Last April 20 I had the opportunity to hear a speaker whose name is Will Hurd address the Orange County Chapter of the World Affairs Council. And everyone who purchased a ticket received a copy of Mr. Hurd’s NEW book: American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done (Simon & Schuster, 2022). Mr. Hurd’s credentials are noteworthy: he is a ten-year veteran operative of our CIA, a four-term member of Congress from the San Antonio, Texas area, and the son of an African-American father and Caucasian mother, which gives him both a wider acceptance and perception of the world. And his talk was truly and deeply refreshing. He is a person who can and has worked with others to get the right things done. One of Congressman Hurd’s mantras is “You can disagree without being disagreeable.” And he also understands that there is always a fight for trade-offs between perceived safety and freedom. He stands by the literal fact that freedom is what makes The United States of America exceptional, and I certainly agree with that.

And then I read his book. Part One: The GOP as a political party must look like America as to our values, our ability to listen and understand people’s problems, and to appeal to the middle, not to the edges. Part Two: Leaders need to inspire, not fear-monger, so they must be honest and do the right thing, ensure that their deeds match their words, not pander to voters but instead build up trust, and demonstrate the reality that there is much more that unites us than divides us. Part Three: Prosperity should be a product of empowering people, not the government, which mostly is to be realized through the Free Market System, building a workforce for tomorrow instead of yesterday, and taking advantage of one of the things that made our country great, which is that we are a nation of immigrants. Part Four: Enemies should fear us, and friends should love us, which is to say that we should be nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys (What a concept!), and further that we should prepare for the wars of tomorrow, and not those of yesterday. Part Five: We must take advantage of technology before it takes advantage of us – which is to say that Cyberwarfare is the likely Cold War Battle to be fought in the future, because that is what China and Russia are engaging in today. In that regard, Congressman Hurd quoted the chair and vice chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, who said: “In the next decade, the United States is in danger of losing its global leadership in AI and its innovation edge. That edge is a foundation of our economic prosperity, military power, and ultimately the freedoms we enjoy. Then Mr. Hurd concludes with the statement that “We need two political parties that can engage in a competition of ideas rather than gotcha politics of fear. We need national leaders willing to lead and ensure we are addressing our domestic issues in a way that allows us to put our financial house in order, to have the resources necessary to take on this generation-defining challenge. We need a foreign policy that shows our friends that we have their backs and puts fear in our enemies.”

Congressman Hurd has convinced me that he is a leader who can do and has done all of these things. So, since I had not “hurd” of him before April 20, and I anticipate that you have not as well, I wanted to pass along his name and the title of his book to you so that you can also become more optimistic about our country’s future. It really worked for me.

Old Swahili proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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