A New American Operating System? These Not So United States (TX Part 6)
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Purple Principle listeners know these not so United States need a new political operating system. But who’s going to code it? Based on a great new book, American Reboot (just out from Simon & Schuster), and our TPP conversation, it’s clear former three-term, centrist Texas Congressman Will B. Hurd should be a part of that “U.S. 2.0” development team.
Hurd was far from the most logical candidate to win not one but three terms representing the vast, 800-mile long 23rd district, covering southwest Texas. First off, he had been out of the public eye and in the CIA for a decade prior to his first attempt. Second, he was a moderate, Black Republican running in a largely Hispanic and Democratic district. Yet he had more than sufficient appeal with Democrats and independents to win that TX-23rd Congressional seat on a second attempt in 2014 and in two subsequent re-elections.
Of his arrival to the U.S. House of Representatives, Hurd recounts his early experiences with artfully two-faced Congressional colleagues. He describes being attacked in a committee hearing by a Texas Democrat who then chummily provides advice to Hurd immediately after the hearing. And he recalls a major television show appearance where four Congress members (two Republicans, two Democrats) swap family niceties until the camera lights come on, then promptly descend into “Wrestlemania.”
In this episode, our sixth in this Texas mini-series, we also discuss Hurd’s “brain gain” objectives on immigration reform. Hurd argues that expanding and refining the legal immigration process based on labor shortages would take pressure off illegal immigration.
Hurd also recounts his bipartisan, cross-country road trip with then-Congress member Beto O’Rourke (D). The 35-hour, live-streamed ride resulted in millions of social media views, lots of TV coverage, and some warm bipartisan glow—until the next election cycle.
“It was silly to me that we go from a moment where the entire country's like, wow, this is really cool—civility in politics. And then…everybody went to their corners,” Hurd recalls with, on balance, more optimism than disappointment. “But I saw at that moment the American people want their elected officials to disagree without being disagreeable. And it was a reminder that way more unites us as a country than divides us.”
For more on Will Hurd’s ideas for “getting big things done,” tune into “A New American Operating System? These Not So United States.”
Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney
Will Hurd, former Congressman for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District (2015-2021), former CIA officer, and author of the newly released American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Things Done.
Listen to our full Texas series: https://fluentknowledge.com/texas-series
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