Editorial other views

The following editorial published in the Corpus Christi Caller Times on Nov. 20:

You may have heard that Texan Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the U.S. House, has launched a political action committee to save his party by making it more diverse.

HOW DO YOU DIVERSIFY THE GOP?

Hurd wants to attract, encourage and fund candidates of color, younger candidates, female candidates, and candidates from various immigrant cultures and religions.

IS THIS BAD FOR DEMOCRATS?

You could look at it that way, if you believe that anything good for the Republican Party is bad for the Democratic Party. But isn’t that kind of thinking part of the problem in today’s America?

A more diverse Republican Party would be a more inclusive Republican Party. A more inclusive Republican Party would require more than a diversity of races and ethnicities. It also would require a greater diversity of thought.

What does that mean? For starters, it means having a lot more respect for differences of opinion than the Republican Party tolerates currently. It means having more respect for people like Hurd, who is not running for re-election. Hurd doesn’t always toe the party line, and probably more than a few Republicans aren’t sorry to see him go because of his maverick ways. One of the biggest examples was his opposition to the Trump border wall. He’s a border congressman with a border representative’s better-informed view. On this issue, he has more in common with Democratic Reps. Veronica Escobar of El Paso and Filemon Vela of Brownsville than with his party.

IS DIVERSITY BAD FOR THE GOP?

It’s bad for the Republicans who have staked out the most polarized, least compromising stances on issues from immigration to health insurance to women’s rights. They are the ones who make it hard for women and minorities to want to be Republicans. They have been phenomenally successful in recent years at getting and staying elected and amassing political power.

They have been especially successful in Texas, where the older folks can remember a time when Texas Republicans couldn’t get elected dog catcher. One key to understanding the historic shift in Texas is recognizing and admitting that many if not most of the Texas Democrats of yesteryear were Democrats in name only, or DINOs. They weren’t liberals. They just hadn’t shaken the lingering post-Civil War Southern bias against the grand old Party of Lincoln.

The problem now is that they appeal mainly to white non-immigrants and the country is becoming less white, rapidly. Long-term, that’s a recipe for becoming outnumbered and irrelevant. Hurd is trying to do something about it.

WHO WOULD BENEFIT?

Probably everyone. To achieve the diversity Hurd is seeking, the party would have to find more common ground with more people, including Democrats. That’s the recipe for greater diversity and long-term growth.

The outcome would be a Republican Party that Democrats and other non-Republicans could agree with, or agree to disagree with, respectfully. That’s not what we have now. What we have now are parties who tell their followers that their children’s futures will suffer considerably if the other side wins. In other words, the other side is the enemy.

The key to achieving Hurd’s goal is for his party to quit being the enemy to so many people. The way to do that is to serve all the people rather than just the ones who elected you.

Hurd has walked this walk throughout his career. He is a Republican representing a mixed district that can go either way in an election. He has been elected, rejected and elected again in this district. You don’t do that by making the other side the enemy.

Hurd and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, famously set a bipartisan example in 2017 when they embarked on their so-called bipartisan road trip. Their flights were stranded in Texas when they needed to get back to Washington for votes, so they rented a car together and drove 1,600 miles.

The important takeaway is that this trip didn’t make Hurd any less a Republican or O’Rourke any less a Democrat. Everyone who remembers the trip remembers them being bipartisan friends. Everyone forgets that they argued policy the whole way and had fundamental disagreements on fundamental issues.

BOTTOM LINE:

The growth of the Republican Party that Hurd hopes to achieve would be good for everyone. The Republicans and Democrats who are threatened by it are part of the problem he aims to solve. It’s high time for my-way-or-the-highway politics – on both sides – to hit the highway.

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(3) comments

Vanessa Hicks-Callaway

Yes, I have heard of Texan Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the U.S. House and his launch of a political action committee to ‘save’ the party by making it more ‘diverse.’ Out of an abundance of caution, I urge Republicans to keep a close eye on Hurd’s efforts. I say this due to his undeniable past voting record which is counter to some very key conservative positions. For example, Hurd voted in favor of the Equality Act. On its face, the Equality Act, had it passed, would have hurt the rights of female athletes by authorizing males to compete against them as females despite the fact males tend to be stronger and faster. It would also have clashed with Americans exercising their First Amendment right which includes the right to have “freedom of religion” and to openly worship Christ based on the Word of God. Many Christian Americans desire to peacefully live by their religious beliefs as they relate to traditional marriage, sexuality, biological gender identity, parenting rights, the right to life, and education without leftist, progressive indoctrination like exposure to ‘Drag Queen Story Hours’ in public schools. Some call this action by Christians to be judgmental and non-inclusive. I don’t see it that way at all. Christians judge the actions of a person based on what the bible says about that action and NOT the person. We try to love the sinner and not the sin!

Congressman Hurd also voted against authorizing funding for the border wall that President Trump was voted into office by more than 63 million Americans to build. This action by Hurd does not line up with Republicans desire for legal immigration based on our laws and its stand against illegal immigration that results in illegal activities like sex trafficking and illicit drugs pouring in across the U.S border from Mexico and other countries. Hurd also voted in favor of background checks for every firearm purchase in America which clearly ‘infringes’ upon Americans’ Second Amendment rights and their right to privacy. These are just a few examples of Hurd’s actions which make him Republican in Name Only, i.e. a RHINO much like the article’s criticism of Democrats who don’t demonstrate the values of the Democratic party and are called “Democrats in Name Only or DINOs.”

Congressman Hurd’s voting record hurt his reputation with the Republican party to the extent he knew he had no chance of re-election in 2020 in his district which is Texas District 23. So, now that he wants to play a role in ‘diversifying’ the Republican party, I am skeptical. I am skeptical because I don’t believe Will Hurd ‘gets it.’ I have found that most Republicans, including myself, although I happen to be black, are Republicans because of the common values we all share. Republicans primarily believe in freedom, capitalism, individual responsibility, national sovereignty, and small government as defined by the Founding Fathers in the United States Constitution. These are the valuable qualities, when exercised, that made and will keep this country great!

Republicans also believe in respect for the US flag and have a great love for this country and the military that defends it as I did when I served for 26 years in the US Army and always will. This is what unites us-not color, creed, gender, age, income status, race or religion. We rally around values, America, and the U.S. Constitution and not much else. All who espouse these values or who want to learn how and why we do, are welcome to join us. Therefore, any move to sacrifice this on the altar of inclusiveness and diversity is a step toward one-party rule which is something I do not want. I am all for seeing more representation from all walks of life in the Republican party, but not at any cost.

I encourage non-whites, as this article defines them, to realize this country, is designed for the “pursuit of happiness,” not to have happiness handed to them like some kind of entitlement. This is what I espouse to everyday. Fight and work hard for what you want. To do otherwise, or to be allowed to do otherwise, disrespects the dignity and destiny of humanity and says “you cannot do this on your own because you are black, a woman, ignorant, too young, etc. and you need big government to be successful.” This is what I believe the left is saying to non-whites and to women in general.

So, no thanks Congressman Hurd. If all you want to do is try to make the Republican party another version of the Democratic party, that is okay. I will pass. I will stick with the grand ole party of Lincoln. As a friendly reminder, it is the one that freed the slaves.

Pat Tally

Maybe he will have greater success than Democrats have had when trying to find common ground here in Victoria or across the nation. “Only black Representative” says it all. Frankly it would be interesting to hear what those “fundamental disagreements on fundamental issues” really are because right now the only issues Republicans seem to care about are those espoused by President Trump.. And those are not up for discussion,

Glen or Janice Ullman

Well said Mrs Talley. It is refreshing for me to see the courageous few coming out with in the GOP to express their views. It’s just a-shame they have to leave their positions to do it, knowing full well the president will castigate them for expressing anything but his dictates....Glen

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