A Letter of Apology to My Daughter

Dear Evie,

When I laid you down in bed tonight, I made you a promise. “When I wake you up in the morning, I’m going to tell you I love you and that Hillary won.” When you wake up, you’ll know by the sound of my voice and by the tears in my eyes, that I was wrong.

Tonight you were so sweet to your momma. You gave her hugs and told her not to worry. In the morning, I bet you’ll do the same for me. You’ll tell me it’s ok and give me a hug and ask to watch a cartoon. You will be in your morning routine, as sweet and innocent as you were this morning, unaware of the change around you.

But the world will not be the same tomorrow as it was today. A few hours ago, while you were in the bath, I told you that a woman was going to be the most powerful leader in the world. We talked about how the current President was black and how your friends are black and brown and white, and none of that matters. Tomorrow, you’ll ask why Hillary lost, and I’ll have a hard time coming up with an answer more intelligible for you than sexism and racism.

Before you were born, before you were even conceived, we picked out the name Evelyn for you. It was my grandmother’s, name and she was a strong woman. We would call you Evie while you were our little girl, and Evelyn when you were a professor, a CEO, or the President.

But tonight a woman who’s worked her whole life as a public servant, who has more experience than anyone who’s ever run for this office, lost. What’s worse is that Hillary didn’t lose to a well-spoken, charming leader. She didn’t lose to a smart, determined thinker. She didn’t lose to a humble man-of-the-people.

Tonight, Hillary lost to a man who has made a fortune swindling people. A man who has bragged about adultery and sexual assault. A man who has stoked the flames of racism and nationalism. A man who cannot forgive a slight and who knows no humbleness. A businessman whose very election will bring the economy crashing down as we wakeup.

I am so sorry that a woman cannot be president. I’m so sorry that our country, that you love, would rather elect such a man. I am so sorry for the horrible things you will hear on the playground tomorrow from kids repeating the words of this president-elect. I am so sorry that we have failed you.

I hope one day the world will again be as full of hope and opportunity as it was when I laid you down to bed. I hope we have not failed you as badly as I fear. I hope that when you’re old enough to realize the enormity of our failure, of my failure, that you will still be as sweet, as kind as you will be in the morning, and that you will again hug me and tell me not to worry.

I love you,


  1. Gardner

    As the parent of an extraordinary young woman, as the parent of an extraordinary young man, as the husband of an extraordinary woman who trusted me enough to vow to be with me for life, I mourn with you, and I am deeply grateful for the beauty and love you have shared here.

    Thank you.

  2. Simon Thomson

    John, thank you for your comment on my post Brexit letter to my sons.

    Like you, I felt it important to ensure that I captured the feeling of the moment in a very personal way.

    thanks for sharing yours

    In empathy,


  3. Angela

    This is so poignant and sums up the emotions many of us are feeling today. I have had many disappointments in seeing those candidates I supported not achieve office. I have handled it because I felt confident they had our best interests at heart. I don’t feel that way this time. I feel lost, betrayed, alone and confused. How did this happen? When did ethics, values and compassion not matter? I hope that in a few weeks, months or years I will be able to forget this day and move on. I hope there are others out there who will pick up the banner and run with it. We all need our dreams!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *