Amid a crowded Democratic presidential field packed with unimposing candidates struggling to separate themselves from the pack, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has staked out a unique identity for herself. She appears to be the one Democrat who makes her party’s establishment most uncomfortable.
Gabbard is staunchly anti-war and opposed to the rampant overseas interventionism that has characterized the past 30 years of American foreign policy. Not too long ago, she would have found a warm welcome in a Democratic Party promoting a “Bush lied” storyline. But Democrats today are committed to attacking President Trump any way they can. Their Mueller probe fixation has pushed them into an unspoken alliance with Republican neoconservatives who have long championed a belligerent U.S. foreign policy against Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Gabbard is not shy about calling out her fellow Dems for their reckless saber-rattling with a major nuclear power just so they can portray Trump as Russia’s puppet.
Warning Her Own Party
In a very interesting yet largely ignored interview with liberal freelance reporter Michael Tracey, Gabbard explained just why her campaign is seen as poison by so many on the progressive left. She is quite simply not willing to abandon her anti-hawkish foreign policy beliefs to facilitate political attacks against Trump. This has made her a target for the same kind of outlandish conspiracy theories that have been directed at the president.
“It’s the foreign policy establishment and the influence of the military industrial complex combined that is threatened by my candidacy, the issues that I’m raising, the facts that I’m bringing forward about the devastatingly negative consequences of the policies that they’ve been perpetuating,” Gabbard told Tracey.
The candidate feels she is being portrayed as a fringe candidate because she opposes U.S. military adventurism abroad:
“If you disagree with my position, that’s fine, let’s have a real conversation about that. But instead, they are resorting to name-calling and smear tactics and superficial attacks that have nothing to do with the cost of war and who pays the price.”
Gabbard has been horrified by the Trump-Russia collusion theater of the past few years and its potentially disastrous effects on foreign relations. She is not hesitant to blame her fellow party members for fanning the flames of hostility with Russia merely so they could pursue partisan advantage against Trump.
“This is what happens when you put politics over the interests of the people,” Gabbard said. “This heightened rhetoric that has pushed us to this point where we are seeing increased tensions. Where we are seeing Trump reacting to all of these accusations that are being made so he can prove that he is not Putin’s puppet. And it’s leading us down a very dangerous path,” she told Tracey. “
So I’ve expressed these concerns to many of my Democratic colleagues.”
“If you’re talking about us being at war with the other major nuclear-armed country in the world … Further isolating Russia, further shutting down lines of communication and the actions that are being taken to escalate these tensions are all things that make our country less safe and make the world less safe given the nuclear implications involved.
“So yes, there are Democrats who are responsible for this. Who are not taking seriously the implications of a lot of the rhetoric that’s being used. There are a lot [of people] in the media who are responsible for this because they are doing things and saying things that are further deepening the divide and further heightening these tensions, throwing around words without interest on what those consequences are, or really what the facts are.”
A Sensible Voice
When asked how Dem colleagues have responded to her sentiments, Gabbard tellingly replied, “Some have been dismissive, and I think others really don’t care to take the time to understand the implications, which is just unfortunate.”
An announced Democratic presidential candidate is saying members of her political party don’t care that they are risking World War III with Russia as long as they get their shots in on Trump. Why isn’t the media reporting this?
Gabbard comes to the heart of the major problem afflicting Democrats today when she decries the inability of many Americans to work with those who don’t share their political beliefs.
“If we’re not willing to have conversations with people who we don’t agree with, or people we don’t like, or people, who are on the quote-unquote, ‘other side,’ how do we ever make progress in this country?” she asked Tracey.
“How do we ever bring about change? If we only sit in rooms and talk with people who we agree with, then the possibility for progress is non-existent.”
As the Democratic Party continues to become more shrill in its hard-left turn, is it any wonder that a calm, sensible voice warning against the real world consequences of hyper-partisanship would be the last thing they want to hear on a primary debate platform? With 20 or so other candidates all parroting inane party talking points, Tulsi Gabbard may be just what a dull, ideas-bereft Dem presidential field needs. Which is why she will continue to be vilified by those who do not want to see her on that stage.