The train-wreck that is our current administration didn’t happen overnight, the roots to many of these problems go back multiple administrations. Democrats lost plenty of seats in the House and Senate during both of Obamas mid-terms and the 2016 election continued this losing streak for the party. Though there may be many arguments about what went wrong in the past for Dems, and I have a whole piece dedicated to this topic called How to Beat Trump, it is time to correct course and look towards the future. Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard is authentic, standing strong in her values with substance and loved by the very voters who Democrats will need to inspire if they want to start winning again. A darling to many Independents, Millennials, and the Bernie Wing, Gabbard represents a new direction and vision for the party that has lost its way.
Though the Trump fiasco is stealing headlines, Democrats have been having their own problems. If they want to win back the Whitehouse and the midterms, focusing on Trumps failings will not be enough. They will need a new path forward, a shift away from neoliberal/Wall Street extremists who have taken over the party. They will need to restore trust with their voting base. Tulsi is one of the few who can do this for the party... if they will let her.
Some Background, Another Tough Couple of Weeks for the DNC
Sadly, establishment Democrats have continued their downward spiral and it is getting hard to watch. The lawsuit against the DNC over their conduct of the primaries has their attorney stating openly that the party can select whoever they want without honoring the words of their own charter to hold fair elections. Article 5, Section 4 of the DNC Charter states, “The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.” but the lawyer representing the DNC in court refutes this clause saying that it is not legally binding by stating:
...there’s no right to not have your candidate disadvantaged or have another candidate advantaged. There’s no contractual obligation here... we could have voluntarily decided that, look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right. -DNC attorney Bruce Spiva (full transcripts here)
Meanwhile, Democrats who despise Trump applauded his illegal military escalation in Syria. Howard Dean, who is apparently now a big supporter of Trump for the bombing, tweeted “This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress.” Meanwhile all that Gabbard did was suggest that the U.S. respect international protocol and investigate Assad before escalating instead of going down the same costly road we went down in Iraq. Her response on Twitter was priceless:
Those who’ve declared Trump a habitual liar now vilify those refusing to blindly follow him into another regime change war. Hypocrisy. — Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 10, 2017
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll recently showed that Americans have given the DNC (36%) and Clinton (35%) lower approval ratings than Trump (45%). Then Perez and the party launched their “Unity Tour” which opened with half the audience booing him while cheering wildly for Bernie Sanders. Perez is disliked because of his support for Wall Street and neoliberal policies like TPP, but also because he encouraged the Clinton Campaign to wrongfully smear Sanders during the primaries. Dianne Feinstein (who is also a supporter of Trumps Syria bombing and regime-change wars) was booed for refusing to support HR 676, Medicare for All Bill. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering that she has taken almost a half million dollars from pharmaceutical lobbyists. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is either displaying how out of touch she is or just plain lying when she stated that Democrats are united.
Now for the Good News...
The Democrats desperately need authenticity, and though many of the establishment leadership doesn’t have it, Tulsi Gabbard does! During the Democratic Primaries, Tulsi received a threatening letter that the DNC would not support her next campaign because she had the integrity to leave her post in the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders. This is one example of the ways that money is used to bully and corrupt our democracy. No campaign funding, no re-election. In Tulsi’s favor, this incident shows the courage she has to stand for her principles and place them above money or towing the party line. This did not go unnoticed by Independents, Millennials, and Bernie Supporters.
While representatives are meeting angry crowds across the country, Tulsi received a standing ovation as she entered the room for her Town Hall Meeting in Hilo, Hawaii. To say that she is loved is an understatement, and though she has a sparkling demeanor, this isn’t personality politics. This is about substance and policy. While many Americans are upset about Trumps healthcare plan, Gabbard is a co-signer on HR 676, Medicare for All. This is one area that we can get behind her by encouraging our representatives to sign on as well, and since the topic is trending, now is the perfect moment. Click here to take action!
“I supported and signed on for the Medicare for All Bill HR 676 for a few simple reasons... The ACA did some good but there was also this signature from insurance and pharmaceutical companies that existed in it... Medicare is still not allowed to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. They’re not allowed to. The VA can negotiate those prices and reduce costs for veterans but Medicare can not. I signed legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate those prices. I signed legislation that will allow us to import pharmaceuticals from Canada where they are available at a fraction of the price that we pay here. I mention each of these because our health care system is broken... So that people have access to care, not just insurance. There is an important difference.” -Rep Tulsi Gabbard at Hilo Town Hall Meeting
Gabbard has brought significant attention to the problems that interventionist wars create at home and abroad. The expensive and dangerous regime change policies supported by Bush, Obama, and Clinton actually make our country and the world less safe. Rather than alleviate suffering, they increase it. In addition to breaking international laws, these military excursions cost tax payers billions of dollars leaving less money to address domestic issues like education, healthcare, and infrastructure. That is why she has sponsored the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which you should contact your representative and urge them to also support.
Congress has not voted on or authorized this war in Syria. This war has actually been waged longer than you might think. This war in Syria did not begin with Trumps missile strike a few days ago. It began years before that when our government, your tax-payer dollars, began being used to provide arms, weapons, salaries, intelligence assistance to arm militants inside Syria who were working with and often directly under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda to overthrow the Syrian Government. We provided the support indirectly through countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar who, for their own interests want to see the Syrian Government overthrown and who provide support for these terrorist groups working towards that ends as well. So this illegal regime-change war has been waged for years and Trumps missile strike was really an escalation of this illegal war that was never debated on the House Floor, that you never had a say in, and that was never voted on so that you could hold your leaders accountable for it. Part of the problem here is that, over the years, Congress has ceded its’ authority to the Executive Branch because too many people are afraid of being on the record. They don’t want to be held accountable. So I’ve introduced legislation to deal with the issue I’ve just talked about. The CIA has been waging this war by providing this support directly to armed militants working with terrorist groups. My bill is called the Stop Arming Terrorists Act and it will prevent your tax dollars from being used to provide armed militant groups who are working with terrorist groups. -Tulsi Gabbard at Hilo Town Hall Meeting
Republican Senator Rand Paul has co-signed the bill with her, and any Republicans or Democrats who refuse to sign onto a bill titled Stop Arming Terrorists should be scrutinized by their constituents. The fact that she is drawing bipartisan support also shows that she knows how to get the job done. The American People are ready for leadership that is fresh, that isn’t entrenched in personality or party politics. The values keep flipping across the aisle as we saw the Democratic candidate (Clinton) standing on a platform of more war and costly intervention, and a Republican candidate (Trump) standing against regime-change wars during the campaign.
Millennial Youtube Star, An0maly made a recent video about Tulsi’s speech in Hilo. This exemplifies the way that the upcoming generation utilizes media, and ignores party lines. An0maly stays focused on policy, praising or cursing both Republicans and Democrats based on this criteria rather than being distracted by personalities or party lines. This is what we can expect from young voters in the coming elections, and it would be wise for any party interested in winning to take note of this. An0maly naturally supports Gabbard on a number of issues because of her direct, no-nonsense, principled demeanor and because she is a veteran who is working for peace in a world on the verge of potentially catastrophic war.
The majority of Americans want peace just like the majority of Americans want access to affordable healthcare, and we need individuals who are willing to stand for these principles fearless of party lines, or the corruption that comes from big money. Tulsi has showed us that she is this type of leader. She also has strong stances on net neutrality, sustainability, Wall Street Reform and other issues that are important to Millennials, Independents, Republicans and Democrats alike. You can learn more about her at her website.
In 2016 The Democratic Party and many of its’ followers held a stance that they didn’t need support from Independents, Millennials, or Bernie Fans and instead tried to appeal to the Conservative Base. This strategy failed miserably for Democrats and our nation. It is time for Democrats to get the message, to start getting behind new, authentically progressive voices in the party, and listen to those who are tired of war and neoliberal policies. Many Democrats, still sour over their recent defeat are taking the wrong approach when they defend Clinton, or make excuses for the policies that cost them the White House in 2016.
We cannot further the cause of peace and understanding without meeting with people who we disagree with. -Tulsi Gabbard at Hilo Town Hall Meeting
This is where you come in! It’s time to stop complaining about Trump and start getting behind the few representatives, and the bills they are putting forth that represent the interests of the American People. Too many leaders on both sides of the aisle have a deeper allegiance to private interests than to the public they are sworn to represent. It is bigger than the person in the White House, we must pressure Congress to do its’ job, and people like Tulsi Gabbard are holding up a light to show us the way forward.