Tulsi Gabbard: Campaigning for the presidency

Lark Commanday

GRAHAM DANO, COLUMNIST

Before the first primary of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary, the field has begun to thin out somewhat.

Two major candidates have recently announced they are dropping out of the race-Julian Castro, former Housing and Ur- ban Development (HUD) Secretary under President Obama, and Kamala Harris, a US senator and former prosecutor from California.

Both candidates mentioned are racial minorities, and with their dropping out of the race, there has been a much-needed criticism that the current slate candidates are not racially diverse enough.

While this is true if you are solely looking at the frontrunners, the media generally does not acknowledge that there are two minority candidates left in the race that have established their reputations with the American public.

They are well-known outside of their states as strong progressives who care about promoting “the general welfare” that the Preamble to the United States Constitution speaks so strongly about.

These two candidates are Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. I would not hesitate to cast my ballot for any of the candidates running against the Trump administration. My current choice for the nomination would have to be Gabbard.

Tulsi is better than Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice-President Joe Biden, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg on foreign policy by a long shot.

According to Gabbard’s website, most of the accusations of her being “Islamophobic” are just smears from the Democratic establishment, which is still trying to prevent a Bernie Sanders-type candidate from gaining momentum again.

According to the Washington Examiner, The DNC would rather hand the nomination to a centrist candidate such as Joe Biden or Senator Amy Kloubachar, and have the Party lose rather than select a candidate who dares defy the Democratic mold.

Not only is this a disingenuous way to conduct a political campaign 10 months out from the general election, it denies the voters a chance to hear the candidates’ actual, current policies.

I say “current” because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were once opposed to gay marriage, and Tulsi was once as well back in the early 2000s.

Tulsi has since evolved on the issue, opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2012 and calling for national legalization of gay marriage that same year, three years before it was legalized in the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).

Tulsi also released a statement the day that case was settled in June of 2015 backing the decision, and received an endorsement from Equality Hawaii, an LGBT-rights organization, for doing so.

Her credentials on foreign policy are the reason I support her most strongly.

As an Iraq War veteran, Tulsi saw firsthand how regime change wars in the Middle East are counterproductive and don’t work.

She has searched for peace in Syria and Yemen whenever possible, meeting with both rebel groups and Bashar al-Assad in an effort to broker an armistice and opposing the Trump administration’s illegal airstrikes in Syrian airspace back in early 2017.

Tulsi also has crossover appeal with Libertarians due to her opposition to the War on Drugs and the military-industrial and prison-industrial complexes.

For those who are still suspicious of her past actions, or just have some general questions regarding her viability for the presidency of the United States, that’s what the primaries are for, vigorous appeals to the different parts of the base and real discussions of the issues facing our country.

I’m sure Tulsi will not disappoint.