Tulsi Gabbard has served since 2013 as the U.S. congresswoman for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District — a sprawling district that covers large swaths of Oahu/Honolulu County and the entire state outside Oahu. A member of the Democratic Party, Gabbard served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 – 2016. Prior to her service in Congress, Gabbard served in the Hawaii state legislature and as a member of the Honolulu City Council. At the time of her initial successful run for the state legislature, Gabbard was only 21 years old.
Gabbard was born in American Samoa and is of her mixed ethnic/religious background. Her Samoan father is a Catholic and her Hoosier State native mother is a practicing Hindu; Gabbard herself is a practicing Hindu. Gabbard, who has a bachelor degree from Hawaii Pacific University, is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. She was deployed to Iraq from 2004 – 2005 as part of a medical field unit, and was subsequently deployed to Kuwait from 2008– 2009.
Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate, is known for being a full-spectrum far-left progressive who embraces social leftism, far-left economic policies, and a staunchly non-interventionist foreign policy. Perhaps above all else, she is known for her longstanding and unusually collegial ties with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by the Iranian and Russian regimes.
Electoral History: Gabbard first sought elected office in 2002, when she won her first election to the Hawaii state legislature. Gabbard was only 21 years old, at the time. She served in the Hawaii House of Representatives until 2004, and subsequently served as a member of the Honolulu City Council from 2011 – 2012. She spent part of her time between the two political stints deployed in the Middle East with the Hawaii Army National Guard. She attained the rank of major in the National Guard in 2015.
Gabbard first ran for Congress in November 2012, shortly after being featured as a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She was elected in a landslide in Hawaii’s deep-blue 2nd Congressional District. The seat had been previously occupied by Mazie Hirono, who is now the state’s junior U.S. senator. Gabbard was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
On The Issues: Gabbard is a full-spectrum progressive, although she was more conservative on some social issues earlier in her political activism and nascent political career. Above all else, she is known for her hardline non-interventionist foreign policy that mollycoddles the brutal dictator and primary overseer of the Syrian Civilian War, Bashar al-Assad. Due to her fondness for Assad, other staunchly anti-American enemy regimes, such as Russia and Iran, have also warmed up to and even promoted Gabbard over the course of her political career.
Constitution: Gabbard often supports a leftist/progressive view of the Constitution and rule of law, although she has resisted calls to eradicate the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate’s legislative filibuster. She supports gun control measures that would restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Gabbard has opposed charges against infamous National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and international scofflaw Julian Assange, each of whom has been viewed positively by some in the Russia-cozy, hardline “civil libertarian” community.
Economy: Gabbard supports the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act financial services deregulation legislation — the Clinton-era repeal of which has been blamed by many leftists as a leading cause of the 2008 financial crisis. Like many of her fellow 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates, Gabbard supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. She opposes President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and has criticized the U.S. Department of Defense’s spending priorities. Gabbard supports raising taxes on the wealthy to support her socialized medicine proposal.
Health Care: Gabbard supports a single-payer/”Medicare-for-All” health insurance system that would amount to a governmental takeover and imposition of socialized health care in America.
Immigration: Gabbard supports amnesty for so-called “DREAM-ers,” and is generally supportive of other amnesty legislative initiatives that would undermine America’s sovereignty and empower brutal Mexican cartels and human trafficking rings. She has been a consistently harsh critic of the Trump administration’s attempts to secure our border amidst a hitherto unprecedented influx there of Central American migrants. Specifically, Gabbard has criticized “the Trump administration’s use of children as pawns in the immigration debate.”
Foreign Policy: Above all else, Gabbard is known for her hardline opposition to U.S. interventionism overseas. She consistently opposes U.S. military engagements in the Middle East and supports bringing home troops from far-flung locales such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Gabbard has been an unusually close ally of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — consistently opposing U.S. interventions in Syria, clandestinely meeting Assad in Syria in the past, and refusing to call him a “war criminal.” Gabbard supported President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and has been a critic of the Trump administration’s more hawkish approach to the terrorist mullocracy in Tehran. Gabbard has been critical of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s preeminent Sunni rival in the Middle East.
Abortion: Gabbard is emphatically pro-abortion and, like many of her 2020 Democratic presidential nomination challengers, has suggested that she would support repealing the Hyde Amendment, which has historically proscribed taxpayer funding of abortion. She has voted against a proposed 20-week abortion ban.
Guns: Gabbard supports a myriad of policies that would curtail Americans’ Second Amendment rights. She supports “universal” background checks, which often serve as a rhetorical euphemism for the government serving as an intermediary in all private firearms transfers. Gabbard supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called “assault weapons” — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America. Nonetheless, she was one of the few House Democrats to support a 2017 measure that sought to further protect veterans’ gun rights.