I love Hillary Clinton. Contrary to popular headlines, I am a millennial woman who could not be more excited about electing Hillary to the White House. She is a trailblazer. She is a fighter. She’s a badass. Women I admire, like Madeline Albright, Anna Wintour, and Lena Dunham, are behind her. She speaks out for those whose voices have historically been silenced. She has more broad experience than any other candidate in the field, and she’s the person I trust most with the future of our nation.
When I was nine, the Clintons bought a house in the small suburban town next to mine. This proximity afforded me some personal anecdotes, like the time Hillary sent my fourth grade class a letter of encouragement about our upcoming class play “Lost in New York,” with regrets that she couldn’t make the performance, and sent Bill in her stead when she couldn’t make the show the following year. That proximity also gave me a view of how their family participates in their local community.
They may be the former and future leaders of the free world, but they’re also pretty ordinary small town residents.
When Hillary’s latest book was released, she held a signing at the local library with books supplied by the independent shop in my hometown. The Clintons walk their dog around town and chat with people. They visit small businesses and seem to care about their success. Shopkeepers proudly tell you that one of them dropped in that week. Friends share stories about sitting behind Hillary and Bill at the little three screen movie theater in the center of town, or their mother running into Bill at the bagel place. When Hillary announced her run for president, her video had a shot of her at the great deli a few blocks from her house. They make a mean chicken cutlet sandwich. Just a few weeks later, she marched in her local Memorial Day Parade, a tradition she and Bill have had since they moved to town.
I sometimes forget that before she was traveling the world as secretary of state and spending time in Washington as my senator and our first lady, Hillary lived a much quieter life. She grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She and Bill lived in Fayetteville, AR for years. She’s actually spent more of her life living in small communities than anywhere else.
There are a lot of reasons why #ImWithHer, but they boil down to this: at every stage of Hillary’s life she’s chosen to help people. When she graduated from Yale Law she could have gotten a gig at a big firm making big money. Instead, she chose to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. When her husband was elected president in the ’90s, she got to work on Hillarycare to get better health care for all and helped to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program, insuring millions of kids in my generation. When her family left the White House she could have settled into a private life of leisure. Instead, she ran for Senate in my home state. She was the first woman to represent us in the Senate (that’s right, New York didn’t send a woman to the Senate until the new millennium), where she introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act and legislation to protect and expand women’s reproductive health care, and she fought for the law that made emergency contraception available over the counter.
I have more control over my body and my bank account because Hillary’s been fighting for us.
After her turn as secretary of state she could have hung up her pantsuits for good, but Hillary still wasn’t done helping people. She’s traveled and listened to and seen the problems and potential in our country, and she’s ready to work hard to help us solve the former to reach the latter.
My grandmothers were both born before women won the right to vote; one of them was even the first woman to run for mayor of our hometown — a milestone in 1977. Less than forty years later I get to vote for the first woman president. I don’t take that for granted. Maybe once we’ve elected 44 women presidents, or had an all-women Supreme Court, or even just women holding 50 percent of seats in Congress, the idea of voting for a stellar broad over a competent guy won’t seem so special. That time has not come. Hillary is by far the most qualified person to run for president in my lifetime and she brings a unique, needed, woman’s perspective to the table.
Hillary is fighting for us, as she always has been. There’s no one I’d trust more to run our country, represent us on the world stage, and act as a role model for young people everywhere than Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has my vote. #ImWithHer
-Written by Megan D.