I have been paying very close attention to almost all the presidential candidates for months now. I always knew that politics was important, but 2016 taught me that it is also important to get involved early on in the presidential election process. We can’t just wait until the summer to pick from whoever is left standing, the stakes are too high this time for that approach. It is our duty as citizens to become deeply engaged in the vetting process, especially this time. Those that came before us fought too hard for the rights and liberties we enjoy for us to drop the baton on the final lap. It’s time for all of us to step up and defend our country.
First, let give you some context about who I am and my personal political views and biases. I was raised in a small town by conservative republican parents, but have lived the majority of my adult life in very liberal and deeply blue areas — Boston, MA, and San Francisco, CA. I never considered myself belonging to any party, and I am a registered independent with some libertarians leanings. I am a scientist and logician who makes a living trying to find the truth. In politics, there is no universal ‘truth’ to be discovered. However, there are still objectively better policies and bills that will either benefit or harm the population — like most things in life, it’s all about the tradeoffs.
The tradeoffs between liberal and conservative political views are rooted in biology and anthropology. They both exist because they are both crucial to our survival as a tribe, nation, and species. ( I recommend reading this series for more on this ) In short, we need open-minded progressives to push us forward into the future, but we also need pragmatic conservatives to protect what we already have. The balance between these ideologies is very important, and sadly in our country today, essentially nonexistent. We have never been more polarized as a nation, and if we continue on this path, not only will our enemies rejoice but we risk losing our children’s future to the climate crisis.
It is now time for the silent majority to rise up and be silent no more. We, the moderate republicans, democrats, and independents, who know that most Americans have far more in common than they have differences must come together now, under one flag, to defend our republic. Make no mistake, the next 4 years will define not only the history of our nation but the history of the world. All will be watching us as we choose our next leader, and our choice will have enormous consequences on a global scale — as we saw in 2016.
After extensive personal research, I have come to the tentative conclusion that Tulsi Gabbard represents our best chance to not only defeat Trump but to unify our nation once again. I am well aware at this point many have written her off completely, but if you grant me 15 more minutes of your time, I may be able to convince you otherwise. I am happy to debate any of my reasoning, as long as it is in good faith. Though Tulsi seems like a nice enough person ( I met her at one of her events in New Hampshire ), I pledge no allegiance to individual politicians. I view political candidates as job applicants who are applying to work at our company in which I am a shareholder — the United States of America. We reserve the right and duty to hire and fire them as needed if they no longer represent our interests.
I will now go through the main pieces of evidence that lead me to my current conclusion. Keep in mind, no political candidate is perfect, all we can do as citizens is choose the best one. And there is mounting evidence that Tulsi is currently the best for many reasons.
The first and most important reason to me is her stance on foreign policy. As of writing this, Trump has committed an act of war without congressional approval by assassinating the commander of the Iranian army, Qassem Soleimani. Trump is clearly trying to escalate the conflict in the Middle East to serve his own interests and the interests of those that gave him his power ( to understand how political power works, please watch this short video ). This will result in more death to innocent citizens and jeopardize our nation’s national security. It will also be a huge waste of tax dollars, which we desperately need here at home. Tulsi has served in our military for 17 years and was deployed twice to Afghanistan as a combat medic. And although she is not an isolationist or a pacifist, she understands better than any other candidate the true cost of war. She promises to bring our troops home and end the wasteful regime change wars our country has waged for decades. This to me is extremely important. One of the most important roles of the president is that of commander and chief, and I have no doubt Tulsi would make a great one. Certainly better than any other 2020 candidate by miles.
Tulsi has a proven track record of taking this crisis as seriously as it must be taken. She is an environmentalist who grew up surfing in Hawaii. She loves nature and fights to protect it for all of us. She helped her state start their transition off of fossil fuels and she created an ambitious bill to help our nation do the same. She is also vegan, which is very important. The science has shown that not only is a plant-based diet better for our health, but also better for the environment. She will inspire more people to consider the diet, which will decrease our healthcare spending and help us transition to a more sustainable future. As someone who made the switch 4 years ago, I can attest that it had a tremendous impact on my health and athletic performance ( watch ‘The Game Changers’ on Netflix for more information ). Also, if we can learn to treat other living beings with more compassion, it will help us become more compassionate to each other.
Another very important reason why I think she is currently the best candidate is that she is one of only two candidates who I believe can defeat Trump in the general election, Andrew Yang being the other. She is powered entirely by small donors and is building a real grassroots movement, similar to Bernie Sanders in 2016, whom she supported ( one of the reasons Hillary Clinton attacked her ). She is pulling many independents like myself, as well as libertarians and republicans into her campaign, I saw this first hand at one of her events. This is not only important for defeating Trump, who has become a dangerous liability, but for helping us rise above tribalism and find common ground as Americans. Her ‘present’ vote during the impeachment was an act of true leadership and courage. She has demonstrated many times that she will continue to put country above party. We all need to follow her example and do the same. We can no longer allow our adversaries to divide us, whether they be foreign governments, powerful corporations, or billionaires. They all know that if we are united as a nation, we are strong, and if we are divided we are weak. It is time now for us to find our strength again. We will need it more than ever in the coming years.
Tulsi would not only be our first female president, but also the youngest to ever hold the office. At 38 years old, she is very educated and well versed in technology, which is something that few politicians can say. The only other that may be more qualified in this domain is Andrew Yang. As a technologist, these issues are very important to me, so when I had the chance, I asked her what she would do to curb the power of the big tech monopolies and protect our digital privacy. Her answer was very reasonable and I was impressed and satisfied. She understands the risks well and is working with domain experts to craft sensible and nuanced policies. She agreed with me that the ‘just break them up’ approach proposed by other candidates is far too simple and could have unintended negative consequences. She also claimed she would pardon Edward Snowden, who in my opinion is a true patriot, and bring him home. This is another bold, risky, but correct move. The international ethical hacker group ‘Anonymous’ also called her out in a recent video as being one of the only other sensible candidates, along with Andrew Yang. Although in my opinion, they underestimate her chances of winning, which probably why they endorsed Andrew instead.
In the entrepreneurial community here in Silicon Valley, we have an expression we use when we see a specific individual uniquely qualified to tackle a problem, ‘Product/Founder Fit’, and I believe Tulsi has this more than any other candidate. I personally believe that now is the perfect time to elect our first female President. The response to Trump must be resounding and clear, not only to ourselves but to our allies and other nations that look to us. We have to not only defeat Trump but evolve out of the misogynistic, testosterone-driven dominator culture that he draws his power from. Our society is already making progress here in the past few years, with the #MeToo movement being the obvious example, but there is more work to be done. Women have been held back for far too long in our society, and it is time for us to recognize the strength and compassion of the feminine spirit. Tulsi is one of the most compassionate politicians I have ever seen, and definitely the most compassionate of the 2020 candidates. I have personally witnessed her console veterans who wept in her arms, and you don’t have to look hard to see her say and do things that make it very obvious that her heart is full and incorruptible. I have also witnessed her stand strong and attack her opponents with grace and power that is seldom seen on a debate stage. It was this specific moment when I realized she would eviscerate Trump if given the chance.
Vice President and Cabinet
In reality, the president does not have as much power as most Americans think, which is a good thing. The founders of our nation knew the dangers of tyranny and carefully crafted a system of checks and balances to protect us from true authoritarians ( though admittedly they did not predict Twitter ). Just like in a company, where the CEO sets the vision and culture, a president plays a similar role. But it is up to the actual employees, or in this case the other elected officials, to implement that vision and make it a reality. Tulsi has a proven track record of working with both democrats and republicans during her time in congress. Many republicans respect her a great deal, even if they don’t agree with her all the time. This will be critical in getting laws passed and implemented, something that many Presidents have struggled to do with such a partisan congress. To be fair, Andrew Yang is similar in this regard, though not to such a degree. I’m not a campaign strategist, but an alliance with him might make sense in the coming months, as his campaign is also gaining traction. Another very bold move she might make would be to choose a republican as her Vice President. This would be a powerful act and show that she is serious about unification. A moderate republican like Bill Weld would make sense to me.
When researching her past, I discovered that she used to hold homophobic beliefs that were instilled into her by her conservative father. She has since evolved her values and come to realize that mistake. Many view this as a negative, but I personally view it as a positive. It shows she has the humility to change her views when challenged with evidence, which is a critical trait for any leader. She is also sometimes called an ‘Assad apologist’ for meeting with the Syrian dictator in 2017. When I heard her explain her reasoning however, I was very impressed. She correctly states that the only alternative to diplomacy is war, and she will meet with anyone she needs to in order to protect our troops and to avoid more unnecessary conflict. If only other politicians had such courage and conviction. I welcome you please comment below if you know of something in her past that is objectively inexcusable.
Tulsi Gabbard is a very strange, unique, and timely candidate. She is not getting the attention she deserves and we should strongly consider her as the democratic nominee. The other candidates I am in favor of are Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, though I am worried that neither of them has as good of a chance of winning the general election and unifying our nation. I voted for Bernie in 2016, and I have met with and supported Yang from the very beginning of his campaign. Still, I think our best chance of defeating Trump would be for Bernie to give his endorsement to Tulsi, as she did for him in 2016, and for Yang to join forces with her campaign. Yang has a large and growing base of supporters and would be a great asset in her administration, especially with technology and the economy. He can also help improve our relations with China, which will be very important in the coming years in regards to trade and climate change.
Thank you for reaching this far, and considering my viewpoints. Remember, these are simply one person’s political opinions. It is your responsibility to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Luckily, there is a wealth of online interviews, podcasts, and posts that each campaign has been publishing, so there is no excuse not to be informed. I will link some of them below for Tulsi that you should watch if you want to learn more about her. It’s impossible to hide who you really are after 7 hours of conversation — thanks Joe Rogan for that!
If like me you think that she is a candidate worth supporting, I encourage you to donate to her campaign here.