The core of any democracy is not just the right to vote. It is that every voice and every vote is counted, regardless of the specific details of the person who stepped into the ballot box.
We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible, by Texas Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke was published just a few weeks ago.
O’Rourke does more than advocate for the idea that without voting rights, our nation would crumble. He tells the story of Dr. Lawrence Aaron Nixon. Dr. Nixon was the son of a formerly enslaved man and an early civil rights activist. Weaving throughout the history of the state (and his experience speaking to voters), he shares the narratives of others who have also stood up for free and fair elections.
I enjoyed this book. With his usual eloquence, openness, and direct nature, he is challenging the reader to stand up for this nation and our future. While having an eye for what might come, O’Rourke is looking to the past and lessons learned from the mistakes of our forebears.
Every once in a while, there comes a book that is so essential that it becomes a required read for every American and everyone who believes in democratic values. This book is one of them. Speaking from the heart, he reminds the reader that there is still time to avoid the precipice ahead. That is if we heed the warning signs.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also argue that it is one of the best books of the year.
We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible is available wherever books are sold.