By Ray Smock
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States is one of historic proportions that we will be studying and analyzing for years to come, as we do with all our presidential and congressional elections. Here at the Byrd Center our mission has not changed, nor would it change no matter which political party controls Congress or the Executive Branch.
We are a non-partisan educational organization on the campus of Shepherd University. Our mission is to advance representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs that reach and engage citizens. This is an enduring mission that is not dependent on the ebbs and flows of party politics. Each generation of Americans must learn anew the history of our nation, its politics, and the nature of our democracy. We believe as did the Founders of the nation and as did the late Senator Byrd for whom our center is named, that an informed citizenry strengthens our political institutions and invigorates our democratic values.
We began our look at this election on November 14 with a teach-in about its implications. The Byrd Center hosted and participated with the Shepherd University Political Science Department in an informative program designed for students and the public. This was one time I wished we had a bigger auditorium because this election has generated more interest than most in recent memory.
This will be the first event in what will unfold as a number of programs that will examine key aspects of this election. Already we have had inquiries about the nature of the Electoral College, what this election means to our two-party system, and whether or not this election is a watershed, a potential game-changer, in the way we govern ourselves.
Our main focus is Congress and how Congress and the Executive Branch govern together. Whenever political change occurs the prize we keep our eye upon is the U.S. Constitution and how it is utilized in preserving this nation as a beacon of stable, responsible government.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.
The Byrd Center advances representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens.
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