NOTTURNO: Tulsi Gabbard — A Vice President Who Could Unite America
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert.
Gabbard’s bright red jacket along with Colbert’s unusually pointed, abrasive, and denigrating questions could have easily confused many in the audience — but yes, she is a Democrat.
But while many other Democrat presidential candidates have twisted themselves into identitarian knots and prostrated themselves on the altar of political correctness in order to placate an increasingly extreme Leftist wing of the party, Gabbard has primarily campaigned on removing the United States from foreign entanglements.
A combat veteran who fought in Iraq, Gabbard knows the cost of regime-change wars and has a deep distrust of the pseudo-intellectuals and supposed policy experts who start them. And she is not afraid to speak her mind, even if it displeases her Democratic colleagues in Congress and the media. She has already had plenty of experience standing up to the Democratic establishment.
Gabbard was one of the few Democrats who met with President-elect Trump shortly after the election, with many reporting that he was considering making her ambassador to the United Nations. Gabbard said that while she was defying the “rules of political expediency” by meeting with Trump, she would not “play politics” with American and Syrian lives.
Gabbard ruffled more feathers in the establishment by meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, once again showing timid policy wonks across the country that meeting and talking with enemies does not give them a magic shield of credibility. She was criticized by Democrats and the media, but she made the case for seeking peace through dialog and refused to back down.
Gabbard is one of the few Democrats who realize that while conversation may be distasteful, the lack of conversation can be fatal.
The media has largely marginalized Gabbard, opting to focus on the circus of other Democratic candidates cannibalizing each other over jokes, apologizing for complimenting their wives, and cooking up strategies to preemptively mitigate their white privilege. They do not want to give credence to a candidate who has echoed Trump’s insistence that without a “secure border, we don’t really have a country.”
As the rest of the Democratic field rushes to out-woke each other and alienate most moderate Americans, Gabbard is one of the few candidates who is sticking to her principles and continuing to fight for normal citizens who are far more concerned about maintaining peace than appeasing the radical identitarians.
It is clear that the Democratic establishment does not appreciate Tulsi Gabbard and will do everything in their power to ensure that she does not make it through the primary process. We should expect no less from the same party that rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.
But what should we do when a moderate Democrat gets a better reception on Tucker Carlson Tonight than on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert?
Conservatives — the non-neo-con ones — have a unique opportunity.
Many moderate Democrats privately despair at the radicalization of their party and the lengths their candidates have to go in order to emerge from the primary process relatively unscathed. Even Nancy Pelosi has a difficult time walking the tight-rope to ensure that she retains the support of the extremists without losing the rest of America.
Conservatives should make a concerted effort to reach out to open-minded moderate Democrats, engage them in good faith, debate their policy proposals, and find common ground to build a new pro-America coalition. We may disagree on many specifics, but at least we have the same goals and priorities.
There is a new political divide in the country between the people who want what is best for America’s citizens and those who would prefer to virtue signal by calling for increased foreign engagement, fundamental impairment of our economy, and continued identitarian strife.
This is a divide between those who believe that America — despite all of its flaws — is still a fundamentally good country and those who believe that it — despite all of its ideals — is a bad country that needs fundamental change.
Reasonable people can disagree on the efficacy of Medicare for All without tearing the country apart. But a house fundamentally divided against itself cannot stand. Self-hatred and the constant call for self-flagellation stokes internal animus, leaves the country weary, and eats at the morale of a nation that already faces existential threats.
Let’s unite a new coalition of politicians and constituents who put America first. The threat from the anti-America coalition is far greater than any petty internal squabbles we may have.
Karl Notturno (@KarlNotturno) is a fellow at the Center for American Greatness. He also serves as director of A Soldier’s Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.