year-old goals and finally being able to move the goalposts; a chance to shatter a glass ceiling that systematically removes women’s voices from the political realm; an opportunity to advance on the gains of the obama administration and move toward a more perfect and progressive union.

      i never said hillary clinton was perfect. i never said her policies were flawless. but damn, would i vote for her again and again and again to make sure what happened never happened.

      sorry, not sorry. not one bit.

      • It is the Democrats’ responsibility to earn people’s votes. If they do not offer an alternative that makes people enthusiasm, turnout will be lower. That’s how politics works. I am not going to be guilted into supporting someone whose policies and past actions are abhorrent to me just because omg Trump. (By the way, all the anti-Trump rallies I’ve been to have been organized by radical leftists who did not support Hillary.)

        The party platform is meaningless. There is nothing to hold Democratic politicians to the platform in the future and they have broken it repeatedly in the past. I also don’t care if Clinton is “qualified.” She is, in fact, qualified to run the imperialist war machine that is the US government. That’s precisely why I don’t like her. I do not want to support someone with a “mainstream value system that was left-of-center” because in America “mainstream values” mean oppression and exploitation. She is not “our last great hope.” Working people, oppressed people – WE are our own last great hope, but only if we organize for ourselves, and not look to the Democratic party to save us when they’ve proven time and time again they will betray us.

        I am an activist too. This isn’t about how much activism you do. “Fluff pieces” about Clinton are harmful not because they’re not Serious enough, but because they actively whitewash a person directly responsible for violence in Iraq, Palestine, Honduras, Libya, etc.

        I find it extremely telling that Autostraddle goes to extreme lengths to make sure its pop culture coverage is unimpeachably intersectional, inclusive, etc. but then when it comes to real-world politics anything to the left of The Daily Show is totally unacceptable. People will (rightly!) rail against “white feminism” in the abstract, but when it comes to Hillary Clinton, the exemplar of bourgeois white feminism, we’re all supposed to shut up and support her.

      • In addition, it’s this sort of “mainstream Democrats are the best we can do so you have to support them against the GOP” logic that’s stifled progressive movements for decades. For example, having a foreign policy not based on murdering large swaths of the Third World is important to me. I don’t see any way that’s going to change if I nonetheless support hawkish politicians like Clinton because of fear of something worse. We all watched deportations spike under Obama. When Trump tries to accelerate that, he’ll be able to because of the deportation machine that was built under Obama. Nor are we powerless under Trump. In 2006, immigration activists were able to use mass marches to shut down the draconian Sensenbrenner bill, and that was under someone as awful as Bush! But that kind of change has to come from people themselves, and not from relying on the Democratic party.

        But I know I’m shouting into the void, so I’ll just say one last thing: why on earth isn’t politics the place for “progressive purity”? Why would I set aside my political values when I engage in politics? Where else am I supposed to have political values, if not in the political realm?

        • “politics is not always the most revolutionary system. that does not mean we exempt ourselves from it. politics is also not the place for progressive purity, especially when the alternative is exactly what folks on the left unwilling to “compromise” in voting for the most qualified person to run for the white house who had the most progressive major-party agenda in history handed us on a silver platter: donald trump, anti-christ.”
          -a revolutionary

        • wow, nope!

          it is your responsibility to vote. voting is a sacred right that millions of americans are denied thanks to gop lawmakers in various states but hey! both parties suck, right!

          nobody wanted to “guilt” you into voting clinton. she was the only vote that stood between whatever sense of democracy we had in the u.s. and the autocracy we’re entering into. she was a vote to reject donald trump, full stop. to equivocate them is dangerous and a blatant untruth. she is better than donald trump. someone up there said it, i’ll say it too: if she was the lesser of two evils in an election where only two people could possibly win and in which the winner would impact people’s actual lives with their policies, being the lesser of two evils still makes her less evil. i’m not here to insist the system is perfect or she is perfect. i am here to entirely reject the notion that just because she was flawed she was as dangerous and ill-suited to be our nation’s leader as donald trump. full stop.

          if you did not vote for hillary clinton, you helped create donald trump. that is not up for debate. that is real. dem turnout alone – a minor boost in it in three states – could have literally changed the entire electoral landscape.

          the party platform is not meaningless. it’s a window into the ways in which someone will govern and the things their party will hold them accountable for accomplishing. the differences between the republican and democratic party platforms were stark, which i’m sure is why it’s tempting to gloss over how much it matters. republicans plan to unravel abortion rights, attempt to undo lgbt progress, destroy the aca, eliminate much of the impact of title ix, cut medicaid and social security funding, and so on. it is not unlikely to believe a trump administration will set us back to the 1930’s. hillary clinton’s party’s platform was the opposite. but who cares! some of their platform was flawed, so fuck it! must be the same thing, right.

          yep, hillary clinton was qualified to run the imperialist war machine. but now donald trump gets to run it and point all the weapons directly at us. awesome!

          working-class people, people of color, and intersectionally marginalized women did rise up. they rose up and voted for the woman who stood with their communities. they begged voters for one and a half years to listen to them and vote for her, too. i know. i was right there with them. nobody is saying the democratic party will “save us all,” certainly not me – i’ve seen my feminist values denigrated by the left at-large far too many times to assume it is my comrade. but good fucking lord, would i rather stand with the democrats than stand for nothing. gradual progress is the nature of politics. that does not mean it is not the realm in which we lay the groundwork for massive social change.

          i am not a middle-class white feminist! but thank you, because being confused for a rich white woman is my dream.

          the bottom line here really is this: the democratic party is not as far left as many of us want it to be. but it’s one of two major parties. and it was one of two major parties in what may go down in history as the most dangerous and important election of our lifetimes. working to shift the democratic party left means being involved, not opting out. it means working within the system to shake things up. it is easy to yell about how everyone is wrong. it is a lot harder to admit that apathy and progressive purity just lost us a major chance at victory – not just in the presidential race, but for a progressive agenda.

          nobody’s asking you to set aside your values. i’m just asking people to function within the world we actually live in – and not see doing so as a compromise to their values. the system’s broken. it’s not a huge revelation. that doesn’t mean presidential races like this won’t literally change our lives. making the decision that makes the most sense – not the decision that is ideal – is how politics works, and being involved and staying involved is the only way we win.

          the long game isn’t expecting perfection. it’s pushing the party towards it. hillary clinton would have been beholden to voters who supported her. now, trump isn’t beholden to any of us.

          • Carmen please listen to the wise words of the lovely gay lady Tammy bruce and feel more relaxed about the future:

            And remember the american public rejected the democratic platform in a historic and unprecedented manner over the past 8 years. Since the Obama election in ’08, they’ve lost the house, the senate, so many governers mansions and state legisl, and ultimately the presidency. They have given the GOP a tremendous mandate to turn this country around through a government that works and actually puts this country on a path of prosperity and safety for all. However saddening, the words of hope and change have proven to be nothing more than a hollow campaign slogan which resulted in trump turning 209 counties that Obama won twice.

            That fact that he pulled this off despite the entire hollywood, wallstreet, media and political establishment being against him, shows you the historical magnitude of his win. That’s the real revolution right there.

            I believe that ones the dust is settleled, and we look back at his 8 year presidency 20 or more years down the road, we will indeed qualify him as a revolutionairy president who actually was in charge of America’s comeback and brought real hope and change for the better. Economic growth providing lots of oportunities for the american dream to florish, more safety at home and around the world and a new deal for african americans in the inner cities and others that are now left behind.

      • I’m sorry, I can’t stop laughing at the inherent, disgusting and completely unself-aware contradiction of considering yourself a “revolutionary” and a “die hard” hillary clinton supporter.

    • Preach, Liza. This and AS’s other coverage of the election/Hillary has been incredibly disappointing to me.

      I voted for Hillary because I was afraid of Trump being our president, but throughout the campaign AS never made space for progressives who criticized Hillary for very legitimate reasons (strong corporate ties, foreign policy, racism, etc.) They “allow” comments but will then jump down your throat the minute you criticize Hillary, and never portrayed the nuances of her candidacy in these types of posts.

      AS staff: no need to respond defensively to this. As someone who loves this site, I just want to give feedback so that you don’t alienate the tons of queer/trans folks who I know feel the same way I do.

  16. I didn’t cry until I got to “Shoulders,” and then I wept my fucking eyes out.

    Carmen, as always, thank you.

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