By S.T. Patrick
Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is now officially an Independent, as she has formally left the Democratic Party, calling the leaders of the party an “elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.”
Genuine public servants generally have enough self-respect to leave Washington, D.C. rather quickly with their integrity intact. They don’t hang around the Beltway for decades, fueling their addiction for enrichment, power, and titles.
Gabbard voluntarily left Washington after having represented Hawaiians from 2013 to 2021. For three years, 2013 through 2016, she was the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a committee that was more than willing to use her identity points like notches on the dagger hilt of woke credibility.
She was the first Hindu member of Congress, the first Samoan-American voting member of Congress, and she was then a single woman (later married in 2015). She’s also a vegan, considers herself a karma yogi, and uses the Bhagavad Gita as her spiritual guidebook. Imagine how many points that was all worth to the scorekeepers of identity politics.
In 2016, she resigned from her position as vice chair of the DNC so that she could support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president. She felt as if the DNC was purposely pushing Sanders out of the spotlight by limiting national debates and openly pushing the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
Upon her departure from party leadership in 2016, then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said of Gabbard, “Congresswoman Gabbard is a role model who embodies the American ideal that anyone can dream big and make a difference.” The same DNC would turn on her when she ran for president in 2020, largely for being a different kind of Democrat, one that was more anti-corporate and pro-First Amendment than any Democratic candidate.
Rep. Gabbard is also a veteran of the U.S. military. She served in a field medical unit in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as a military police officer, and still serves as a U.S. Army Reserve officer.
Moving to 2022, the reaction from the mainstream, DNC-compliant Democrats has been the all-too-typical “good riddance.” This is now a political party that demands total blind obedience to its neo-liberal ideals.
Despite her scathing departure from the Democratic Party, Gabbard will not be joining the Republican Party. Gabbard is by no means a Republican.
In office, she campaigned for Talia’s Law, signed into law by President Barack Obama, which gave children on military bases better protections from abuse and neglect. She also introduced the Off Fossil Fuels Act, legislation aimed at transitioning away from petroleum sources of energy to 100% “clean energy” by 2035. In 2017, Gabbard introduced the Securing America’s Elections Act, which sought to require all districts to use auditable paper ballots in national elections.
Gabbard, through most of her congressional career, maintained a 100% voting record with Planned Parenthood on the issue of abortion and supported the return of the Glass-Steagall Act, which would have broken up large banks and strengthened protections against “predatory lending.” Gabbard has also long supported free tuition for community colleges and for four-year universities if household incomes are less than $125,000. She stood with American Indians who were protesting the construction of the final leg of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. She’s against hydraulic fracking. She’s anti-nuclear, supported the Green New Deal, and supported large expansions in Family Medical Leave. In addition, Gabbard maintained a 0% voting record with the Hawaii chapter of the National Rifle Association and a 100% record with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
In addition, she signed legislation to require genetically modified food labeling, was a member of the House LGBTQ+ Caucus, supports sex work decriminalization, supports eliminating corporate tax breaks for offshoring, and worked to strengthen laws on women’s issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Gabbard also believes that there is an inequity between the pay of men and women, and she co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to assist in closing that gap.
Unable to fathom her Independent stances, Hillary Clinton and others have called her a “Russian asset” or an “intelligence asset” of Vladimir Putin. And Democrats will also never forgive her for not harboring the acceptable level of hate for Donald Trump required of all Democrats in 2022.
Gabbard is leaving the Democratic Party—and not joining the Republican Party—because she hates war and loves the First Amendment. Gabbard has been a vocal supporter of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning. She strongly opposes regime change, though she is often misclassified as an “isolationist.”
Matt Taibbi, then of Rolling Stone magazine, wrote, “She’s not an isolationist. She’s simply opposed to bombing the crap out of, and occupying foreign countries for no apparent positive strategic objective beyond enriching contractors.” She’s against first-use nuclear weapons and supports legislation that would ban first-use. Does this sound like a neoconservative that would be at-home in a think tank with war hawks such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Bolton? Thus, she cannot join the Republican Party as it, too, is too pro-war.
She has also supported amendments to defense bills that would “ban torture … ban these enhanced interrogation techniques … and will continue to strongly oppose torture and the use of those techniques.”
Rep. Gabbard supported auditing the Federal Reserve, reforming a broken criminal justice system, and legalizing cannabis. She is also, as a First Amendment advocate, an opponent of today’s cancel culture that the DNC continues to support through its advocacy of censorship of its opponents on online platforms.
Gabbard said, “Today’s Democratic Party does not believe in our constitutionally protected right of free speech. Fostering freedom of thought and diversity of expression is the very foundation of any flourishing democracy.”
If anything, she wanted to bring the Democratic Party back to a more ideologically loyalist collective rather than a Hate Trump Party. In Gabbard’s view, the push to continue Hillary’s career, the addiction to Russiagate, and the devotion to wokeism made her former party unrecognizable. They would not allow her to reform from within, so she left—for herself, not for the GOP.