My guest today is author Patrick Andendall. Born and raised in England, Patrick has made a career out of using his gift of math skills to see patterns where others see only chaos. He’s an entrepreneur with a core speciality in reinsurance in London and New York. He lives on Long Island with his family and two attentive yellow labs.
Congratulations on the release of your book, Stupidparty Math v. Myth – Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy . When did you start writing and what got you into political writing?
I got started about two years ago but I got into political writing because I was paying attention to the political world. I have always been interested in politics but given my personal background I felt like I had something to say about the behavior of the modern Republican party. That is why I started tweeting. I realized that I needed to contribute more because Twitter serves as a rather large echo chamber. I didn’t communicate what I wanted to say to the right people.
Did you have a mentor who encouraged you?
Yes, my boss in England and later on Long Island has mentored me. I think he sees a lot in common with me, particularly with our shared obstacles — being prone to try to bite off more than we can chew (some say being easily distracted). I believe that motivated him to help me develop personally and professionally. I am now self-employed in a field that is dominated by big firms, and he contributes to how I got here. He would never be hesitant to call me out. He also was someone I could butt heads with which I believe helped me grow professionally and to take risks.
The publishing process was especially challenging. I didn’t anticipate the level of formatting intricacies involved in creating the book. Visualizing the order of the book was challenging too. I rewrote the introduction at least five times to fit the various revisions and additions to the book.
What was your inspiration for Stupidparty Math v. Myth?
My inspiration for Stupidparty Math v. Myth comes from my work on the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign. I had the opportunity to canvass door to door, educating voters about the election. I have learned that face to face conversation is the most effective way to motivate sporadic voters and I know that if I had not spoken to many of these voters, they would have stayed home.
As I reflected on how we lost, I couldn’t help but think about the conservative media and other figures who commanded a huge audience. I know one thing about this audience: They vote. The reason I stopped working in the field is that I saw it as my responsibility to combat the leaders of this audience. These people are easily motivated to vote and if we have a more responsible discourse, I believe that the Republican party will be more responsible when governing. Part of my target audience includes this group of voters that are ignorant about what they are voting for when they elect Republicans. A simple comparison of what Republicans say are the main set of values they believe in does not coincide with the math created by the modern-day Republican party.
What do you hope readers will get from your book?
I hope readers feel equipped with the tools to hear utterances from politicians with a more critical ear.
Did your book require a lot of research?
Yes. In order to demonstrate the mess in political discourse in America, I researched extensively into mass media, social media, and prominent political figures to demonstrate what makes the Republican Party the current Stupid Party. I also draw from classical economics to demonstrate that an important chunk of the economic logic from conservatives is fundamentally flawed when you look at Presidential economic performance historically.
How do you celebrate the completion of a book?
I didn’t have time to celebrate the completion of this book. My mission now is to make sure that the facts in this book are available to as many people as possible. I don’t care about making a profit; rather, I want to make sure that people have the resources to push back against false equivalence and irresponsible discourse.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
Yes. First of all, this is not a contentious book. The readers should know that I come from a conservative background. I made money because of deregulation. I grew up in the UK and advocated for Thatcher. The reason I wrote this book is that the political parties are founded on values, not figureheads, and the figureheads of the Republican Party are making it a Stupid Party. Readers can get much more out of the book if they don’t see it as a book meant to eviscerate what Republicans stand for. It’s not.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00NYBTRDI]