By Arlen Grossman
“Trump… Nikki Haley…Mike Pompeo… The people around John Bolton. These people are advocating for strengthening our economy, and if the only way they can do that is by building that economy based on building and selling weapons to countries that are using them to slaughter and murder innocent people, then we need new leaders in this country. The American people deserve better than that.” — Tulsi Gabbard
More and more I’m liking Tulsi Gabbard. She is a young, passionate candidate with progressive ideas. What makes Gabbard stand out among the other Democratic candidates is her willingness to strongly call out the military-industrial complex and its never-ending wars.
Gabbard is a 38-year-old four-term congresswoman from Hawaii. She was deployed in Iraq and Kuwait and currently serves as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She is certainly not your typical presidential candidate. She was born in American Samoa and is a practicing Hindu.
Her military experience gives her some cred when she decries military intervention. She wants the U.S. to disengage from foreign wars and focus on peacemaking. For this reason, this makes her an outlier among other elected officials, Democrat or Republican. It makes her toxic to the mainstream ruling class and corporate media. And it guarantees she will never come close to becoming president.
Gabbard checks off on all the progressive policy positions. She supports Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, campaign finance reform, reforming Glass-Steagall to rein in the big banks, free college tuition, criminal justice reform, and most every other domestic progressive policy.
It is in the area of foreign policy that she most departs from the other candidates. Asked if there were any wars that justified the use of US military force, Gabbard cited World War II as her only example. She has said, “When it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk,” but “when it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove.” Tulsi’s website states her belief that “the United States would be far better off spending the trillions of dollars wasted in interventionist wars on more pressing domestic issues in America, like infrastructure, college debt, healthcare, etc.”
Her views are really not radical at all. They are largely a refection of what the public believes. A J.Wallin Opinion Research survey last year revealed that 71 percent of Americans believed Congress should pass legislation that restrained military action. 86.4 percent believe the military should be used only as a last resort. And 63.9 percent of those polled felt that military aid, both money and weapons, should not be provided to regimes like Saudi Arabia—the West’s top ally in the Arab world.
Unfortunately, her positions on military policy guarantee she will not be considered a viable candidate for president. The powers that be are not in favor of anyone who is not strong on military issues. I don’t expect her to be a contender, but I wish she could be.
Tulsi Gabbard at CNN Debate
Arlen Grossman, I disagree with Tulsi Gabbard politically. However, her commitment to peace is to her credit. On the matter of capital punishment, if someone in a premeditated manner takes the life of another via murder, the guilty party has forfeited by default his or her right to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness.
I would hope humanity has evolved enough to refrain from killing prisoners. In addition, we could be wrong. Innocent people have often been imprisoned.
Arlen Grossman, Tulsi Gabbard’s commitment to peace causes her to have some appeal in my book. My only area of disagreement with her, as well as many people on the Left is on the tax issue. Given government’s inability to effectively manage our money well, why does the government deserve any more from us?
Oh, please. Voter suppression is laughable and absurd.
No, Ragnar, it’s very real and well-documented. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/21/trump-adviser-republicans-voter-suppression
Arlen Grossman, voter suppression is just a myth. Voter apathy is the real problem.
How can voter suppression be a myth when there is so much evidence of it?
Arlen Grossman, I will look into this matter further. If you can provide me with any examples that you believe to be relevant, I welcome them.
Obama won overwhelmingly, by too much for the GOP vote suppression to work.
Arlen Grossman, I disagree with Tulsi Gabbard politically. However, I like her commitment to peace. Just my thoughts.
Yes, Tulsi has the best foreign affairs policy of any candidate.
Arlen Grossman, Tulsi Gabbard had argued that there should be no voter ID to be presented at the ballot box, claiming that it was a form of voter suppression. Really? An ID to vote would suppress the vote? I find that hard to believe.
Ragnar, I’m sure you’re aware the Republicans have made a strong effort to restrict and suppress votes among likely Democratic voters. What do you think they are afraid of?
Arlen Grossman, if that was true, why was Barack Obama elected to 2 terms as President?
After writing this, I have reconsidered what I wrote. Bernie Sanders has at least as good, if not better, a record on military (peace) issues as Gabbard. I should have done better research. Bernie, too, will have a tough time becoming president, although he has a considerably better chance than Tulsi.