Who’s ready to rally for a passionately moderate candidate? Will Hurd is a former U.S. congressman and CIA operative. He is razor-sharp and forward-thinking. While he is truly conservative and believes in a strong national defense, a position he can back up from his years of traveling some of the world’s toughest areas on the field with the CIA, he has some scorching criticisms of our current brand of politics on both sides.
Will is the son of a Black father and a White mother, and he hails from the U.S. congressional district with the longest Mexican border: the Texas 23rd district. He is solidly pro-immigration. He is also pro-life, which means that he believes that all Americans deserve health care, but not as issued by the ACA, which gives Americans health insurance that makes it too expensive to actually get the care. He is a feminist and in favor of LGBTQ+ rights. One of his greatest concerns is that our leaders, and Americans in general, are not paying enough attention to the threat of Chinese supremacy, and he has the facts to make his point. He also thinks that climate change is being used as a political football, while it should be on everybody’s front burner.
Hurd plays to the middle. He posits that we all have more in common than we think, and that good laws come from the center 80%, not the ten percenters on either extreme. Thanks to Covid’s effect on transportation, he once had a multi-day, completely unplanned road trip with Beto O’Rourke from Texas to D.C. that was livestreamed on social media to huge audiences. At first, even Beto and Will thought it would be one long, exhausting argument, but then they were able to prove the point that if people would get together and talk seriously about issues, rather than posing for the cameras in photo-op soundbites, real compromise and progress could be made.
The last couple of chapters about our federal government’s complete failure to keep up with technology will scare you so badly that you will be staring at the ceiling at night, sleepless. Will has a computer science degree and ran a technology startup, so he understands tech right down to the bits and bytes. If you have ever watched with dismay and embarrassment as our senators and congressmen interview social media moguls, you will know that we’re in trouble. Our political leaders are incredibly ancient, and even those who are not have “people” who take care of their technology needs and social media accounts (which is not always a bad thing, as we’ve witnessed in the last few years.) Hurd believes that World War I was fought in the trenches, World War II was fought in the air, and World War III will be fought in cyberspace—and we are absolutely not ready. It is a bit of relief that our leaders have finally recognized that we have to start with chip production at home, but that it just a baby step forward. Hurd has plans.
The subtitle of this book is An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done. Of course, Hurd will probably throw his hat into the ring for the 2024 presidential contest, and yes, this is his requisite autobiography to launch his campaign. However, this is not at all a bad CV for president, and I, for one, am completely exhausted by the shrieking power mongers at both ends of the spectrum and would be happy to welcome a super-smart, really nice person into the position. We don’t know the slate of candidates yet, but let’s hope that there are some rational, energetic moderates we could all get behind.
Disclaimer: I read a library copy of this book after watching Will Hurd on Book TV and other long-form interviews. Opinions expressed—oh, my goodness—are solely my own and may not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.