The speculation about what happened on Nov. 8, 2016 and the months preceding that day have reached a fever pitch in recent months. Book after book has hit the market, each with its own theory about why Hillary Clinton lost and why Donald Trump won. Next month, Clinton will get a chance to tell her truth in her highly-anticipated post-election memoir, What Happened. For the first time, Clinton will allow readers a behind-the-scenes look at what it was actually like to be the first woman nominated for president by a major party, and how she weathered an election rocked by sexism and spectacle. Bustle is excited to reveal an exclusive excerpt from Clinton's memoir, available Sept. 12, 2017 from Simon & Schuster.
In a separate excerpt revealed earlier this month, Clinton writes about her feelings during the second presidential debate, when Donald Trump infamously hovered behind her in a move that many women viewed as predatory. "He was literally breathing down my neck," Clinton writes in What Happened. "My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, 'Well, what would you do?' Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carrying on as if he weren't repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly, 'Back up, you creep...'"
But this memoir is about more than what happened. It's about what happens next — for Clinton and for everyone who championed the values of her campaign. How can each and every American resist the Trump administration? In the excerpt below, Clinton details the foundation of Onward Together, the political action organization she launched with Howard Dean in May, and shares some insight on how you can stand up, fight back, and help America move forward:
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
We did a lot of research and met with many young leaders, which itself was both fun and fascinating. I listened to their presentations and peppered them with questions: What inspired you to start this organization? What are your strategic imperatives? What’s the one thing you wish you could do with additional resources? They gave smart, thoughtful answers. I walked out of those meetings feeling more hopeful and optimistic than I had in a long time. After some tough deliberation, we landed on five initial groups to support with fund-raising and advice. Some were already hard at work helping channel a surge of grassroots energy opposing Trump’s attempt to repeal Obamacare and offering practical advice for how people could most effectively make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Others were mobilizing volunteers in swing districts with the goal of taking back the House in 2018 and recruiting and training talented, diverse Democratic women and young people to run for office and win.
The working name of our new umbrella organization was Our American Future. We created a logo and a website and prepared to go public. Luckily, a friend of mine pointed out that the acronym of Our American Future would be OAF. I imagined the headlines: “Hillary Clinton Lurches Out of the Woods: Here Comes OAF.” We needed a new name, stat! After a quick brainstorm, we came up with a better option that combined my campaign slogan, Stronger Together, with “Onward!” the exhortation I’d been using to close personal notes for years. (What can I say? I’m a sentimentalist.) The logo and website got a quick makeover, and we were ready to launch Onward Together.
There are many other ways to resist, insist, persist, and enlist. Register to vote. Help your friends and family do the same. You have to vote in every election, not just during presidential years. It matters. For one, your right to vote is protected or undermined by state and local officials who oversee and conduct elections. Bring as many other people as you can to the polls with you.
There are many other ways to resist, insist, persist, and enlist. Register to vote. Help your friends and family do the same. You have to vote in every election, not just during presidential years. It matters.
Get involved in a cause that matters to you. Just pick one, start somewhere. Women’s rights, LGBT rights, workers’ rights, voting rights, the environment, health care, campaign finance reform, public education—they all deserve attention. Don’t just think about it or talk about it: support a cause with your money, your time, and your talents. Find an organization that’s doing work you believe in. It may be a long-standing organization or a newer or smaller one. If it doesn’t exist, build it.
Local issues are every bit as important as national and global ones. If you see a problem in your community that needs fixing or an injustice that needs correcting, and you think, “Someone ought to do something about that,” guess what? That someone could easily be you. Show up at a city council or school board meeting and suggest a solution. If a problem is affecting your life, it’s probably affecting someone else’s — and that person might just be willing to join you.
Local issues are every bit as important as national and global ones. If you see a problem in your community that needs fixing or an injustice that needs correcting, and you think, “Someone ought to do something about that,” guess what? That someone could easily be you.
Try to get to know your elected officials at every level and learn where they stand. If you disagree with them, challenge them. Learn when they’re holding their next town hall and show up. Don’t forget to support and contribute to candidates who will fight for your values and interests. Better yet, run for office yourself.
If you’ve been keeping your opinions to yourself, try speaking out — whether that’s on social media, in a letter to the editor, or in conversations with friends, family, and neighbors. Your views are every bit as valuable as everyone else’s. You’ll be surprised by how satisfying it can be to express yourself. And chances are, once you take a stand, you’ll find you’re not standing alone for long. If all else fails, make a sign and show up at a protest.
From What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton to be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Copyright © 2017 by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Printed by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
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