O’Rourke warns of threat from Trump: 'What's happening now is part of a larger threat to us all'

Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeOvernight Defense: 2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran deal | Trump appeals ruling on male-only draft | Kudlow claims Iran sanctions won't hike oil prices Castro wants to follow Obama's lead on balancing presidency with fatherhood Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds MORE (D-Texas) on Sunday warned of a threat posed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE, saying that the current government shutdown is "part of a larger threat to us all."

O'Rourke, writing in a post on Medium, suggested that the shutdown may have been "intended to happen" because Trump faces a number of dilemmas, including special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into Russia's election interference and a tumbling stock market.

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"But my concern for the country goes beyond the immediate pain and dysfunction that this shutdown will cause. Beyond even ensuring that this President is held accountable. What’s happening now is part of a larger threat to us all," he wrote.

He added that "if there’s no way to count on government even functioning (three shutdowns this year alone), then perhaps ultimately we become open to something else."

"Whatever we choose to call it, whether we openly acknowledge it at all, my fear is that we will choose certainty, strength and predictability over this constant dysfunction, even if it comes at the price of our democracy (the press; the ballot box; the courts; congress and representative government)," he wrote. 

He added that "if there were ever a man to exploit this precarious moment for our country and our form of government," it would be Trump.

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Saturday after lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement on Trump's demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border.

O'Rourke, who is considering running for the presidency in 2020 and is viewed as a potential favorite, also said that the U.S. is "at risk of losing those things that make us special" and called for people to put "country over party."

"This is not about a wall, it’s not about border security, it’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about the future of our country – whether our children and grandchildren will thank us or blame us," he wrote.