History & Politics

Below is a collection of Ande’s essays about history and politics. While this collection started as a series inspired by the unprecedented events surrounding the 2020 general election and its aftermath, it will grow beyond that over time.

Cleaning House

(Published 9 January 2023): After a chaotic week, this essay captures some thoughts and concerns about what will happen over the next two years with the House of Representatives under a dysfunctional GOP’s control. If what they propose comes to pass, the country will be in big trouble.

2022 is almost over

(Published 25 December 2022): While listening to holiday music, I wrote some thoughts about the things that stand out in my mind about 2022. A lot has happened, some good, some bad. Despite the conflicts, this year offered some hope for a better future as progress was made on multiple fronts. In some cases, some turmoil may have forced some improvements that might not otherwise have even been contemplated.

If only & never forget

(Published 11 June 2022): The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol began its public hearings on June 9, 2022. The first hearing was powerful, though parts of it were hard to watch given they used some never-before-released video content that showed the true horror of what happened. This essay discusses what’s at stake, and how important this is for everyone in the U.S. to understand. While it’s nice to think about how things could be different sometimes, we can never forget what happened on January 6, 2021.

Rights and life

(Published 9 May 2022): There is tremendous turmoil over a draft SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade which potentially puts all of our individual rights at risk, not just the right to abortion. This essay explores some of the ramifications of such a reversal should it stand.

The Animal Kingdom includes us

(Published 2 May 2022): This essay discusses the odd dichotomy between how humans choose to define personhood, including conferring the same to fictional entities and clumps of cells while denying consideration to large swaths of humanity and other species. The other confounding thing to consider is how humans consistently try to deny the fact that humankind is part of the Animal Kingdom, not separate from it.

It’s strange in my land

(Published 18 April 2022): The news is a constant barrage of the struggle between democracy and autocracy, and the U.S. is in the thick of it. The political attacks are worse. The restrictions against choice and against letting people have their voice at the ballot box are increasing. This essay captures some of the challenges and frustrations of the current times.

Thinking about history 80 years ago

(Published 7 December 2021): On Pearl Harbor Day, I couldn’t help but think about the stories my mother told me of her childhood during WWII. Those experiences shaped her life and gave her an understanding of the world in a way that seems almost incomprehensible today.

Thinking about things

(Published 6 December 2021): There is so much going on these days, and I often think about what is happening and what we can do about it. This personal essay discusses the threats to our democracy amidst general musings about life in the U.S. today.

Choice is important

(Published 5 December 2021): As the country has become far more divided, the highest court in the land has heard a case that challenges the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in a way that poses an existential threat to individual rights going well past whether or not to end a pregnancy. Roe v. Wade and subsequent legislation built on its precedent established a national threshold before which the right to abortion was inviolate – viability. This right has been under challenge for decades, and now with the balance shifted hard right faces its most serious challenge yet.

Election 2020 – a harrowing, real-life story unfolding
In the U.S., the 2020 election has been building for quite some time. This is the most consequential election in almost a century, and the eyes of the world are upon us. The results of this election will drive the U.S. and the world in untold ways. The following essays capture some of my thoughts as an American as we move through this turbulent time.

The American story continues: Getting ready for the Biden Inauguration

(Published 18 January 2021): On 17 January 2021, 60 Minutes aired a segment about the 2021 inauguration preparations, and in light of the recent coup attempt, they are extensive and a large departure from how the U.S. normally holds an inauguration. While saddened that it has to be this way now, it also gives me hope that this inauguration can serve as a new beginning to get our nation back on track. This essay shares some memories and thoughts about the upcoming event.

6 January 2021: An American Story

(Published 8 January 2021): Something happened on 6 January that was more terrifying than any suspense novel I’ve read, and it was real. I watched it unfold live. This is the story of a failed coup attempt in the U.S. as Congress tried to certify the 2020 Election results. The story isn’t over as of this writing, but that day shall be one right up there with 7 December 1941 and shall live in infamy. Let’s hope that nothing like that happens again here.

Remember it’s ‘WE THE PEOPLE’

(Published 29 October 2020): One more pre-election essay talking about the importance of this election and what’s at stake. This is not just a question of policy, it’s really about the future of democracy in the U.S., and how we’ll be remembered by future generations.

Taking Action!

(Published 14 October 2020): With the biggest election of my lifetime in progress, this is an essay about storytelling and how we use it in politics to spur people to take action and how I was inspired to do more than just sit back and wait this election. I’ve never volunteered for a campaign before, but this time, I needed to get involved on a deeper level, and volunteering on a major campaign is invigorating.

Trouble – when the story matters more than reality

(Published 24 September 2020): This is an essay about storytelling and how it can be dangerous when used for nefarious purposes, especially in the 2020 U.S. general election. We are at a crossroads, a watershed moment in our history, and we need to save our democracy.

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