Hillary Clinton’s advice to the nation was filled with as many calls to give President Trump a chance as it was with calls for vigilance.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future,” she said, in a call that epitomized her careful balance. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that. We cherish it.”
But her speech from New York City on Wednesday didn’t end there. She issued a subtle warning that if Trump goes off track, then like-minded people owe it the Constitution to stand up.
“It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them,” she said, according to a transcript posted by Vox. “Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear.”
She specifically called out LGBT people.
“We spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone,” said Clinton. “For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.”
That vision of inclusiveness has not felt shared by Trump, the president-elect.
Clinton began her speech in New York City on Wednesday by confirming she had called Donald Trump last night to concede the election. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she said, in a tone familiar to liberals trying to force themselves to hope for the best.
She also apologized. “I’m sorry,” she told Americans, “that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for this country.”
Clinton thanked her supporters. But she also talked about people on Facebook, some of which she described as private groups for discussion. And maybe she used them as a quiet metaphor for a change that needs to come next.
“I want everybody coming out from behind that,” she said, “and make sure your voices are heard going forward.”