Month: July 2016

A Letter to Hillary

Dear Hillary,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you.

But last night, you did something so extraordinary in the history of our country that I want to reach out and congratulate you.


You have also removed any reservations or ambivalence I may have shown in the past about voting for you this November. You are the best choice—the only choice— for President of these United States. Period.

I have called you names in the past and cited many of your flaws. To your credit, you’ve never said a thing about me or my worts or my stumbles in life. I was a Bernie supporter in the primary, but the primary is over, and you won the nomination. You appear to be working with Bernie to unify the party and include the voice of his supporters in your moving-forward agenda. Thank you. I feel like you are listening to me. I feel included.

You have only one opponent in this race. True, there may be other names on ballots in some states, but this is not going to be another 1992 when Ross Perot captured almost 20 million votes in the general election. This is 2016, and like it or not, the United States is a two-party country. Any votes cast for a member of a third or fourth party are nothing more than a constitutional right.

Your opponent, Donal Trump, has hijacked the Republican Party. He is the party and he is beyond any decent description of a human being. My late mother, a southern lady, would have described him as “common.” Mother and son do agree on something, after all. We argued about so much, so often.

On the surface, it would appear that you and Tim Kaine should win the election in a landslide. Any of us who were raised to be decent and caring souls would dismiss the Trump/Pence ticket as some sort of late night parody of “Jackass: The Movie.” (True confession: I did like the hardware store toilet skit.) But the Republican primary taught us a valuable lesson: people who are mad and feel disenfranchised will do anything to reverse the status quo. These people see you as stale and controlled by big money and another helping of Obama stew. They are willing to throw away decades of progress and revert to what Trump has promised as the good ol’ days.

It’s reminding me of the agony experienced by Jimmy Stewart’s character in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Clarence the angel made it possible for George Bailey to go back in time and realize that he had a better life in the present than he did in the past. No harm done in a movie. Trump, however, would really take us back in time, permanently, and try to “imprison” us in one way or another. Probably in ways that would isolate the United States from the rest of the world. In the real nuclear age of 2016, it might just be the final, unwritten chapter of “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss.

So, forgive me for taking so long to see the light. Forgive me for my earlier rants about your past. Please allow me to praise you for joining the ranks of some pretty incredible “first-feat” women and encourage you to keep fighting for us. You are going to win this election. Sooner or later, we are all going to get it.


Stuart Hotchkiss

Stuart Hotchkiss has never been a member of a major political party. His presidential voting record has been Carter (1976), Anderson (1980), Reagan (1984), Bush 41 (1988), Clinton (1992), Clinton (1996), Bush 43 (2000), Bush 43 (2004), Obama (2008) and Obama (2012). And a solid Hillary in 2016!




Will you, Lisa, marry me, again?

Dear Lisa, this time exactly one year ago today, I listened to your consent to marry me at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boise, Idaho. The service was sacred, the reception quite festive, the gifts and cards quite bountiful. We, the bride and groom, “were in love,” and we’d beaten the usual stress that accompanies such life changing events with aplomb.

Thrice and twice down the aisle — that’s five trips in total — we had made promises to others that just simply couldn’t be kept. Yes, we’d grown cyclical about falling in love again. We’d resorted to Al Gore’s world wide web to find each other. Suddenly (well it seems like suddenly now, doesn’t it?), we oldies had just entered into a new union with the odds of success better than a nag winning at Churchill Downs. We had no prenup. We based our decision to get married on the one thing that money can’t buy: a shared and strong belief in the fact that we needed one another.

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Bishop John Thornton delivered a homily that made even your dad cry. As you remember, it opened like this:

“Stuart, Lisa isn’t the only woman in the world. And yet she is the only woman in the world which, by love and for love, you and she have created.

This can be your Eden of renewal and gratefulness and wonder and delight and an unfathomable peace. Tend it.”

We have tended it, and +John reminds us every time we see him to continue doing so. We’ve made ourselves the priority, in daily life, in our recent travels, and in planning our future. It’s a bright future, wherever that may be, and I so look forward to the journey.

When I first proposed to you, I asked two questions. The first was, “Will you marry me?” And the second, “Will you marry me for fifty years?” You said “yes” to both questions.

Not that I have a mark-down-the-time calendar or anything, but don’t think for a minute that I can’t see the year 2065 from here.

I also told you before our wedding day that I would never hold your feet to the fire if I didn’t make you feel completely happy. In fact, I suggested we discuss ever year the strengths and weaknesses of our marriage and, as corny as it sounds, give each other a performance review and re-up, as some might say.

Well, I now admit that was a corny idea. You’ve loved me exactly the way I had hoped you would, exactly the way I want to be loved and exactly the way +John counseled us.

So will you, Lisa, marry me, again?