My Houston friends know I’m a proud Republican. But I don’t see Democrats as the enemy.

The notion of “American exceptionalism” is under increasing scrutiny. Critics cite China’s rise, our prolonged entanglement in Middle East conflicts, Russia’s new assertiveness and other factors to dispute America’s clear-cut status as the globe’s most powerful, influential and admirable nation.

I, for one, still believe in American exceptionalism. Despite its problems, the United States remains the brightest beacon of freedom, democracy, opportunity and rule of law.

But a crucial underpinning of that status is eroding, and it will profoundly weaken us domestically and abroad if we don’t address it soon. I’m speaking of bipartisanship: the willingness of individuals and political parties to fiercely advocate for their beliefs but ultimately acknowledge that some give-and-take is essential if we’re to reap anything but scorched earth.

Zeidman is Chairman of Gordian Group and Cofounder of No Labels. Contributions to the No Labels 501(c)(4) are unlimited and not publicly disclosed.

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