The 2016 election has been bad for politics. Americans, especially millennials, don’t trust either of the major party’s candidates, the establishment of either party or the mainstream media.
Very few politicians rose above the fray and put principles above partisanship; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is one of them.
Gabbard has become the voice of disenfranchised Democrats who are concerned about everything from foreign policy to the environment.
Almost from the beginning, Gabbard stood as an outsider. In 2015, she criticized President Obama for refusing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terror.” But don’t call her a war hawk, the Hawaii Congresswoman endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary in part because of Hillary Clinton’s unhealthy appetite for military intervention.
Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq War, had to resign her leadership position on the Democratic National Committee. She refused to remain silent during the party’s primary and criticized Clinton’s record on foreign policy.
“Secretary Clinton has a record and positions that will take us into a future that will include more interventionist wars of regime change,” Gabbard said to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in March 2016.
“This is something that’s deeply personal to me, I lost friends in that Iraq War in 2005 during my deployment there,” she continued. “I saw in my job in a medical unit, every day that high human cost, and now here in my job in Congress that economic toll that continues.”
Clinton donors sent Gabbard angry letters for believing in her personal convictions instead of the party’s interest in nominating Clinton.
Even after the primary, she announced that she intended to vote for Clinton but refused to give up on her position against military intervention.
“Moving forward, as a veteran and someone who knows firsthand the cost of war, I am going to continue to push for an end to counterproductive interventionist wars and lead our country toward a path toward peace,” Gabbard said to the Honolulu Star.
She continued with her criticism and successfully petitioned moderator Chris Wallace to ask Clinton and Trump during the third presidential debate about their position on a no-fly zone, which could lead to war with Russia. For the record, the Democratic nominee continued her support for the no-fly zone, while Trump opposed it.
RT if you believe @FoxNews’ Chris Wallace needs to ask: Are you willing to attack Russian/Syrian air defense/planes for a no-fly/safe zone?— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2016
In the #debate, Chris Wallace must ask Clinton/Trump: Is overthrowing the Syrian government worth risking US-Russia war?— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2016
Gabbard is also a staunch supporter of other progressive issues such as the environment and breaking up big banks like Wells Fargo.
While I don’t agree with Gabbard on all her issues, the Hawaii Congresswoman has earned my deepest respect.