A year ago today, Hillary Clinton earned three million more votes than Donald Trump. She fought Trump. And Russian interference. And FBI interference. And an alt-Right media. And in any other democracy on Earth, she would be President right now.
So let’s be really clear: We are not the minority party. We are the opposition party. A party with brains, a party with guts, and a party with heart.
And last night, we proved it.
For 365 days, everyone has had an opinion about what went wrong last year. The pundits. (“I always knew…”) The partisans. (“Of course this loss happened because they…”) Lots of political types certain that they could have done it all much, much better.
People don’t just wake up one day and elect leaders like Donald Trump because hey, “everything is awesome, but what the hell, let’s roll the dice and make life interesting.” People don’t elect leaders who campaign for office by attacking communities of color, or religious groups, or immigrants, or women when things are just swell. Men like Trump come to power when countries are in real trouble – when people start to lose hope for a better future and start looking for someone to blame.
This is bigger than just one campaign. Bigger than poll numbers or talking points or Facebook ads. And if we’re going to lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste any more energy arguing about who in our alliance should be voted off the island, or whether we should be the party of Black Lives Matter or the white working class.
I say we can care about a dad who’s worried that his kid will have to move away from their factory town to find good work – and we can care about a mom who’s worried that her kid will get shot during a traffic stop.
We know how to win. We have to believe in ourselves, in our values, and in our absolute, unwavering willingness to get in there and fight. And we must see each other’s fight as our own – because none of us can win any of these fights alone.
That’s how we stopped Trump and the Republicans from repealing health care from tens of millions of Americans. That’s how we stopped his unconstitutional Muslim ban. And yesterday, that’s how we elected Democratic governors in Virginia and New Jersey – and incredible new leaders up and down the ballot in states across the country. I’ve never been prouder to be a part of this team.
Today isn’t an easy day for people. What happened a year ago is still fresh, still raw, and still painful for people who gave their time, their energy, and their hearts to elect Hillary Clinton. I still remember the faces of the people I met in Ohio and Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. How hard we fought and how people looked to us with hope.
I wish last year had been different. Different for all of us.
This is our moment in history: Not the moment we wanted, but the moment we are called to. We will not back down. We will not play dead. We will not give up and go home.
The character of our country is not in its President, but in its people. And you are putting up one incredible fight – to build a future, not just for some of us, but for all of us.
We will resist. We will persist. And we will win.