Tusli Gabbard by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has something of a fan base, and quite a bit of it resides in the center and the right. It’s a fandom that the left has, on multiple occasions, highlighted in order to throw around wild accusations that, in a sane world, would be laughed off the moment it reached someone’s ears.

The right clearly has a soft spot for Gabbard, and it’s not hard to see why. She’s the only Democrat who seems to have at least one hand gripping reality, will answer questions other Democrats seem afraid to, and will talk with people at places other Democrats consider themselves above going to.

But she’s still a Democrat.

Gabbard’s in an interesting place. She knows Republicans will never vote for her, and it’s unlikely that Democrats will flock to her.

Why? The Democrat establishment doesn’t like Gabbard. That much is clear.

Last night during the debate, it took nearly 30 minutes for the moderators to get to Gabbard, and when they did, it was to make her explain herself about negative comments she made about the Democratic party, namely Hillary Clinton.

“Congresswoman Gabbard, you have criticized Hillary Clinton as the, quote, personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party. What is the rot you see in the Democratic Party?” MSNBC moderator Ashley Parker asked Gabbard.

Gabbard didn’t try to walk anything back. She charged forward and said something you’re not allowed to say about the self-proclaimed lords and masters of our society.

“That our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by and for the people,” said Gabbard. “It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy, by the military-industrial complex, and other greedy corporate interests. I’m running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, takes it out of their hands and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country.”

Moderators didn’t ask her to elaborate or give her a follow-up question about policy. They immediately threw it to Sen. Kamala Harris, the woman whose chances at becoming a serious 2020 contender were ruined by Gabbard thanks to a quick highlight of Harris’s corrupt history as California’s AG.

Interestingly, Harris seemed to be ready to be called on and immediately launched into an attack on Gabbard that, frankly, seemed more prepared than off the cuff. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but watching it at the moment, it felt like this was something that was arranged beforehand.

The Democrat establishment clearly has it out for Gabbard as evidenced by its willingness to accuse her of being a Russian asset for daring to disagree with Clinton. It’s not beyond the realm of believability to think that the media would attempt to help in taking down Gabbard. It’s not like they haven’t been doing so off the debate stage.

(READ: Tulsi Gabbard Is Fighting Off the Leftist Mainstream Media As they Run Defense for Kamala Harris)

They certainly do it with Republicans all the time.

Interestingly, that spat with Harris was the only speaking time Gabbard would be given in the first half of the debate and she was given little time to speak on any issue, especially foreign policy, which was her campaign focus. By the time it was all said and done, Gabbard had less than four minutes of speaking time, only outpacing the forgotten Andrew Yang by a few seconds.

Amy Klobuchar, whom Gabbard is beating in the polls, had three minutes more speaking time if that tells you anything.

Watching Gabbard speak, conservatives can find a few things to relate to Gabbard with as she does take moderate positions on various subjects. However, those things are few. Gabbard is still a Democrat who wants to ban “assault weapons,” is pro-abortion, wants to jack the minimum wage up to $15, and thinks medicare for all is a good idea.

The thing is, many conservatives already know this.

During the course of the debates last night, I was often commenting about the treatment of Gabbard at the hands of the moderators and her fellow Democrats. So were many other peers of mine in the conservative journalist/commentator circle. Every time I would point out something about Gabbard, I would receive a few messages reminding me that Gabbard is still a progressive Democrat.

Yeah, I know. We all know. In a hypothetical matchup between Trump and Gabbard, I would go after Gabbard with everything I have. So would every other conservative standing up for Gabbard.

The question is, why do we stand up for Gabbard?

There are a handful of reasons.

For one, we see something of a turn back to a Democrat Party that hasn’t gone as far off the deep end. While it pleases us to no end that the left has made itself so radical that they’ve become unelectable, the fact that it still exists as it does is still having an effect on our society. Between transgender insanity, economic nonsense, and radical violence, it would be nice to see the left return to something that is workable. While Tulsi is still progressive in her own right, we feel like she’s got a much more firm grip on reality.

On a personal note, I think that should she ever be granted autonomy, her positions would become more moderate than they currently are up on that Democratic debate stage.

Secondly, conservatives see their fight against the Democrats and its lapdog media in Gabbard, and we sympathize. We see ourselves in Gabbard. She is proof positive that the Democrats will shred anyone they find remotely inconvenient, and do so with unfair and unfounded attacks. We see Gabbard saying things that are inconvenient for Democrats to hear, and they hate her for it. We love her for it, and they hate Gabbard even more for that.

What’s more, Gabbard is actually willing to speak to us. One of Harris’s attacks on Gabbard was that she dared go on Fox News. That Gabbard is willing to reach out to people who disagree with her by going onto networks that are, for the most part, politically oppositional while the others sneer at her from the safety of their elitist bubbles is a point on the board for her character. We take the attack on Gabbard for talking to us as a personal attack and are willing to stand up for Gabbard because of it.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend is a common sentiment among humans, and this is the relationship with Gabbard and conservatives. We know she’s not one of us and we would never dream of putting her in power, but that doesn’t stop us from cheering her on from the sidelines from time to time.