This former GOP congressman believes that non-MAGA Republicans could prevail in 2024

This former GOP congressman believes that non-MAGA Republicans could prevail in 2024
Former Rep. Will Hurd, image via screengrab

One of the chapters of Will Hurd’s new book “American Reboot: An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done” has a title that speaks volumes about the former GOP congressman’s view of the Trumpifed Republican Party. The chapter is titled “Don’t Be an Asshole, Racist, Misogynist, or Homophobe,” and it’s written as an open letter to fellow Republicans. But unlike all the non-MAGA conservatives who have given up on the Republican Party, Hurd isn’t convinced that extremists will prevail in the GOP in 2024.

According to The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta, Hurd is considering running for president as a Republican in 2024 — and he believes he could run as a moderate conservative and win.

In an article published by The Atlantic on March 28, Alberta writes, “Hurd’s book is notable for many reasons — his personal and professional journeys are legitimately compelling — but most of all, for its rebuke of America’s proportionality problem.… Hurd argues that we are woefully unprepared for what is coming our way…. His subtext is plain enough: To confront these challenges, Hurd’s colleagues in the Republican Party might need to rethink their fixation on transgender athletes and critical race theory.”

When Hurd decided not to seek reelection in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District in 2020, it reflected his dissatisfaction with the GOP’s far-right direction and obsession with culture war issues. Hurd told Alberta, “Everyone treats everything these days like it’s some damn emergency, and it’s got to stop. We’re going to be dealing with issues that are so complicated and so life-altering that they make the stuff we’re dealing with right now look like tickle fights.”

Many Never Trumpers would argue that Hurd is living in a fantasy world if he believes that he can run for president as a moderate Republican in 2024 and win, but as Hurd sees it, there is still a market for conservatives who aren’t extremists.

Alberta writes, “The overwhelming majority of conservative people in this country, Hurd says, are not watching Fox News every night or imbibing conspiracy theories online. They are not politically neurotic. In fact, they may have never voted in a primary to choose a nominee for president — and that’s the point.”

Hurd, according to Alberta, “isn’t just hinting at a campaign against Trumpism; he’s suggesting an assault on the structural realities of the Republican Party.”

The San Antonio Republican (who was the only African-American Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives) told Alberta, “Look, if you’re a left-wing nut or a right-wing nut, you’re probably not going to smell what I’m cooking. But most people aren’t nuts. They want to solve problems. They want to make this century an American century. They are normal people who want normal leaders.”

Nonetheless, Hurd, according to Alberta, realizes that changing the direction of the Trumpified Republican Party wouldn’t be easy.

“Hurd is the definition of a boom-or-bust candidate,” Alberta explains. “He could go all the way to the White House; he could also go nowhere fast. Everything we know about politics in the Trump era suggests that the second outcome is far likelier than the first, but Hurd says he’s not worried about that. Because the only thing worse than being defeated is being desperate.”

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