Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We’re Doomed
by Nellie Bowles, New York Times Aug 2, 2019 (excerpts)
…She has a relatively bare-bones political operation and a history of outlier positions, from her foreign policy stances to suing Google for free-speech impingement. Some of her own advisers do not think she will win. She may not make it to the September debate.
But her run, and the unusual cross-section of voters she appeals to — Howard Zinn fans, anti-drug-war libertarians, Russia-gate skeptics, and conservatives suspicious of Big Tech — signifies just how much both parties have shifted, not just on foreign policy. It could end up being a sign that President Trump’s isolationism is not the aberration many believed, but rather a harbinger of a growing national sentiment that America should stand alone.
On the far left, her supporters appreciate how she talks about respecting Native cultures. On the right, as liberal democracies see authoritarian strongmen rise, Ms. Gabbard’s allies like that she would not meddle with dictators.
The threat from Russia is severely exaggerated, Ms. Gabbard says. Do not beat the drums of war with Iran. Make nice with North Korea.
She flew to Syria in 2017 and had what seemed to be a friendly meeting with Bashar al-Assad, shocking her colleagues in Congress, and voted against a House resolution condemning the dictator’s war crimes. More recently, she said Mr. Assad was “not the enemy of the United States.”
Critics have called her actions un-American. After Ms. Gabbard tore into presidential candidate Kamala Harris for her prosecutorial record during the second Democratic debates on Wednesday, the California senator on CNN called Ms. Gabbard an “apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches.”….
Ms. Gabbard’s coalition is a motley crew.
“Tulsi Gabbard by far is the very, very best,” former Republican congressman Ron Paul said in an interview with Russia Today.
“Go Tulsi!” the right-wing commentator Ann Coulter said on Twitter.
“Tulsi Gabbard’s my girl, I’m voting for her I decided, I like her,” the popular podcaster Joe Rogan said on his show.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, donated the maximum he could to her.
She also has attracted the attention of some figures in the alt-right, in part because they imagine that a reordering of America’s role abroad also means pulling away from its longstanding alliance with Israel. David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, has tweeted approvingly of her….
As this fan base has risen around her, some who track Russian disinformation campaigns say they see troll activity pushing for Ms. Gabbard as well….
“Tracking metrics of Russian state propaganda on Twitter, she was by far the most favored candidate,” said Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent and senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. “She’s the Kremlin’s preferred Democrat. She is such a useful agent of influence for them. Whether she knows it’s happening or not, they love what she’s saying.”…
read … The New York Times