In the sea of 2020 Democratic candidates opposing Trump, only Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard finds that she has both Democrats and Republicans nodding along with her from time to time. Gabbard is in no way a candidate that conservative would vote into office, but they do have a sweet spot for her and it comes from the simple fact that, unlike the rest of her leftist colleagues, Gabbard has principles.
Gabbard has a habit of defying Democratic orthodoxy and has had this penchant of ruffling the feathers of the Democratic establishment for some time. She defied the DNC during the 2016 elections by resigning from her post as vice-chair when it was discovered that the DNC had rigged 2016 for Hillary Clinton, and endorsed Bernie Sanders as a result. She’s also wasn’t a big fan of Obama’s foreign policy and made it clear that the U.S. engaging in foreign regime changes has to stop.
She even committed a taboo on the left by accusing her fellow lawmakers of “religious bigotry” when they questioned Brian Buescher, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, about his connections to the Knights of Columbus.
To be clear, Gabbard holds many positions that a Democrat would. She’s an environmentalist that opposes nuclear plants, she wants gun control, is pro-abortion, and likes the idea of Medicare for all. Again, she’s not being considered as a candidate by any conservative, but when it comes to a Democrat that could be worked with, Conservatives feel comfortable with Gabbard. They can, at least, work with her.
It’s not her stances that Republicans and Libertarians love, it’s her character.
This should be solid news for Democrats, especially those moderates looking for someone they feel wouldn’t cave to the radicalism that has infected the party and are actually considering voting for Trump.
But it’s that radicalism that has infected the party that will see to it that Gabbard’s candidacy never sees the light of day. In fact, the new unofficial powers-that-be in the Democratic party have turned on Gabbard and are doing everything in their power to scare Democrats away from her.
The Daily Beast, Jacobin, and even major networks like CNN have been casting shade toward Gabbard in one form or another. The Daily Beast attempted to cast Gabbard as a friend of the “far-right.” CNN and MSNBC attempted to nail Gabbard to the wall on her meeting with Middle-East dictator Bashar As-Assad. Gabbard was forced to defend herself by saying that this was peace effort to prevent more senseless war with the goal of protecting more of her brothers and sisters in uniform from dying.
Interestingly enough, the mainstream hit on Gabbard came after she swept the legs out from California’s Kamala Harris, which was the mainstream media’s favorite candidate at the time.
Between her resistance to the idea of open borders, her wish to audit the fed, her hardline stances on fighting back terrorism, and more, she has found herself to be something of a hated step-child by the hard-left Democrats that currently rule the party. This is bad news for Democrats. If the lumbering machine would shrug off radicalism and put its weight behind Gabbard, it would attract moderates back to their tent and give the left some credibility back.
It wouldn’t be a complete turnaround for it, but it would be a good start.
Still, in this way, Gabbard is a dark mark on the Democrats. As the question of coming back to the middle is asked around the party, Gabbard is the answer staring them in the face, and they’re refusing to look at her in any serious capacity, even as she’s consistently the most searched for candidate after debates. From the perspective of those in the middle and those on the right, this isn’t a good look. It’s a sign that the Democrat party has fallen to infection and that the options in 2020 are between Trump and idealistic insanity.
No matter how you slice it, Gabbard is having an effect, and the left has to choose whether or not that effect will benefit them or hurt them.