By Samir Zemmouri
While we’re only six months into the Trump presidency, we’ve already begun to hear potential names of candidates that could possibly run in 2020 — Hillary Clinton: Part 2, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and many others.
But in these political barbershop conversations we rarely hear this name arise: Tulsi Gabbard.
Tulsi Gabbard is a Congresswoman from Hawaii who’s currently serving in the National Guard as a highly-decorated Major, and she is also the potential candidate that could give Trump a run for his money in the 2020 election. Here’s why Gabbard may be the perfect storm next presidential election season:
- She endorsed Bernie Sanders
During the 2016 democratic primaries, Gabbard had stepped down from being the party’s vice chair in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Her support of Sanders will likely come to help her in the future as Bernie supporters– particularly the youth who voted for Sanders in the Primaries more than Clinton and Trump combined –will be more likely to vote as they become older. Especially as other issues such as universal health care, legalized marijuana, and criminal justice reform gain traction in the political world, younger voters will flock to a candidate who displays similar beliefs as they do, such as Gabbard.
- She is an active service member.
Congresswoman Gabbard started her military career when she was in the Hawaii House of Representatives, opting out of reelection in order to go to the National Guard for 18 months in Iraq. She went on to become an officer after attending Alabama’s Military Academy’s Officer Candidate School after two years of acting as an advisor to Daniel Akaka, Hawaii’s Senator at the time. Ms. Gabbard went back into active service in 2009 to train the Kuwaiti National Guard. She is the first woman to receive an award from the Kuwaiti National Guard and received many commendations and medals from the US Army and other foreign militaries.
Her military involvement and achievements matter because Americans have confidence in our military and like knowing candidates have served –according to Gallup, the majority of Americans have either “Quite a lot” or “A great deal” of confidence in the military.
- She is a staunch non-interventionist.
In 2019, The U.S. Military will have started training soldiers to fight in Middle Eastern wars (or more namely the War on Terror) that began before they were born.
This will play a role in middle America as the plurality of soldiers come from the top two quintiles of wealth in the country, contrary to popular belief. when the wars in the Middle East rage on, as when Tulsi Gabbard endorsed Bernie she said, “There is a clear contrast between our two candidates with regard to my strong belief that we must end the interventionist, regime change policies that have cost us so much. This is not just another issue. This is the issue, and it’s deeply personal to me,” She was surprisingly sided with the likes of Trump populists such as, Milo Yiannopoulos, Lauren Southern, Paul Joseph Watson, and Ann Coulter in criticizing the President when Trump ordered strikes against Syria.
- Identity Politics
Now I know what you are thinking, “Identity politics didn’t succeed in the 2016 election, why would it work this time?” The 2020 election will mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, allowing for endless marketing opportunities for Gabbard.
To conclude, many people will throw their hat in the ring to challenge Trump and there will be the big names such as Booker, Warren, and Schumer. However, Gabbard should begin to be a name to look out for.