Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been quite vocal since she left political office earlier in January.
Unlike her Democrat colleagues, Gabbard is an independent thinker and willing to buck conventional wisdom on issues like foreign policy and civil liberties. She’s also not afraid to speak her mind about the childish way her colleagues behave in Congress.
In a recent podcast interview with former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, Gabbard described her previous stint in Congress as an experience akin to being in high school.
On “The Megyn Kelly Show”, Gabbard declared that there are “well-intentioned members” from both sides of the partisan aisle who want to cooperate but partisan bickering ends up derailing productive forms of bipartisan action.
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“If that is not in line with what the party wants, then you have threats of, if you do this, we’re not gonna back you up with any money or support in your re-election,” Gabbard stated. “If you do this, you’re not going to get the committee you want or you’ll get yanked off the committee that you’re on.”
“If we’re being serious it’s like high school.”
Gabbard recounted that after she was sworn into Congress, she along with newly elected congressmen, underwent a brief orientation and were allowed to mingle with their congressional counterparts. That said, she claims that elected officials were eventually “separated into camps.”
“Democrats went here and started meeting in different places,” Gabbard said to Kelly. “Republicans met in different places, and very directly the narrative and the directive was kind of set from the leadership that hey, this is about winning the next election.”
In addition, Gabbard claimed that members were instructed to limit working with their counterparts in the other party simply based on the assumption that the rival parties would use bipartisan legislation as a tool to secure their re-election.
“The hard partisanship line was set from the get-go like hey, this is our team, that’s their team. We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys. You don’t help the quote-unquote, enemy,” Gabbard observed.
The former Congresswoman from Hawaii even recalled Republicans being given similar instructions and noted that the way D.C. operated was largely based on partisan interests and winning elections.
She even asserted that congressional members who wanted to transcend polarization by working with partisan rivals were threatened by party leadership. The party chiefs threatened to pull their re-election support or cut funding from their re-election bids.
Gabbard is a known contrarian who has deviated from her party’s hawkish views on foreign policy. As a result, she has been called a “Russian asset” by numerous Democrat and Republican leaders alike. She has accused politicians from both parties for carrying out “superficial attacks” when discussing foreign policy.
“Constantly, I see, again, people from both parties instead resorting to name-calling or superficial attacks because they refuse to engage on the substance of this argument about why they continue to push for and try to wage these regime change wars ignoring the disastrous consequences on the people in the countries and the American people,” Gabbard said during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show in 2019.
In 2019, Gabbard was the only Democrat who warned about the divisive nature of the first impeachment proceedings taking place against former president Donald Trump at the time.
“If impeachment is driven by these hyper-partisan interests, it will only further divide a terribly divided country,” Gabbard declared. “Unfortunately, this is what we have already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election. As unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.”
Gabbard is one of the few unique voices that you’ll find on the Left. She actually challenges the uniparty on matters of foreign policy and the surveillance state. Her presence will be missed in Congress.
Though not all hope is lost. Nationalists should still try to connect with Gabbard and her base to build a transpartisan coalition that transcends polarization and builds a genuine populist movement that challenges the ruling class. A strategic partnership with this sect of the Left may prove fruitful for national populists.