Texas Standard For December 31, 2020

From extremes of partisan politics to a pandemic to protests and a reckoning over race, 2020 will go down in history as a turning point for millions statewide and beyond. But what are the lessons of the past year and how might 2021 be different? We’ll have a roundtable conversation with reporters. Also: a shakeup at Fort Hood this year –one considered by many to be long overdue and some of the stories that didn’t make the front pages but nonetheless marked the end of an era. On our special edition of the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 31, 2020 10:00 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, December 28, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Reporters’ Roundtable on Texas Politics

Texas Standard invited two reporters to take a look back at 2020 in Texas politics and governing. Jeremy Wallace is political reporter for The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express News. Abby Livingston is Washington bureau chief for the Texas Tribune. Livingston told Texas Standard that though Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Sen. John Cornyn, came out ahead in Texas, it was close. But split-ticket voting meant that down-ballot Republicans in the state won much more decisive victories. Wallace said that despite the large amount of money Democrats spent on House and legislative races, Republicans were prepared for a hard-fought 2020 election.

More important 2020 Texas politics stories:

– The Texas Latino vote isn’t a monolith

– How the Trump factor will affect ambitious Republicans in the coming years

– Texans who lost their leadership bids in the U.S. House

The pandemic and the protests’ role in 2020 politics and governing:

– State versus local control of pandemic regulations

– The outsized role of politics in pandemic policy and behavior

– COVID-19’s impact on rural and economically-challenged regions of the state

– Texas responses to police brutality and racial justice protests

Fort Hood Investigation Results

Earlier this month an independent review committee announced findings including a climate at Fort Hood that was, quote, “permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” But how did it get this bad? And will disciplinary actions be enough? Those are questions Carson Frame has been asking. She reports on the military and veteran issues for our partner station – Texas Public Radio. The Texas Standard’s Laura Rice spoke with Carson about the report.

The Last Days of Bloodless Bullfighting

In South Texas, a variation of bloodless bullfighting has connected two cultures for decades but this year, the tradition – and an era, drew to a close. The Texas Standard’s Kristen Cabrera traveled to the Rio Grande Valley back in February to witness a farewell fight.

Remembrance of His Father

Our colleague Rick Holter, of KERA North Texas, experienced what hundreds of thousands of Texans did in 2020 – grief over the death of a loved one. And like so many during this pandemic, Rick could only grieve from afar.

All this, plus Texas News Roundup.

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