Read Chelsea Clinton's Letter To Her Children About The 2016 Election — And The Future

"The 2016 election didn’t have the outcome I hoped for, but my hopes for your futures haven’t changed."

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton had every reason to be cynical following her mom Hillary's devastating loss in the 2016 presidential election, but instead, the mother of two remains optimistic about the future.

That optimism is illustrated in a letter Chelsea wrote to her young children — Charlotte, 3, and Aidan, 1 — that appeared in the December issue of Teen Vogue, which Hillary guest edited. Though Chelsea does mention President Trump and many of his administration's policies, the missive's main focus is her kids and what all the progress we have made as a society will mean for them as they continue to grow.

"For me, the 2016 Election was most of all about you and the world I wanted for you and your generation to grow up in," Chelsea began. "While your grandmother's name was on the ballot, for me, it was an election fundamentally about our country's future, about your future. I am so proud to have campaigned for her — and fought for you."


The 37-year-old readily recognized her own privilege (and by extension, that of her children) but was quick to point out not all Americans are quite as fortunate, especially now as so many people's rights and lives are at stake. "We are very blessed and lucky. Blessed in that you are both healthy and surrounded by people who love you. Lucky in our privilege — you do not know what it is like to be hungry, to be homeless, to not have health care, to not have books to read, to not have a safe place to play in, to not know if your parents may be taken away in the night, to not have safe drinking water," she wrote. "You will not have to worry about whether you may be shot because of your skin color colliding with generations of racist rot." 

Later in the letter, Chelsea even explained that many of the current administration's policies (and the resistance she has seen to such policies) has actually pushed her to work harder for the equity she and her mother so firmly believe in. "Everything that motivated me to work so hard for your futures throughout 2016 is still true today. Arguably more so," she wrote. "What's once again clear a couple hundred days into President Trump's administration is that who is elected to office matters — for what is done, what is undone, and who and what are neglected through malice or incompetence."

"A core lesson of this time in your early lives is that progress is possible, but it is not inevitable. It must be protected and advanced at the ballot box and beyond," she added. "We're citizens not just when we campaign or when we vote or when we protest. We're citizens every day in the way we treat one another, what we stand for, and what we stand against."

While Chelsea readily admitted "the 2016 election didn't have the outcome I hoped for," she also told her young children, "my hopes for your futures haven't changed." And though Charlotte and Aidan are too young to fight for equality as their grandmother has done for decades, Chelsea seems to be teaching them the importance of speaking up at an early age. "It's never occurred to me to pull the proverbial (or actual) covers over my head," she concluded. "There's no such thing as neutrality or opting out when everything is at stake."

Cover image via JStone /

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