Dr. Sam Green (left) and Beto O’Rourke (right) during the student discussion in the Robert C. Byrd Center Auditorium. Photo by Courtney Bell

Fromer Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke visits Shepherd University

On March 4, Director of the Robert C. Bryd Center for Congressional History and Education Dr. James Broomall, and the Shepherd University Living History Club hosted an event in the Robert C. Byrd Center for students to express their political vendettas to former Presidential Candidate and U.S. Representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke 

With the current polarizing American political climate, the upcoming 2024 Presidential election has Former President Trump seeking reelection while President Biden tries to hold the Democratic Party in his grasp as conflicts indirectly involving the United States are spreading around the world. However, there is a bit of hope for the upcoming generation of voters, which O’Rourke hopes to foster with his new book “We’ve Got to Try” 

His book dedicated to his belief in getting more people to vote and fighting to keep their voting rights; he combines Dr. Lawrence Aaron Nixon’s story and other Texans, who, according to O’Rourke, “…improved Americas democracy.”

O’Rourke heavily discussed Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s immigration policy in Texas, how people can have more civil conversations and hear one another instead of “yelling and gathering more voters,” O’ Rourke said.

“This extraordinary democracy that really sets us apart from most of the rest of the world…I don’t pretend that we pull it off perfectly; we have a lot of work to do, but 247 years in, we’re still, for my money, the best thing going,” O’Rourke said. 

Many students were present, asking O’Rourke various questions about voting and the current American political climate.  

His answers were to “find hope in this moment” and work together.  

O’Rourke has no plans to run for office again. Still, with the help of his advice through the discussion panel and his book, along with people’s personal beliefs, the political climate can change to what seems fit for the upcoming generation. Visit Four Seasons Bookstore for O’Rourke’s book. 

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