John Pavlovitz is a unique veteran pastor in Raleigh, North Carolina who has been very vocal about the 2016 election, the misogyny of men like the president-elect, and more recently his admiration for Hillary Clinton. In his most recent open letter to Clinton, he starts off giving thanks to her for the work she’s done for the past five decades, what she accomplished this year, her “dignity in the face of undignified behavior,” her seriousness at the prospect of leading our country, and her campaign of diversity, equality and shared strength — which she ran with grace and continuously reminded us of America’s greatness. He adds Hillary did everything she was supposed to do — everything she was asked:
- You were prepared and balanced and cool under pressure.
- You knew what you were talking about at every turn.
- You saw the big picture, and you knew the countless small details that your opponent could never be bothered with.
- You endured a relentless flood of misinformation by continually, plainly speaking your truth.
- You had your character assassinated over and over—and in response you simply showed that character.
- You shouldered the kind of expectations that no man aspiring to the position has ever had to contend with.
You had to be both strong and sensitive, tough and warm, fierce and likable—and you were.
- You never talked in nonsensical sound bites, never ranted like a lunatic at your detractors, never viciously attacked citizens on social media—and you never stooped to the inhumanity of your opponent.
Giving more accolades, Pavlovitz continues:
“Despite the unprecedented viciousness hurled at you, you never responded in kind; you just kept on being decent, intelligent, thoughtful—Presidential. You alone had the experience and the temperament and the maturity to do the job of leading this country. That should have been enough. I’m sorry that it wasn’t.”
Pavlovitz then tells Clinton he’s sorry that his 7-year-old daughter won’t get to see the first woman President sworn in and instead his daughter will have to see a man who has complete contempt in shaping her future. Pavlovitz is sorry his 11-year-old son will be reminded every day that “you can treat women with total disregard, that you can be a vile, filthy bully—and be well rewarded for it.”
The pastor tells Hillary he’s sorry that more people didn’t recognize her diversity, strength and how her faith has always been the real, quiet, constant bedrock of who she is — and not a “one-time, cheap, campaign parlor trick designed to appear religious to the easily fooled.” Pavlovitz says he’s sorry that so many people chose to endure a “terrifying circus” instead of Hillary’s steadiness. And finally, the pastor tells Hillary he’s sorry she will not be his President, because like himself, he believes she cares for the full breadth of American diversity and he would have been proud to have been led by her.
Pavlovitz writes about how Hillary Clinton has served this country her entire life, and he knows she’ll continue to do the daily, difficult, unglamorous work of real leadership; “the kind that your opponent will never understand” or be interested in doing behind the scenes, “away from the spotlight; not fishing for compliments or pleading for adulation or begging to noticed.”
“I know you’re a warrior and that you’re going to be fine, but I also know that you’re human and that this year must have taken a greater toll on you than anyone. I hope you realize that it wasn’t in vain; that you reallyhave won (and not just the popular vote).”
He says Hillary Clinton won because she reminded us that our diversity is our greatest asset and through equality we really are stronger together. Hillary’s won because she “didn’t need to manufacture fear to draw people” to her, and she “didn’t have to create a villain out of someone’s religion or skin color or native language or sexual orientation.” She’s the winner because the nearly 66 million Americans voted for her “now have a vision and a reason to fight on, and we will.” Pavlovitz says, “We will be the strong, steady resistance to the bigots and the bullies.” He writes that most of all, Hillary won because she did what good people always do regardless of the cost or the pushback or the reception, she went high — where the real victory is.
In his conclusion, John Pavlovitz tells Hillary:
So for all that you gave and suffered and endured,
for how you taught and cared and labored,
for the way you inspired and challenged and led,
for being the very best of this country and for this country—
Thank you, Hillary.
Pavlovitz did not mention Hillary’s opponent during his entire piece. Although the media is still consumed and obsessed with stories about the president-elect (guilty), how refreshing to read a piece that doesn’t include his name and instead includes more about the good in this country and those work to make it better. Here’s to the the men and women of faith who speak out for that good.