Tulsi Gabbard has quit the Democratic Party and attacked her former colleagues with a left-right mashup of anti-white racial accusations and warmongering on the way out. The anti-woke and anti-war former congressman from Hawaii did not appear to fit in well with the Squad, much less the party of Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden.
It is Gabbard’s independent streak that has made her a regular guest on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. Previously, she was the vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a candidate for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had called her “an emerging star,” and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) had called her “wonderful” and “an extraordinary political talent.”
Even when she was at her most liberal, many conservatives considered Gabbard as an important member of the left-right coalition against political correctness. She also opposed the United States’ protracted conflicts in the Middle East, with which she was personally familiar as a former military member.
However, that wasn’t the start of Gabbard’s unusual political path. Her father, a former Republican and rather ardent social conservative, served as a state legislator for Hawaii for the last 15 years. She initially held such opinions, most divisively over same-sex marriage and associated LGBT issues, but as she advanced in Democratic politics, she gradually began to renounce them.
Frequently, Gabbard’s justification for the change consisted of saying “aloha.” She did, however, provide Vogue with a more thorough response in a 2013 profile. I adore my folks, remarked Gabbard. “However, while serving in the Middle East, I witnessed firsthand the incredibly detrimental results of a government trying to serve as a moral judge for its citizens. Government shouldn’t meddle in matters that are so deeply personal, like a woman’s freedom to choose or who she chooses to spend the rest of her life with.
Despite her current reputation, Gabbard occasionally disagreed with former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, as was emphasized in a 2015 National Review feature. Eliana Johnson and Brendan Bordelon’s article said the “Congresswoman from Hawaii has endeared herself to right-wing hawks,” and it included complimentary quotations from prominent A.E.I. figures Arthur Brooks and Danielle Pletka.
These factors have led to liberals’ frequent mistrust of Gabbard, despite the fact that Democratic leaders initially saw her as a rising star. Despite her overwhelmingly liberal voting record—she has a lifetime ACU rating of just 7.63%—and her support for socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) 2016 presidential campaign, sly remarks in media interviews suggesting she saw the party as too extreme on abortion or too intolerant of other views reinforced those worries.
As Gabbard criticized the progressive and civil libertarian credentials of prominent Democratic politicians like Harris and Hillary Clinton, those left-wing misgivings grew greater. I’m not making any predictions, but I believe they have Gabbard in mind as a potential third-party candidate while she is still in the Democratic primary, according to Clinton. She is the Russians’ favorite.
In the general election for president in 2020, Gabbard supported Biden. These appear to be instances of political opportunism to Gabbard’s detractors. But amid a time of political divisiveness and profound discontent with the country’s course, she could speak for many who have lost faith in the two-party system. The more centrist form of this tendency was represented by fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has since left the party.
Gabbard is a member of this political movement’s more anti-establishment wing, which has combined refugees from Bernie Sanders’s Democratic and former Rep. Ron Paul’s Republican presidential campaigns with some supporters of former President Donald Trump. Joe Rogan appeals to this crowd just as much as Tucker Carlson, who frequently hosts Tulsi Gabbard on his show along with other disillusioned leftists like Glenn Greenwald.
Warfare resistance, corporate or governmental wokeness, Big Tech censorship, and a general mistrust of authority all serve to bind the group together. It was detrimental to Gabbard’s political career.