Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'I'm dreading this election': former Texas politicians weigh in on 2024 presidential election

Former politicians Chet Edwards, David Sibley and Van Taylor shake hands after a two hour discussion about American politics.
Autumn Jones
Former politicians Chet Edwards, David Sibley and Van Taylor shake hands after a two hour discussion about American politics.

A panel of former politicians came together at Baylor University last week to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

Dr. Rebecca Flavin: “A study recently found that the number one feeling that Americans share regarding the upcoming election is dread.”

A panel of former politicians gathered at Baylor University last week for an open discussion about the 2024 presidential election.

The event, coined Capitol Conversations, included Democrat and former Representative Chet Edwards, Moderate and former Senator David Sibley and Republican and former Representative Van Taylor.

Topics ranged from the 2024 presidential candidates to the impact that the national debt will have on younger generations.

David Sibley: "We have a $34 trillion national debt right now and no sign of slowing down. The current debt to GDP is approaching 110, 120 percent right now, and it's gonna be on y'all. You know, if you're under 25, you know, the three of us up here are going to be living on your dime for a while."

Speakers also addressed the many concerns that attendees had about the upcoming presidential election.

Van Taylor: "I think the dread, the dread is from being in a system that is broken and I think that is upsetting to many Americans. It certainly is upsetting to me. But I think that it still matters deeply for the future of our country to make sure that we have a system that is functional."

David Sibley: "We have 335 million people in the United States and I can't imagine two sorrier of candidates to run for that office of president of the United States. So I think the dread is who wants either one of them."

Chet Edwards: "One way we could make our elections less dreadful is, referencing what David said, to remind people that we shouldn't hate someone for disagreeing with us or for voting for another person. We ought to celebrate that, it's called freedom."

Organizer Brynley Jones, a University of Texas at Austin appointed Texas Civic Ambassador, says the panel was not set up to be a debate, rather an opportunity for the Waco community to witness various political viewpoints and engage in civil discussion about American politics.

Brynley Jones: “So I think that there is a significant amount of political apathy that exists right now, not even just among young people. I think even our speakers today demonstrated that a little bit. One of the founding principles of this country is the right to vote, and being politically engaged impacts not just yourself but those around you. And there are many, many people that are marginalized and oppressed by our silence in politics and by allowing only a certain group to pass and make legislation on our behalf. And so, by showing up to things like this and being politically engaged, and even just listening, will allow you to form a more educated opinion and allow you to have more educated conversations.” 

Jones says that events such as these are important for young voters to educate themselves on issues that will impact their future.

Brynley Jones: “Eventually young people are gonna be the ones making the decisions, and we already are now. Having these conversations at a younger age will allow people, once they become of voting age, to make more informed decisions and also understand not only their rights, but their opportunities within politics. Whether it’s just voting, whether it’s going to town halls, whether it’s asking politicians hard questions and challenging the people that they voted for or didn’t vote for as well. Ensuring that our politicians are held accountable and that they are staying true to their position, and making sure that they’re representing the constituents that put them into office in the first place.”