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U.S. POLITICS

Tulsi Gabbard Is Not A Centrist, No Matter How Much You Like Her.

Tulsi Gabbard’s advocacy for the First Amendment are a means of pushing economically and politically left-wing policy.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has quickly become the right’s token “reasonable” Democrat. A “centrist” with whom those on the right can reason with. The conversation has shifted so far left in America that such basic values as Gabbard’s defense of the First Amendment and stance against war has slated her as some kind of ally.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Conservatives concerned about online censorship understandably rallied around Gabbard after she spoke out in support of First Amendment rights online.

When one examines Gabbard’s politics, the only difference between Gabbard and the right’s least favorite leftist ideologies is that she has spoken out articulately about online censorship and anti-interventionism.

Both talking points, however, are a means of pushing economically and politically left-wing policy.

Conservatives concerned about online censorship understandably rallied around Gabbard after she spoke out in support of First Amendment rights online.

“There’s just been news recently about Facebook banning certain individuals… because of their speech. They disagree with the speech they’re using or the ideas they’re pushing forward. Unchecked, First Amendment rights going out the window,” said Gabbard.

The Democratic candidate made her comments to Joe Rogan in an interview shortly after several conservative personalities including Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer were purged from Facebook and Instagram.

Tulsi Gabbard (Creative Commons)

Amidst Facebook’s flagrant display of censorship, conservatives celebrated Gabbard as the one Democratic candidate willing to stand up for their right to free speech.

What her cheerleaders fail to realize is Gabbard has been speaking out against corporate online censorship for years, as a means of pushing Net Neutrality legislation, a concept that she has called a “cornerstone of our democracy.”

“Net neutrality protects us from corporate censorship of information. The FCC’s obligation is to the people. We want an equal, open internet,” Gabbard wrote in April of 2017.

Many on the right rejoiced at Gabbard’s stance, while the Democratic candidate used their fight against censorship as an opportunity to push left-wing internet regulation.

In the words of her own campaign website, Gabbard seeks to “ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.”

We’ve allowed Democrat strategists to push the window of acceptable conversation so far to the left that they celebrate any Democrat who dares to stand up for American’s fundamental right to freedom of expression. Even if Gabbard’s statements were earnest, supporting the constitutional rights of Americans should be a requirement for a presidential candidate, not a selling point.

Speaking of constitutional rights, Gabbard picks and chooses what to support. In the words of her own campaign website, Gabbard seeks to “ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.”

She has demonstrated her desire to disarm the American population by continually pushing gun control legislation, including H.R.5087, a congressional bill that proposes a full ban on all “semiautomatic assault weapons,” with a pages-long definition that effectively includes every semiautomatic weapon in existence.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal (CC)

Her website also clearly states her support of the “concept of” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” a proposal that was (rightfully) relentlessly mocked by the right for its unrealistic goals and childish language (“cow farts.”)

Gabbard’s public support of the same bill is overlooked however, because she is viewed as more mature, reasonable, and eloquent than Ocasio Cortez.

But her goals are not much more grounded than those of Ocasio-Cortez. She is currently pushing the “OFF Fossil Fuels Act,” a bill that if passed would mandate a 100 per cent transition to “zero-emission” vehicles in just 16 years. The same bill would require that the United States transition to 100 per cent “clean energy” within the same 16-year period.

Gabbard’s environmental goals practically mirror those of Ocasio-Cortez. She’s just less bombastic about it.

Gabbard’s environmental goals practically mirror those of Ocasio-Cortez. She’s just less bombastic about it.

Libertarians and anti-war conservatives have praised Gabbard for her supposedly strong anti-interventionist stance. Those on the side of freedom are often quick to praise politicians who speak out against regime change war, but Gabbard’s motivations for anti-interventionist policies do not align with those on the side of economic liberty, as she openly states that she would rather take the money saved from ending regime change war and use it to socialize the American university and healthcare systems.

While it can be tempting in today’s political climate to celebrate those who stand up for the basic rights of individuals, we must not let ourselves be fooled into thinking that doing such is in itself worthy of high praise.

In this case, Gabbard has taken advantage of the American conservative’s growing desire to be heard, and many on the right have allowed themselves to be stupefied by the swansong of freedom of expression without considering the source.

Celine Ryan is an American journalist who reports on politics, culture, and the state of higher education. 

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