Tulsi Gabbard caused a stir earlier this year when she formally left the Democratic Party. The move was not necessarily surprising – Tulsi had been critical of the Democratic Party, and she even attended CPAC earlier in the year. But Gabbard’s departure was unusual. She ran for president as a Democrat just two years ago.
Now an independent, Gabbard’s name is being floated as a potential GOP presidential candidate and, on occasion, also as a potential running mate for Donald Trump in 2024.
Actually, a few months back, bookmaker Betfair had placed Gabbard as the third most likely candidate to win the GOP nomination – at 10 to 1 – displacing former Vice President Mike Pence to fourth place. So, with that said, could a Trump-Gabbard ticket actually happen?
Tulsi Gabbard’s Growing Relevance
Betfair’s projections are not exactly hard science, but they do indicate Gabbard’s relevance to a party she has still not even joined.
Yet, while Gabbard has not joined the GOP, she has used her platform to levy sharp and credible criticisms against the Democrats. The statement Tulsi Gabbard released, announcing her departure from the Democratic Party, was scathing.
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” Gabbard’s statement said.
Tusli Gabbard’s statement certainly reads like something from the GOP side of the aisle.
Personally, Gabbard’s statement puts me in a tough spot. Problem is, I agree with a huge portion of it, especially the commentary on warmongering and wokeness.
Increasingly, I have had difficulty aligning with the Democratic Party, whose membership I hold.
Gabbard had been one of my favorites – someone I hoped could provide a necessary counter, within the party, to the warmongering and wokeness she describes.
Democrats Should Listen Up
While I am sure Tulsi Gabbard’s departure was largely a political calculation, it emphasizes how desolate the Democratic Party has become.
Historically, Democrats were the anti-war party, the guys picketing against Vietnam and Iraq. Modern Democrats vote unanimously to prop up Ukraine, functionally turning Ukraine into a proxy in a war against nuclear-equipped Russia. Historically, Democrats espoused equality under the law and the teachings of MLK. Modern Democrats have supplanted constitutionally mandated equality with human-resource department-mandated equity.
Historically, Democrats believed in regulating immigration in order to protect the employment prospects of America’s working class. Modern Democrats, living in coastal enclaves and relying on cheap immigrant labor to mow their lawns and clean their brownstones, promote open borders as a moral imperative. And when working-class citizens protest open borders, with concerns that unchecked immigration will make getting a proper paycheck more difficult, Democrats accuse the working class of naked racism.
Gabbard is certainly on to something. The Democratic Party is not the same party she joined at the turn of the century. The GOP has its own slew of problems, several of which are invalidating from my perspective.
But I appreciate that Tulsi Gabbard acknowledges and highlights the problems that are destroying the Democrats.
But would she take the bigger step and join the GOP and a 2024 ticket? I guess we have to wait and see.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.