An Open Letter to Clinton and Trump, from a Military Spouse


Dear Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump:

Today is the day. All the bus tours, the fundraisers, the handshaking, the ads, the baby kissing, the interviews, the debates -- it all comes down to today. You have both campaigned hard. You’ve rallied your constituents. You’ve laid it all out there and you each have so many thousands of Americans supporting you. Cheering for you. Willing to volunteer, vote, donate and defend you.

And now, we decide.

It’s up to us to determine today which one of you will lead our great nation. But me? I’m a military spouse. I’m not focused on today. I know my husband will follow the orders of the Commander in Chief regardless of who holds that sacred position. I’ll cast my ballot this afternoon and continue to hold my belief that the chips will fall as they should. All signs indicate that one of you will win. But like I said, I’m not worried about today.

I’m worried about tomorrow.

Somewhere your staffs are making final preparations. They’re ensuring the press catches you with a smile at your polling places. They’re setting up last-minute photo ops, getting sound bytes for social media and pushing those talking points out to anywhere and everywhere.

I’ve worked on campaigns. I know what today is like. It’s relief fraught with nerves, excitement wrapped in anxiousness. And somewhere, I imagine, there is a man or woman on your speech writing team looking at those two documents they helped create, one more time. Making tiny tweaks in those two speeches that bear different outcomes but need similar messaging. Two speeches. The one where you thank the nation and talk about your presidency and “the other one.” The one where you thank the nation and you concede.

Regardless of which speech you deliver tonight, you have to talk about the days ahead.

What you say tonight surrounded by your family, the press and your fans will set the tone for not just the next four years, but for the foreseeable future. The world will be watching.

And us military families? We'll be watching, too. Here's what we need you to do:

Remind our nation that we are at war, and not with one another -- not with our neighbors -- with global terrorism.

Take a moment to remember the Green Berets we lost this week in Jordan and Afghanistan, and all of our fallen, and promise your military and their families that you have our backs.

Remind the voters that somewhere overseas right now, men and women are fighting so that we can have a voice in the political process.

With every election there is so much at stake, and tomorrow, we need to double down on this country’s unity. Call for your supporters to rally behind the ideals of this nation -- unequivocal democracy -- and come together to respect the Office of the President enough to respect our new Commander in Chief.

We are a nation divided on election day, but tomorrow we have to return to being the United States. Indivisible. With liberty and justice for all. Our future depends on it.

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