Tulsi Gabbard: Veteran, Congresswoman, Real-Life Progressive Superhero
A Look Into the 2020 Presidential Hopeful’s Past, Present, & Continued Service
When you think of the cast of characters in the 2020 Democratic Primary race, who immediately comes to mind? Who do you believe has the best shot at claiming the nomination and going head-to-head in an all-out political spat with Donald Trump?
Perhaps you find yourself thinking of the now three-term Vermont Senator and former 2016 presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders — or two-term U.S. senator and establisher of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Elizabeth Warren — someone like openly-gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, IN, or spiritual author and founder of Project Angel Food, Marianne Williamson — or maybe you think about the media’s golden boy and former Vice President of the United States, Uncle Joseph “Joe” Biden himself.
Or, you might think of a different candidate altogether, which is totally fine, of course. However, I’ll tell you who comes to mind when this question is asked of me.
Whenever I’m asked who I think has the potential, the nerve and the will, and the absolute guts and political prowess required to defeat Donald Trump at his own game, I think of none other than Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2).
You may be asking yourself, “Huh? Who’s she? Who is Tulsi Gabbard?”
Or, you may very well be asking, “Wait, what? Why? Why would you throw your support her way?”
Both are valid questions, so allow me to explain my reasoning and a little bit about Tulsi herself — and more specifically, why I think she’s an absolute force to be reckoned with. Below, you’ll find what I believe to be a somewhat comprehensive look into 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, where she stands on the critical issues our nation is facing today, and why I think she’s got what it takes to lead us as Commander-in-Chief.
Throughout her life, Tulsi Gabbard has always held in her heart the motto of “Service Above Self”, which has been somewhat of a companion slogan to her campaign’s official motto, “Lead With Love”. From a young age, she was taught to care for our environment — our land, our air, and especially, our water. She has always believed that the spirit of aloha — a guiding force of love, compassion, and general concern for the world we live in and the people we interact with — is unmatched in its ability to bring about good and positive change wherever it is fully-utilized. She is married to her husband of four years, Abraham, and is a huge fan of the now-concluded HBO series, Game of Thrones.
The daughter of longtime Hawaiʻi State Senator Mike Gabbard (D)(District 20) and his wife Carol, Tulsi teamed up with her father in 1996 to establish the Healthy Hawaiʻi Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to educating Hawaiʻi students about the importance of environmentalism, conservation, and overall community health. It was then that Tulsi created her alter-ego, WaterWoman, who sought to teach elementary school students about the dangers of pollution by fighting her arch-nemesis, Oily Al.
Tulsi Gabbard currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Hawaiʻi’s 2nd Congressional District (basically all of Hawaiʻi outside of Honolulu, Pearl City, Waipahu, Waimalu, and Mililani Town), and has since she was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. She also currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, as well as the House Financial Services Committee.
When she first ran for Congress, Tulsi was only 31 years-old, having served previously in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature between 2002 and 2004. In fact, when Tulsi was elected to her first political position, she was only 21 years-old. This accomplishment meant that she was the youngest female U.S. citizen to ever be elected to any state legislature nationwide. Tulsi Gabbard was also the first person of Samoan descent and one of the first two female combat veterans to ever be elected to the Congress.
In 2003, Tulsi made the decision to enlist herself in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard and, in 2004, left her seat in her home state’s House to deploy to Iraq, where she served in a combat zone as part of a medical unit, the 29th Brigade Combat Team. She also deployed to Kuwait in 2008, serving there until 2009. In fact, Tulsi continues to serve our nation as a Major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard to this day, with sixteen years of service under her belt.
Tulsi is a former Vice Chair of the DNC, having formally resigned from her position after the 2016 Democratic Primary Election in order to officially endorse then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (an act that many within her own party viewed as “traitorous”).
Throughout her time in the House, Tulsi has introduced a number of legislative proposals, including, in the past year alone: the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019 (H.R.1588), the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 1595), the Securing America’s Elections Act of 2019 (H.R.1946), the Reef Safe Act of 2019 (H.R.2587), the Oxybenzone and Octinoxate Impact Study Act of 2019 (H.R.2588), the COFA Veterans Review Act of 2019 (H.R. 2916), and the Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R.2917).
To put it simply, Tulsi Gabbard believes in:
- Establishing Medicare For All, a universal healthcare system that would ensure all American citizens have access to quality, affordable healthcare without having to haggle with private insurance companies (a system perhaps most popularized by her fellow 2020 presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders).
- Ending the federal prohibition on marijuana and cannabis products, allowing for greater insight into the medicinal benefits of such products.
- Enacting Free College For All, allowing students to receive a higher education at a community college or public university without having to place them under crippling amounts of student debt and loans before they’ve even really entered through the door of adulthood.
- Protecting the rights of women, children, and LGBTQ individuals by protecting a woman’s right to a safe, affordable abortion, as well as protecting these individuals from discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and sexual orientation and providing them with efficient, sufficient health and safety resources (In 2013, Tulsi voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act).
- Promoting the turnover to 100% clean, renewable energy by mandating the end of America’s dependence on fossil fuels as our main source of electrical energy, as well as mandating a complete end to the process of fracking nationwide (see Rep. Gabbard’s Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, introduced in 2017 — H.R.3671 of the 115th Congress), allowing for us to better care for our environment — the only one we have.
- Removing big money and dark money from politics, specifically by running a campaign free of any and all PAC money and large, corporate donors. She is also promoting transparency by filming all meetings with potential donors so as to prevent the spread of misinformation on her campaign and allocation of funds.
- Securing our nation’s elections by instating automatic backup paper ballots at all polling places from sea-to-shining-sea.
- Addressing the opioid epidemic by ending the failed War on Drugs, addressing the crisis that has gripped American families by the throat and torn families apart through tragic overdoses and overreaching of pharmaceutical companies by enabling addiction, as well as addressing the ever-rising, out of control costs of life-saving medicines, such as insulin. She would also hold those who knowingly market highly-addictive opioids accountable “to the fullest extent of the law”.
- Enacting and securing a Living Wage For All so that American citizens and families have more than enough to get by, rather than being forced to live paycheck-to-paycheck, and in my cases, work multiple jobs just to provide the bare minimum for themselves and those they love.
- Repealing the Patriot Act, so as to prevent the unlawful and unconstitutional surveillance of private American citizens. She also supports the passing of laws that would further prevent such surveillance from occurring in the future without probable cause.
- Repairing and replacing our nation’s outdated, crumbling infrastructure, ensuring that our nation can remain interconnected through a series of well-built, well-maintained road, bride, and highway systems — especially in the wake of recent, widespread flooding throughout states such as Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. Without these in place, we cannot remain connected. Without farmers and roads, we starve.
- Addressing the lack of funding and services for victims of sexual assault, particularly those who have experienced such violence in the military.
- Enacting True Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, addressing the disproportionate number of POC imprisoned and profiled, the outrageous number of people incarcerated for non-violent possession charges (see the Sentencing Reform Act, which takes a shot at reducing the minimum amount of time a person would have to serve for a non-violent possession charge, also allowing judges to make better decisions in the matter when delivering an appropriate sentence), and addressing improvements that need to be made to the juvenile justice system in America.
- And perhaps, most importantly……
TULSI’S GREATEST STANCES
…Tulsi believes in Ending the Nuclear Arms Race and the New Cold War that the United States has found itself in over the past few decades. This is the absolute driving force behind her entire 2020 campaign.
To quote what Tulsi has stated probably countless times since she kicked off her campaign in February 2019, “We are closer to nuclear catastrophe now than ever before”.
She also believes in ending the interventionist regime change wars that the U.S. has been repeatedly and unapologetically enacting and propagating — wars that not only destabilize the nations that these wars are carried out in, but utterly undermine our nation’s own security and dwindle away our taxpayer dollars that could be much better-utilized right here at home than on a pointless, costly, counterproductive war. Since the declaration of Operation Enduring Freedom and invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the U.S. has spent more than $6 trillion on regime change and interventionism.
- In fact, at the time of writing this, the United States of America has been at war in one country or another for more than 95% of my lifetime. I am only nineteen years-old and am unable to remember a time when the U.S. was not involved abroad.
As a combat veteran herself, Tulsi has seen firsthand the cost of war — both in terms of cash and actual, tangible, human lives and livelihoods. She knows the value of human life, resources, and national security. She knows that we must end regime change in order to properly invest in our people, our communities, and our nation. She knows that we must enter into productive, mutually-beneficial, civil, diplomatic relations with other nations rather than threaten them with extravagant shows of force. And she also knows that we must call out those who seek to violate the basic rights of those here at home and abroad, and to end relations with those who actively spread radical, extremist ideologies and propagate fear, hatred, and death.
Tulsi Gabbard believes in ending U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, who is actively engaging in a genocidal war in Yemen, and calling out the Israeli government for enacting human rights violations against the Palestinian people. She also believes in holding those who allow such atrocities to be held fully accountable in full-view of the international community.
She believes that the U.S. should immediately return to the INF Treaty and the Paris Climate Accords, so as to ease tensions between the United States, Iran, and other members of the international community as a whole.
Tulsi Gabbard believes in preventing regime change, in a matter of current affairs, in the nations of Venezuela and Iran. She has stated that, although she does not support the leaders of any nation that oppress and mistreat their own people, it should ultimately be up to the people of said nations to determine their own destiny and to take back their own freedoms. She repudiates the beliefs of current National Security Advisor John R. Bolton and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that U.S. military intervention in Iran and Venezuela is the right course of action.
Tulsi Gabbard believes in meeting face-to-face with leaders who may otherwise be considered our adversaries in the name of establishing some sense of peace, understanding, and/or solution in the wake of critical regional and global issues. This can be highlighted by her visit with Bashar al-Assad, the current President of Syria (a visit that was approved by the House Ethics Committee in 2017).
Without reaching out to our “enemies” and establishing some sort of mutually-assured trust, as President John F. Kennedy did by creating the Moscow-Washington Hotline in the 1960s, then we will only ensure for ourselves and others mutually-assured destruction.
This is why Tulsi’s campaign and her entire platform matter so much.
#WHYTULSI: Why You Should Give Peace a Chance
I can’t persuade you to vote for Tulsi, but at the very least, I can tell you why I think she’s worthy of being listened to.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tulsi in-person at a town hall event her campaign held at the Sepulveda Peace Center in Culver City, CA. It was the very first time I was ever able to attend any sort of political event and, I have to say, it was pretty dang exhilarating (to say the least). I was able to see how Tulsi interacts with the public, how she intently listens and provides feedback and proposals to solve the problems that we are all currently facing.
She has faced so much scrutiny for prior beliefs, as well as for circumstances and situations that were out of her control and yet she has truly and wholeheartedly evolved on her previously-held convictions. She has risen out of a mindset that would hold her back from experiencing the true spirit of aloha that she so passionately endorses and advocates for.
She sees the beauty and the potential in every American citizen and has continuously answered the call to service in their names. She has decided to serve the American people, not for profit or personal gain, but to genuinely help us and to absolve our concerns for our futures.
Tulsi has stood in solidarity with those at Standing Rock.
Tulsi has offered her time and service in places, such as MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, in an effort to preserve our public spaces and our environment.
Tulsi has fought for clean water, air, and land — especially for those in places such as Flint, MI.
Tulsi has mourned with survivors and families who have lost loved ones in horrific attacks, such as the synagogue shooting in Poway, CA, and the 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks.
She has continued to stand up for what she believes in — a true care for the American public — in defiance of the constant mudslinging and hatred being thrown her way by not only her political adversaries, but members of her own political party (including Democratic leadership).
She knows that, in her own words, “There is no force stronger than love”.
This is why, at this moment in time, Tulsi Gabbard has my complete support.
I will back her for as long as I’m given probable cause and a reason not to do so.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this. In true Tulsi spirit, I can say that being willing to listen to others is a more than valuable skill to possess; because, ultimately, if we can’t hear each other out, how are we going to be able to come to any sort of solution?
I hope that you’ll consider hearing Tulsi Gabbard: Veteran, Congresswoman, and Real-Life Progressive Superhero out as she embarks on her 2020 presidential campaign. Peace deserves a chance.
We all do.
In no way, shape, or form, am I a paid employee or active part of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 Presidential Campaign.
I am not associated with any other 2020 presidential campaign, candidate, volunteer team, etc.
I am not a paid employee nor am I associated with any business or corporate entity with ties to any 2020 presidential campaign.
I am not affiliated with any PAC or group tasked with rallying support for a specific cause (gun rights, abortion rights, etc.).
I have never worked for any member of any legislative, judicial, or executive body of government.
I am a natural-born U.S. citizen.