A lack of civic and political education, according to Former Florida Gov. and United States Sen. Bob Graham, is leading to fewer educated voters in the U.S.
Graham spoke about civic reform in Webb Hall in the Memorial Union Monday night during this year’s Boertman Lecture Series. The Boertman series was created in honor of C. Stewart Boertman, a former social sciences professor who taught at Emporia State for 41 years.
Michael Smith, professor of political science, has had what Graham referred to as a “telephone friendship” with the former senator for about a year now. Smith said he uses Graham’s 2008 novel, “America: The Owner’s Manual,” to teach his 100 level political science class and finds it extremely useful to his curriculum.
Natalie Stiles, freshman social sciences major, said she uses the book in her introduction to government class. She said what she would remember most from Graham’s talk is that “anyone can make a change – they just need to acquire the knowledge needed and know how to go about using that knowledge.”
And that’s exactly what Graham said he wanted students to take away.
“I want them to know that they can make a difference,” Graham said. “Whether it’s at a local or national level, anyone can make a difference if they seek and understand the skills necessary to do so.”
Graham was the 38th governor for his home state of Florida from 1979 to 1987. He later served as a senator from 1987 to 2005. Altogether, he has over 25 years of experience in politics.