Tulsi Gabbard’s Reasons for Ditching the Dems (The Good and the Bad)

Tulsi Gabbard has stirred the pot, and since she’s been a favorite of mine (I voted for her in the 2020 primaries), I will comment on her stated reasons for leaving the Democratic party, reproduced in the blue sections below. There’s plenty of good and bad here.

The pro-war Democratic Party has led us to the brink of nuclear war. The party is led by warmongers who are firmly in the grips of the military industrial complex, and don’t know or care about the cost of war, or who pays the price. President Biden and Democratic Party elite have pushed us to the precipice of nuclear war, risking starting WWIII and destroying the world as we know it. This is the most urgent existential threat we face. I ran for President in 2020 because I knew that this is where we were headed. All the signs were there. I raised this issue every day during the campaign, and on the national debate stage. But politicians and the media ignored it. They didn’t care then, and they don’t care now. Obviously I didn’t win that election, and don’t have the power to do what is necessary to prevent it. President Biden and Congress do. But they irresponsibly refuse to use that power to protect the safety of our country, the American people, and the world from the devastation of a nuclear holocaust. To protect our loved ones, our children, our world, I’m calling upon the American people to join me in standing up to these cowardly politicians now. This may be our last chance to do so.

Yes and no. On the one hand, it is undeniably true that the Dems have devolved into war-hawks since the 90s. The foreign policies of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama were as bellicose as Ronald Reagan’s (and in some ways more so), and Hillary Clinton would have been worse than any of those three had she won the 2016 election.

On the other hand, Joe Biden hasn’t been terribly bad in this regard. Contrary to what Tulsi implies, Biden has kept a pretty level head in his response to Ukraine. He has, very wisely, refused to put boots on the ground or to get the U.S. directly involved with troops. He has advocated assisting Ukraine with material and moral support, and that, in my view, is a morally defensible position. Tulsi’s biggest liability is her willingness to join hands with (the right-wing) Tucker Carlson and (the left-wing) Noam Chomsky in arguing that the U.S. is escalating violence by trying to weaken the Russian regime. (The logic being that this undermines possibilities of peaceful negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.) That kind of reasoning would keep us from taking active steps against almost any tyranny that needs to be checked.

I appreciate Tulsi’s overall sensibilities here. The left has become a parody of itself to the point that if you express enough hate for the U.S. and militancy you might just be considered a good American patriot, but if you are not militant enough when it comes to Ukraine — and if you don’t display enough rage and venom against Putin — this somehow makes you a traitor. People like Whoopi Goldberg, for example, are saying that Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard should be prosecuted for treason. And liars like Mitt Romney have claimed that Tulsi was spreading propaganda — saying that the U.S. was working to develop bio-weapons for use against Ukraine’s enemies. Obviously Tulsi never said or implied this. What she said is a simple fact, that there are in fact bio-labs in Ukraine researching this kind of stuff (using anthrax to counter anthrax, for example), and the idea that these labs should be left in a war zone with Russians shelling nuclear facilities is a reasonable thing to object to. I have no respect for the Whoopi Goldbergs and Mitt Romneys of the world.

The problem is that Tulsi has overplayed the NATO card and downplayed the problem of Putin’s dangerous regime which demands a measured response. While it’s reasonable to be wary of NATO expansion (one of the few things Obama was right about, against Bush, was that Ukraine isn’t a core interest of the U.S.), at this point harping on NATO doesn’t help Ukraine any. And though the concern about nuclear war and World War III is legitimate, that doesn’t mean that any attempt to thwart tyrants amounts to an irresponsible escalation of violence.

Today’s Democratic Party rejects the rule of law. The people’s trust in the rule of law is the foundation for democracy. By weaponizing the security state and Federal law enforcement for their own partisan political ambitions, Democrat leaders are undermining the rule of law and turning our democracy into a banana republic. Across the country, Democrat politicians call for defunding the police, enacting laws that favor criminal’s rights over those of everyday Americans, and so-called progressive DA’s let violent criminals out of jail, refusing to charge them when many have been arrested 30, 40 or even 50 times. It should come as no surprise that crime and murder rates are rapidly increasing, people don’t feel safe walking down the street in their own neighborhoods, and firearm purchases for self defense have drastically increased. Under the Obama administration, the IRS was used to target conservative groups. Biden’s DOJ recently indicted 11 pro-life activists for organizing an event blockading an abortion clinic. They didn’t use physical force. They weren’t dangerous. But seven of them are facing 11 years in prison and fines of $250,000. The Biden DOJ and Department of Homeland Security has focused their newly formed Domestic Terror Unit to target parents who are vocally standing in opposition to radical curriculums and explicit sexual content being taught to young children in our public schools – labeling parents as “terrorists” for showing up at school board meetings and demanding change. President Biden campaigned on unity and on healing the partisan divide, but he’s now saying supporters of President Trump are the most extremist group in our country and a threat to our democracy. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris claim the Supreme Court is illegitimate simply because they disagree with its rulings. The Biden administration stood by and did nothing as activists protested outside the homes of Supreme Court justices during all hours of the day and night, in clear violation of federal law. When the party in power does not believe in the rule of law, yet they are responsible for writing and enforcing laws, our democracy is doomed.

Check. The Dems will never live down the idiocy of defunding the police. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris’s claims about the Supreme Court’s illegitimacy are inexcusable. And Tulsi has been right about things like Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which isn’t homophobic, nor does it discriminate against queer and trans students, nor does it prohibit normal, age-appropriate discussion of LGBTQ culture and history. It simply bars discussion from kids who are too young to make sense of sexual identity issues.

Today’s Democratic Party does not believe in our constitutionally protected right to free speech. Fostering diversity of thought and freedom of expression is the foundation of any flourishing democracy. Democratic Party leaders don’t agree. They are led by fanatical ideologues who pose a threat to our democracy because they don’t believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion. They try to censor speech they don’t like, labeling it as “misinformation,” “hate speech,” or “violent speech.” They work hand-in-glove with corporate for-profit media and Big Tech to smear and silence political opponents and those who dare to challenge their authority, exposing their insecurities. The Biden Administration even tried launching their own “Ministry of Truth” to control what information we are allowed to read, hear, and say. Their ideology is one of hate and divisiveness, rather than respect and love (aloha) and is diametrically opposed to traditional ‘liberalism’ which recognizes the basic goodness of people and the autonomy of the individual, supporting civil liberties and a government of, by, and for the people. How can a political party that is opposed to freedom be trusted with our democracy? They can’t be.

Check. Biden’s plan for a “Ministry of Truth” was especially shameful, and thankfully it was killed in its crib. If a Republican president had ever assembled a government panel tasked with “weeding out disinformation”, we’d never hear the end of it. Everyone and the media would be howling.

Today’s Democratic Party does not believe in our constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion. The Constitution recognizes that our freedom comes from God — not governments. Unfortunately, Democratic Party leaders reject this truth and are hostile toward people of faith and spirituality, and actively undermine our religious freedom. During that 2020 Democratic National Convention, they chose to omit the words “under God” from our pledge of allegiance. High profile Democratic leaders mock or openly discriminate against people of faith, especially Christians. President Obama once ridiculed Americans for clinging to their guns and religion. Vice President Kamala Harris, as a senator in 2018, remarked that being a member of the Catholic charity organization, the Knights of Columbus, disqualified Brian Buescher from serving as a federal judge. Senator Dianne Feinstein derided now Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, during a Senate confirmation hearing, stating that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Article 6, Section 3 of the Constitution states “no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Today’s Democratic party has forgotten that freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. Government must respect every American’s deeply personal relationship with God, and our freedom to express and practice that faith without fear of state-sponsored reprisal, censorship or discrimination. Whether one believes in God or not is not the point. Any political party that is trying to erase the presence of God from every facet of public life and is hostile toward those who choose to worship God, cannot be trusted to protect our inalienable God-given rights enshrined in the Constitution and should not be in power.

Uh, no. Most of this is overreaction. I’m far more worried about the blurring of separation of church and state that we’re seeing on the Republican side of things.

Today’s Democratic Party does not believe in our constitutionally protected right to bear arms. Our founders passed the Second Amendment out of a recognition that every one of us has a right to defend ourselves and our loved ones, and to serve as a check on a tyrannical government seeking to take away our God-given freedoms. The Democratic Party’s hatred of the Second Amendment and their increasing authoritarian instincts pose a serious threat to our freedoms. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” Beto O’Rourke said at a debate when he was running for president. Our founders intentionally passed the Second Amendment right after the First Amendment. The majority ruling from the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down New York’s law that barred people from concealed carry firearms summarized very clearly why Democrats are wrong to try to take away our rights: “Just as we do not need to seek a permit to stand on the street corner and exercise our right to free speech, we shouldn’t have to seek permission for a law abiding citizen to carry their firearm. We as a society don’t get to pick and choose which of our rights in the constitution are more worthy of protecting than another.” Protecting our freedom to defend ourselves and those we love, and protecting our rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution against a tyrannical power is exactly why we must ensure our right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

No. The Dems are not as hostile to gun rights and the Second Amendment as Tulsi makes them out to be. As for the recent Supreme Court ruling, it summarized very clearly what’s wrong with Republicans (who think like the majority of justices), not Democrats. The majority would have been right if it had been interpreting the Second Amendment correctly. As Clarence Thomas stated, the idea that one must demonstrate a special need in order to exercise one’s amendment right is unheard of. But the Second Amendment applies to militia; it’s not about sweeping inalienable gun rights for everyone.

Today’s Democratic Party is ‘Big Brother’ undermining our civil liberties: The Fourth Amendment of the constitution ensures ‘the right of [the American] people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ Democratic elite Party leaders have had many opportunities to get rid of unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act that violate our civil liberties — I introduced legislation while in Congress that would repeal the Patriot Act and address the dangerous FISA act being used to undermine our civil liberties, especially those protected by the Fourth Amendment. Every time, they choose the security state over our liberty. Whether it’s using the IRS to snoop into our bank accounts for sending someone over $600 via Venmo, supporting the corrupt system of civil forfeiture to seize property from law-abiding Americans who have not even been charged with a crime, or getting credit card companies to keep track of any and all firearm and ammunition related purchases, today’s Democratic Party stands with giving ‘Big Brother’ more power and control over our lives.

True. But the Republicans haven’t been any better, and I don’t trust them, as a party, when it comes to the 4th Amendment anymore than I do the Dems.

Today’s Democratic Party racializes everything and blatantly foments anti-white racism. The Democratic machine has betrayed Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where we are judged based on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin. In their blind pursuit of power, Democrat leaders reduce each of us as God’s children to the color of our skin, using identity politics to tear us apart for their own political gain. Democrats were silent in the face of Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot’s blatantly racist policy of only accepting interviews with reporters of color because she was struck with the “overwhelming whiteness and maleness.” Modern day segregation in schools is promoted by racial profiteers like Robin DiAngelo and the corrupt self-identified cultural Marxists who lead Black Lives Matter. Today’s Democratic party embraces and celebrates their racist agenda. They support programs that teach children that they are either ‘the privileged’ or ‘the victims,’ oppressors or the oppressed, solely because of the color of their skin. They’ve become the racists they claim to hate.

Yes. Martin Luther King and the civil rights activists of the ’60s and ’70s would be appalled at the way social justice has been perverted into a bigoted identity politics. I remain a true social justice advocate in the spirit of classical liberalism and MLK, and like Tulsi I will keep calling out wokes for their toxic views.

Today’s Democratic Party is anti-woman. There’s no greater expression of hatred and hostility toward women than to erase the existence of women as a category of people. The Democratic Party has long claimed to be champions of women, proud of Title IX and leveling the playing field for women and girls. But now, the Biden Administration and Democratic Party are spitting in the face of these achievements by rejecting the objective truth that women exist and are not just a construct in a person’s mind. They can no longer define what a woman is, demand we replace words like “mother” with “birthing person,” and place women at risk to please biological men who claim to be women at any given moment. They are taking away the opportunities and futures of women in sports by allowing transgender athletes, who until recently identified as men, and who have the biological advantages of men, to compete against women. The Biden administration is quietly trying to change Title IX through a back-door rule change that would remove women and biological sex from the Title IX statute, taking away opportunities for millions of female athletes across the country. They now go so far as to claim it is ‘sexual harassment’ to address someone by the wrong pronouns, trying to force us to comply with this insanity by regulating our speech and thought. By denying that there are biological differences between men and women, they are erasing women and denying the existence of objective truth. If one denies the existence of truth, there are no boundaries in our society and the truth becomes whatever those in power want it to be.

Yes. Sadly enough. Obviously trans people need to be supported and not discriminated against, but gender identity politics has been used to make a farce of biology. It’s become increasingly accepted to claim that biological sex is on a spectrum and not bimodal. Anti-factual nonsense, and Tulsi is right to call it out. And the bit about sexual harassment isn’t hyperbole. Teenagers have actually been charged with sexual harassment for using proper biological pronouns instead of someone’s preferred pronouns.

Today’s Democratic Party is undermining families. Families are the bedrock of civilization. Today’s Democratic Party does not recognize this truth and the importance of the central foundational role that families play in our society and civilization. They want to strip away the rights of parents to raise their kids, claiming the government knows what’s better for your children than you do. Former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe said last year that there is no role for parents in determining a school’s curriculum. The largest teacher’s union in the country and one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, the National Education Association, recently passed a resolution that endorses the teaching of Critical Race Theory in classrooms across the country. Public school districts are implementing policies that sexualize kids as young as five or six years old. Taxpayer dollars are used to bring in drag strippers and encourage gender transition surgery in minors – all kept secret from their parents. HHS secretary Rachel Levine says young children should be empowered to get “gender-affirmation treatment,” which involves puberty blockers, chemical castration, and irreversible surgeries causing long-term harm to children. If parents do not comply, the Federal government threatens to take your children away. Families are the foundation of civilization and our society, and today’s Democratic Party’s policies are quickly eroding that foundation to the detriment of us all.

Not really. A lot of overreaction here.

So there’s a lot in Tulsi’s speech that I applaud, but also a significant amount I take issue with. If she runs in 2024 as an independent or a Republican, I may well vote for her. If I had the power to appoint the next president, and I had to choose between her, Biden, and Trump, and I’d choose her hands down. Biden and Trump have way too many faults that overshadow Tulsi’s.

5 thoughts on “Tulsi Gabbard’s Reasons for Ditching the Dems (The Good and the Bad)

  1. “That kind of reasoning would keep us from taking active steps against almost any tyranny that needs to be checked.”

    I thought in your FDR article, you said that his entry into WW2 was unjustified. What’s the difference here? In both cases, Imperial Japan/Russia have not aggressed the US. I don’t like the reasoning of “we need to take steps against tyranny that needs to be checked.” That’s the same sort of reasoning Woodrow Wilson would’ve given. It’s a given that Putin is not a good guy; yet, the Ukrainian government are far from saints too. I say let Europe handle its own affairs. America has enough problems to deal with on its own already.

    Regarding Tulsi, I’m wondering what her platform would look like if she ran in 2024. If she ran as independent, I doubt she’d gain much traction. Then again, stranger things have happened. I’d certainly like to see more viable alternatives than just democrats and republicans, and I’d also like to see the democrats clean up their act and become an actually sane party again. It feels like with each passing year, they’re going further and further off the rails, to the point that the only viable party is the republicans. (viable in that they’re somewhat sane and can still win elections)

  2. I thought in your FDR article, you said that his entry into WW2 was unjustified.

    Not really, no. What I was saying was:

    (1) Given what we knew about Hitler and Germany at the time (in December 1941), it would have made more sense to ally with Germany against Russia, rather than with Russia against Germany. Hitler didn’t start his mass execution of the Jews until well into 1942, and Stalin had been murdering millions since the 30s.

    (2) What was unjustified was the way FDR provoked Japan with an oil embargo, froze all their assets, knowing full well that would make the Japanese desperate. He lied and schemed America into war through the back door, instead of just coming right out and giving his real reason for opposing Hitler: that if Hitler defeated the British and gained access to the British fleet, then Germany could isolate the U.S.

    (3) Ultimately I think the U.S. participation in WW2 (though certainly not WW1) was justified, and we ended up on the right side, though more by accident. The Axis were dangerously expansionist and moral monsters. But we see this today with the benefit of hindsight.

    I’d certainly like to see more viable alternatives than just democrats and republicans,

    Me too. Our two parties have failed us abysmally in the 21st century.

  3. The issue with Ukraine is that it was obvious that Russia was going to attack if they kept pushing to put Ukraine in NATO, but Biden wouldn’t put an end to adding Ukraine to NATO. Biden has also done nothing to try and get a peaceful resolution, which should be his number one priority. If you took issue with Bush invading Iraq, you should have a real power with poking the bear that is Russia. Tulsi is right, Biden completely mishandled the issue in the Ukraine, and he is still mishandling it.

    As far as the second amendment goes, the founding fathers would have never thought that there would need to be an amendment to say that the military could have weapons. Such an assertion doesn’t even make sense. Obviously, it is meant to allow all citizens to have weapons.

    • If you took issue with Bush invading Iraq, you should have a real power with poking the bear that is Russia.

      These aren’t equivalent. The invasion of Iraq committed ground troops to a foolish war that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and Saddam Hussein, bad as he was, was certainly preferable to the jihadists who inevitably fill the void when tyrants like Saddam (and Gaddafi, in the case of Obama) are deposed. The Iraq War was wrong-headed from every angle.

      I agree with you that attempts to add Ukraine to NATO were misguided — Bush was as wrong about it in 2008 as Biden has been (Obama was the right one on the subject of Ukraine) — but what’s done is done, and at this point, sending Ukraine assistance (as Trump did, interestingly, but Obama refused to do) is IMO the right thing, as long as it doesn’t involve boots on the ground or direct involvement. Yes, it’s irresponsible to provoke nations to war, but it can also be irresponsible to refuse to get involved at all. Russia (and China) are major authoritarian powers who can easily become global threats, and if they see we’re going to let them do as they please without any response, that will embolden them. Emboldening can be as dangerous as provoking.

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