“Children, if you are tired, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going.” Harriet Tubman
Hillary Rodham Clinton uses this quote for the frontispiece of her book, What Happened. The words express the spirit of a woman who overcame unnumbered obstacles in her fight to free slaves. Her name became synonymous with the Underground Railroad.
Hillary declares that spirit is what kept her going, not only in the campaign, but in the painful days following the election. It is also what she wants us to know and to heed from her incredible career.
If you were not one of the 65,853,516 (48.18%) who voted for Hilary, you will probably not even consider reading this book. That’s OK. Your trolls will give you all the false information you need. But if you are one of us, her words cannot but lift you up.
The first chapter depicts her first days and weeks following November 8, 2016. She speaks from the heart. She says some days started out OK with a few rays of hope. Other days all she could think to do was scream into her pillow. Did any of us not experience those feelings too?
The book is not all about mistakes in the campaign. It is what she experienced and it is not all gruelling. Her toddler granddaughter always recognized the H with the arrow and said “Grandma”. She also describes the many wonderful people she met along the way.
Her story is blunt about our pervasive sexism and misogyny. “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” She has no good words for Trump who is a terrible President. She also calls out the media which insisted on relentlessly reporting about her emails while giving Trump full coverage for his hate and disrespect for just about everybody.
There is deep grief among us that she is not our President. We know, of course, that wallowing in those despairing moments will only destroy us. So we let go of what might have been. We join the Resistance.