Quick: name the remaining Democratic presidential candidates.
You probably named Joe Biden first. The former vice president has been surging in the polls recently and has picked up key endorsements from several candidates who dropped out of the race, including Andrew Yang, Corey Booker, and Kamala Harris.
Then, of course, there’s Bernie Sanders. The senator from Vermont has been largely responsible for moving the progressive wing of the Democratic party to the forefront in recent years. His democratic socialist policies have resonated with younger voters in particular, and an entire generation seems to “Feel the Bern.”
Who else? Amy Klobuchar? Out. Elizabeth Warren? Out. Michael Bloomberg? Out. Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Jay Inslee, and an entire raft of other people are so long gone I can’t even remember their names.
So, who is left?
You’d have to be paying very close attention if you named Tulsi Gabbard. The Representative from Hawaii remains in the race for the Democratic party’s nomination for president, despite having won just two delegates so far (she needs 1991 to secure the nomination) and barely registering in the polls. She’s been absent from the debate stage the last two times, too, having failed to meet the qualifications.
Yet she remains in the race. In an interview with ABC News, she says she stays in the race because it’s “an opportunity to speak to Americans every single day about the sea change we need in our foreign policy.”
It takes moxie to remain that committed to your principles, and Gabbard has it. Here’s how:
Moxie stakes out the ground and holds it.
Gabbard is a combat veteran who served in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009.
In large part because of her experiences in a war zone, she’s staked out a vehemently anti-interventionist foreign policy. She believes both political parties are far too eager to go to war, and she views our military interventions as a waste of time and treasure.
While her position has won her praise from the far left and the far right, it’s cost her support in the middle.
But perhaps nothing has cost her more than her controversial visit with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Her visit legitimized a leader who has been accused of war crimes. She failed to communicate with Democratic leadership about the trip. Her actions called into question her judgment and motivations, and cost her a lot of support in her own party.
Yet she has remained steadfast in her convictions. That takes moxie.
Moxie isn’t afraid to buck the powers that be.
Despite her 2016 defeat and subsequent departure from seeking further offices, Hilary Clinton remains a looming presence in the Democratic Party. That’s why it was notable when she claimed that Russia had a plant in the Democratic field, many sat up and listened. Clinton warned that the Russians were backing a particular candidate in a bid to destabilize the United States.
It was clear that Clinton was talking about Gabbard. Gabbard’s stance on Syria, in particular, aligns with Russian interests.
Rather than walk back her position, Gabbard maintains it. What’s more, she’s filed a lawsuit against Clinton for defamation.
Moxie goes first and last.
When she took her seat in the House of Representatives in 2012, Gabbard became the first Samoan American and the first Hindu elected to Congress.
Now, even as her candidacy rolls on outside the spotlight, she is the lone remaining woman in the race.
She’s outlasted the likes of Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar. There’s something to be said for that.
What do you think of Gabbard?
Tulsa Gabbard’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard