The former Congresswoman from Hawaii and 2020 Presidential Candidate officially leaves the Democrat Party. At least some of her reasons are likely shared by millions of Americans, but the reaction from her former fellow Democrats makes it clear they currently view their political party as a religion and will admit no introspection.
If the party affiliations were reversed, Tulsi Gabbard’s announcement this week that she was officially leaving the Democrat Party would have been front page news in all the publications the experts love to claim matter. Ms. Gabbard was a Democrat Presidential Candidate two years ago, after spending eight years in the House of Representatives, representing the ultra-progressive state of Hawaii. The former Congresswoman has never been a social justice warrior, but she was a reliable Democrat vote throughout her entire tenure. According to the political metrics site, 538, Ms. Gabbard opposed Donald Trump almost 80% of the time. PoliticsThatWork.com reports that she was a champion of civil rights, favoring “broad civil rights” 97.2% of the time and the middle class in general 91% of the time. On gun control, poverty amelioration, public health, a robust safety net, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, taxing the wealthy, consumer protection, and education funding, she voted 100% of the time in favor. Until recently, Ms. Gabbard would be a proud Democrat by almost any measure, but now, she is no longer a Democrat at all. Why and what might her reasons mean for other moderate Democrats? Nothing happens in a vacuum as they say, and it seems likely we might glean something of the general mood of the country from Ms. Gabbard’s line of thinking. Could the reasons she cited apply more broadly? Fortunately, the former Congresswoman explained her thinking in a video posted to Twitter. “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers who are driven by cowardly wokeness who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism, who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police but protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, who believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.”
Rarely does a single sentence highlight so many related and unrelated ideas, summarizing the frustrations of so many across a wide range of issues, bookended by concerns over the potentially never ending war in Ukraine. Ms. Gabbard served in the military herself, and it should come as no surprise that the continuously shifting objectives in our proxy conflict with Russia should be foremost in her thoughts. There is no doubt the lead up to Russia’s invasion was mishandled. There were at least three months during which we might have deterred Russian aggression, but instead of taking meaningful action like aggressive sanctions or better arming the Ukrainians in advance, we did nothing except talk. Once engaged, we were informed the war wouldn’t last more than a few days as Russia rolled through a much weaker country. Then we hoped for an amicable settlement, facilitated by what were called “crippling” sanctions sure to destroy the Russian economy. Now, President Biden is warning of “Armageddon,” Ukraine is pushing to join NATO, officially starting World War III, and regime change in Russia increasingly appears to be our policy. That his debacle began unfolding less than a year after our humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, another near-never ending war during which the promises of the establishment never materialized, is even more shocking. While Ms. Gabbard feels this issue acutely given her service to the country, it is unlikely to have much impact on the average voter. The media has long since reduced itself to a pro-Ukrainian cheering section, and otherwise shows little interest in analyzing or criticizing our every changing strategy. Afghanistan is also barely a footnote in the disastrous history of Joe Biden’s short Presidency.
The second part of her statement, however, is likely to resonate with a broader cross section of people. Over the past decade or so, we have witnessed the disturbing rise of what she accurately described as those “who are driven by cowardly wokeness who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism.” From entertainment to education with crime in between, there is almost nothing that occurs in 2022 America that is not analyzed through a racial lens, and invariably the Democrats find white people wanting, guilty of both past and present sins. This obsession with race affects everything, from the mundane like the shows we watch, to the critically important such as how we respond to national disasters, the policies we pursue to keep our cities safe, how the government distributes funds, how the government and companies hire people, and how we educate our children. Moreover, the white man and to some extent the white woman is always the villain in this scenario, as even the woke do not believe we can ever rid ourselves of inherent racism. This has led to three things, all equally bad. First, Democrat bastions in particular have completely paralyzed themselves as crime rapidly increases. They are unable to correctly separate the victim from the perpetrator, and are increasingly viewing criminals as victims, literally setting them free to commit more crimes. This Ms. Gabbard refers to later, saying the Democrat Party is filled with people who “demonize the police but protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans.” Ironically, those that will be victimized and even lose their lives as a result are primarily Democrats, the very same underprivileged minorities the party claims to champion. Second, almost every aspect of our history and culture is under constant attack in the classroom and popular media at large. Parents are being told by Democrat politicians to stay out of their children’s education as Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project teach students that America was founded on racism and is inherently irredeemable unless their preferred policies are enacted promptly. Anyone who objects is immediately branded a racist themselves, even when expressing their opinion regarding the casting choices of a TV show. In this view, there is racism everywhere, haunting us in everything we do, see, and hear, even drive. (Yes, the roads are racist too.) Third, the average, moderate, and fair-minded person who leans Democrat is faced with a choice: Do you go along with this madness even if it makes you uneasy because you support other aspects of the party platform, or do you call it out and perhaps even leave the party as Ms. Gabbard did? This is undoubtedly a question millions of people are asking themselves.
The other issues Ms. Gabbard cites are perhaps less impactful to the average voter, who only follows politics tangentially, if at all. This does not make any of her concerns less valid. There is little doubt that the progressive movement currently dictating Democrat policy has little interest in fundamental rights or democratic processes that limit or slow down their agenda; there is not a democratic norm or institution that has stood in their way they have not railed against, claimed was illegitimate, or tried to change, even though many of these same traditions such as the filibuster have been praised in the past by the same people now branding them undemocratic. People of faith are often outright ridiculed in the media and similar circles, while the open borders agenda is considered almost a sacrament for reasons that go largely unexplained. I didn’t combine those two clauses by accident: Ultimately, Ms. Gabbard is encapsulating a set of positions and policies that do not make much sense either in isolation or together, but have combined somehow into a sort of progressive religion regardless of their results. Thus, logical consistency is not a requirement and whether or not a given policy works is not relevant. There are things progressives take entirely on faith: The power of the government is good when run by progressives. Rights in general are to be meted out based on your allegiance to the progressive cause. The country is so inherently racist that even criminals are no longer criminals if they have the right skin color. The country has no right to protect its borders, even if the result of more people coming in negatively affects their own constituents, the same as the increase in crime. A fetus, even one that is about to be born, has no rights whatsoever to the point where we can leave it to die. Ms. Gabbard doesn’t mention it, but I would add that humans are Earth’s most dangerous parasite, and everything we do will one day result in our own destruction unless progressives are in charge.
Like any good religion, these precepts are taken on faith and are therefore not debatable. We can see something of this in the reaction to Ms. Gabbard’s announcement. Max Burns, a “Democratic strategist,” shared his thoughts on NBCNews.com, claiming “few Democrats will shed a tear at her self-imposed exile” and saying “good riddance.” In Mr. Burns’ mind, all fault lies with her, pay no attention to policies that have torn the country apart and are on the brink of wrecking the economy, if not the world. Ms. Gabbard, you see, has been “drifting relentlessly rightward” over the last two years. It couldn’t be that she expressed legitimate concerns, rather her “reasons for leaving read like a typical Tucker Carlson monologue.” As evidence, Mr. Burns cites her concern that the Biden Administration has been “weaponiz[ing] law enforcement into a political hit squad,” blissfully unaware that the FBI has announced the targeting of parents concerned with Critical Race Theory and recently conducted armed raids on abortion protesters while not a single arrest has been made in cases where pro-life community centers have been firebombed. While we do not yet know what will become into the investigations of former President Donald Trump, we do know that they are entirely unprecedented in the history of the country and there is at least the potential of political malfeasance any time one party runs an investigation into another. Anyone with even a modicum of fairness has to wonder why President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland refuse to explain themselves while allowing an endless stream of illegal leaks to feed the media frenzy. If weaponization isn’t the word you would use, what would be, because certainly all of this is something we haven’t seen before and deserves a description? Politicization? Incredibly, Mr. Burns notes, “Gabbard earned just 0.85% of the vote in Washington state, 1.7% in Oklahoma, just over 1% in South Carolina and an embarrassing 0% in the Mississippi Democratic Primary before she dropped out in March 2020.” Apparently, Mr. Burns is unaware that Vice President Kamala Harris earned not a single vote. What does that make her? Nor is he alone in his snark and condescension. Disgraced journalist Dan Rather chimed in with, “Tulsi Gabbard announcing she’s leaving the Democratic Party is sort of like someone you’ve already broken up with saying ‘that’s it, we’re through.’” Pennsylvania State Representative Malcom Kenyatta quipped, “Wait, Tulsi Gabbard was a Democrat?”
So far as I can tell, there was not the slightest bit of reflection to be found, despite the fact that a whopping 66.9% of voters feel the country is on the “wrong track” according to the Real Clear Politics Average. They too must be watching a lot of Tucker Carlson considering the Democrats control the Presidency and both Houses of Congress. They are in charge and collectively they have unleashed a worst of times scenario – a sinking economy, increasing prices, a broken border, unrest around the world following a brutal defeat, and more. One would think a close look in the mirror would be warranted considering almost everything on the planet is worse since the Democrats took power in Washington, DC, but a religion will never allow it. The only question is how devoted are the faithful? In other words, how many are like Ms. Gabbard? We’ll get a glimpse in a few weeks in the midterm elections, but in the meantime I expect there are millions.