Bipartisanship is a term that gets tossed around oh so often in the current climate. It's an ideal look at the U.S. political system; a state of being in which both opposing parties work in America's best interest, rather than each other's. Seldom, however, do examples of such popup and actually produce something. In most cases, Republican politicians stay in their red lanes and Democratic candidates their blues ones.
This, however, is not the case between Beto O'Rourke and Will Hurd representatives from Texas.
In March 2017, O'Rourke, then a Texas representative and Democrat traveled 1,600 miles from San Antonio, Texas to Washington D.C. in order to make a congressional vote. Their trip made headlines in the media and cast waves across social media with users sending in questions and comments to the pair as they made way during their 36-hour trip.
It became evident as they made their journey that the barriers between political parties operate more similarly to borders. They shared their candid conversations on policy and legislation, but also more personal details like taste in music.
Their trip, unlike most interactions between parties, was genuine and conclusive. This engagement produced a rare positive news story everyone agreed with.
Following the trip, O'Rourke and Hurd expressed how they became friends and what the experience did for them. Unlike most interactions in the floor of Congress, they were able to civilly reach agreements on policy most notably immigration. Leading into the 2018 midterm elections Hurd even recused himself from campaigning for the Republican Senate nominee due to his newfound friendship with O'Rourke.
Fast-forward to present times and O'Rourke has put his hat in the ring as one of the many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. So naturally, his fellow Texan, Rep. Hurd, was asked about who he would give his support to in the upcoming election. However, instead of calling back to his newfound friendship Hurd gave the ever so tiresome response of "My plan is to vote for the Republican nominee."
Now to say that the push and pull of a two-party system is a complete detriment to political relations in the U.S. may be a bit of an overstatement, but one of the founding fathers of the nation held the sentiment that the existence of political parties "agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection."
To put it plainly, blind partisan loyalty is a serious threat to democracy. It takes the agency out of policymakers and the power away from the people. To wholeheartedly decide that whoever the GOP has decided to push forth as their presidential candidate will serve yourself and your constituents in the best possible way is- ridiculous. It is a belief that is independent of reality.
Congressmen and women, be it Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. are chosen to ensure that the legislature best serves the people of the United States, and if not to make changes. The political office should not be boiled down to Democrats only, or my way or else. Policy and legislature affect real people's lives and Rep. Hurd deciding that only a Republican nominee should run the country is rash.
Rash is the last thing America needs heading into the 2020 election.