Tulsi Gabbard, A Dark Horse Presidential Candidate

Tulsi Gabbard, A Dark Horse Presidential Candidate

Nakul Suresh, Contributor

An Iraq war veteran. A major in the army national guard. A seven-year Hawaii congresswoman. Tulsi Gabbard is the epitome of an American patriot. But why is she the Democratic establishment’s prime target to smear?

Congresswoman Gabbard has been falsely accused of being homophobic, an Assad apologist and most recently a Russian asset.

As a result of being raised in a religious household, she advocated for anti-gay policies at the dawn of her career in the early 2000s. However, her time in the military led her to soul search as she

“saw first-hand the negative impact of a government attempting to act as a moral arbiter for their people, dictating in the most personal ways how they must live their lives.”

— Tulsi Gabbard

Despite having a consistent voting record supporting LGBT rights in Congress, Tulsi’s Democratic adversaries don’t hesitate to raise her past opinions in order to tarnish her reputation.

In addition, arguably the most popular smear used against Tulsi is her willingness to communicate with leaders around the world, regardless of the atrocities they have committed in their respective countries. Congresswoman Gabbard traveled to Syria in 2017 to better understand the geopolitical conflict in the region. Nevertheless, Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad and his image as a war criminal stuck to Gabbard like glue and has remained a hot point of criticism for the presidential hopeful.  Discourse with world leaders about common conflict is instrumental in diplomacy. Certain Democratic elites like to portray the logical fallacy that mere association with Assad is enough to presume treason. They fail to realize the power in understanding other nations’ perspectives and stoop to petty name calling.

Moreover, with the gray cloud of defeat still looming over Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee indirectly, yet very clearly besmirched Tulsi’s loyalty to America. Hillary claimed,

“(they’re) grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far…”

— Hillary Clinton

Those statements are very bold considering Secretary Clinton has no evidence to back it up. The attempts to tarnish Gabbard’s character have become so egregious, even some CNN anchors defend Tulsi.

Hillary’s blatant smear originated in 2016 when Tulsi resigned from her position as Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee in order to endorse Bernie Sanders. While Democratic establishment politicians considered her career move as political suicide, it indicated that Congresswoman Gabbard had her own views and was not content being a puppet for the elite. Tulsi recognized the biases and injustice involved in the DNC, leading her to stand against the Democratic establishment’s most renowned political stance: interventionism.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is steadfastly loyal to the sentiment of ending regime changing wars. She insists that the money spent on wars should instead be spent on the American people. The American people deserve better healthcare, better education and better infrastructure. In other words, she claims that America should not be the world’s policeman and should reinvest in itself. America’s past interventionism has resulted in several unanticipated consequences.

For example, the American government put in place Shah Pahlavi as the leader of Iran, against the Iranian people’s will. This led to resentment among the Iranian people, resulting in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This revolution created the current Islamic Republic of Iran, a country which resents the United States and has potential to build nuclear weapons. Another example of regime change gone wrong is Hillary Clinton’s toppling of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  Libya has still not recovered from the coup de tat and is currently a lawless land experiencing a power vacuum fed by conflict between several warring political factions. As a result, this has provided fertile ground for terrorism. Lastly, regime change wars also have potential to displace hordes of refugees. Congresswoman Gabbard served in the Iraq War, which was essentially a hunt for oil more than it was to mitigate the political power of Saddam Hussein. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees sought to enter other developed countries like the US, posing an immigration problem.

Through recognizing the foreign policy blunders of the past, Tulsi Gabbard advocates for war as a last resort, or when America has been directly threatened. Tulsi Gabbard has had first-hand experience seeing her fellow Americans perish for a war not in the American people’s best interest. In order to make American military lives less expendable, Tulsi pursues foreign policy against regime change around the world. Her brave positions against the Democratic establishment were bound to be smeared; however, her life experience certainly makes her a respectable presidential candidate worth examining.