by Rick Sterling
Tulsi Gabbard visited the San Francisco Bay Area last weekend. The three term Congresswoman from Hawaii is 37 years old and ethnically diverse. Remarkably, she has 15 years of military experience in the US Army and National Guard as well as substantial political experience. She was elected to the Hawaii State Assembly at age 21.
Tulsi Gabbard supports progressive domestic policy issues including criminal justice reform, healthcare-for-all, national and international steps to protect the environment. She has a high approval rating on gay issues.
What makes Gabbard really distinctive is her emphasis and approach to US foreign policy. While other candidates largely avoid the subject, Tulsi Gabbard says the issue is “central” to all other issues. She says we need to change the policy of “regime change wars” and “new cold war” with Russia and China. She advocates cooperation instead of conflict.
Gabbard said, “We are at a greater risk of nuclear catastrophe than ever before in history.” She described the scare of an incoming nuclear missile attack which occurred in Hawaii last year. Even though the alert turned out to be false, the threat is real. “It should alarm every one of us here that leaders in Washington are either not paying attention, they don’t know, or they don’t care. This should alarm every one of us because that means not only are we not addressing this threat, but the actions that leaders in Washington are taking are actually making it worse.”
Tulsi Gabbard says that as a soldier in a medical unit she has seen the “costs of war” first hand. Thousands of US soldiers never made it home alive. Many others suffer visible and invisible wounds of war. Where the US has intervened or invaded, the people are worse off not better. The “costs of war” are trillions of dollars which should be spent at home.
Gabbard says the bad policies are the result of ‘self-serving politicians, greedy corporations and special interests.” She calls out the military-industrial complex and decries the “powerful forces that have ruled over both parties in Washington for far too long.”
No wonder there is so much misinformation and so many attacks on Gabbard. She is challenging the core policy of US exceptionalism and identifying who benefits and “who pays the price” for those policies.
Her 35-minute presentation at the University of San Francisco can be viewed here. Following is the text of her speech followed by her response to questions regarding Bernie Sanders, her religion and age.
In the Q & A following the speech, one person asked about Bernie Sanders and her religion. Her response was as follows:
“Bernie remains a good friend and I think he brings such an important voice to this country and the conversations that we’re having.
My decision to run for president was really based on the recognition that the most important job that a president has is as commander in chief. So the experiences that I have in serving as a soldier for almost 15 years, of being deployed to the Middle East and seeing and experiencing firsthand the cost of war and the consequences of the failed policies of this country directly firsthand [are crucial]. I am not someone who is going to go into the White House and sit back and rely on the foreign policy establishment in Washington to tell me what to do. I don’t have to.
That is what differentiates me from every other candidate who’s running for president right now. Because I’m walking in on day one with that experience both as a soldier directly, but also as a member of Congress who served on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees for years, who has engaged with leaders of other countries who has held the feet to the fire of people like the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I’m not intimidated by the stars that someone wears on their shoulders.
I am not intimidated by the military industrial complex and what they are fishing for. I’m not running for president to be president. I’m running for president to be able to bring about this sea change in our foreign policy that is so necessary for us and for the world.
Quickly regarding the last question, I’m a practicing Hindu. I practice Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. I dedicate my life to do my best every day, to be of service to God and to be of service to others. That pretty much sums up my spiritual foundation and my motivation throughout my life.”
Another person asked how her young age as potentially the youngest president in US history and how she would cater to the needs of young people. She responded as follows:
“What matters most to what I bring to the White House and the presidency is the experience and perspective. In 2020 millennials will be the largest demographic. Millennials will actually be that majority to determine what kind of future we want for ourselves.
To me this is not about catering, that I’m going to cater to quote-unquote young people or this group or that group. The message that I shared with you today about why I’m running and the kind of change that I seek to bring about is the kind of change that serves every person in this country, not just one group or another, not one age or another, one race or another, one religion or another. This is about every single one of us.
The key to that, rather than pandering to one group or another, the kind of change we’re talking about is centered around putting people first, putting people ahead of profits, putting people ahead of politics, putting people ahead of the powerful, really working and centering our policies around how does this best serve the people of this country and our planet? That’s my goal. That’s my objective.”
Top Photo | Presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is reflected in a beveled mirror as she speaks with the media during an event, March 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher | AP | Editing by MintPress
Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii congresswoman and presidential candidate, visited with the people of California’s Bay Area this morning and hosted a town hall at San Francisco University. She passionately spoke about her unique qualifications to take on Trump, the current war powers, and the military industrial complex to bring safety, security, and resources back to the people of the United States, using those funds to secure healthcare, education, and infrastructure needs here at home.
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