From anti-imperialist Bernie backer to Fox News star: Tulsi Gabbard’s heel turn

By Bradley Bernard

SHE backed Bernie in 2016 when few other Democrats would – but Tulsi Gabbard has now left the party altogether and shunted right.

Mrs Gabbard served Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district for eight years, but made her name as a progressive Democrat – especially when it came to anti-imperialism.

At the Democratic National Convention in 2016, she opened for Bernie Sanders ahead of a tense confrontation with Hilary Clinton.

How on earth, then, did she go to supporting Trump-backed Republicans and becoming a mainstay on Fox News?

The former rising star of progressive politics – tipped by some to join the likes of AOC and the Squad but focus on a foreign policy perspective.

Instead, Gabbard left the party earlier this week after months of toeing the Fox News line.

She said: ‘I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoke anti-white racism.

“They actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.”

During her time in Congress, Gabbard constantly took aim at the Democratic leadership – whether it be under Barack Obama or Joe Biden – for foreign intervention.

This meant she appealed to the Democratic Left. Her run in 2020, while ultimately failing early, was best known for a phenomenal takedown of Kamala Harris.

But there were always some glaring issues with her so-called progressivism.

As well as appearing to cosy up with the BJP and Narendra Modi in India, her social views, especially on LGBTQ+ issues, were questionable for a progressive.

In 2020, she spent her final days as a lawmaker trying to restrict abortion and attacking transgender women, BuzzFeed News reported.

So when she turned away from mainstream Democrat circles towards being an independent, it was clear that she wasn’t joining any socialist movements.

While she hasn’t officially declared herself as a Republican, it’s likely she will milk the right-wing grift as much as possible in the coming years.

Perhaps we should have known for a while.

In November, Fox News host Sean Hannity told her:

“You don’t sound like a Democrat to me.

“I hereby — raise your right hand — you’re definitely a conservative.”

“Always a pleasure, Sean,” Gabbard responded.

Featured Image: Gage Skidmore @Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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