If you think of Hawaii as a state of sand, surf, and easy-go lifestyles, you probably aren’t too far off. However, Democratic Representative and 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is proving that when you rattle their cage, not everything is going to come out leis and luaus.
And unlike most from her party, her target of rage isn’t President Donald Trump or even his party. Surprisingly, it is the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the mainstream media outlets that they support.
According to Gabbard, the DNC and corporate media are shutting out specific Democratic candidates while putting all of their focus on others. She believes that early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada are being targeted so that only front runners like former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren get the traction to move forward. Second-tier candidates like Gabbard are stuck fighting tooth and nail to get even the smallest amount of publicity and support.
Gabbard says, “They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early voting states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten.”
And this isn’t the first time the Hawaiian representative has expressed criticism for the DNC and their antics in the presidential debate. In August, she told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that the DNC’s decision-making process created a “lack of faith and trust” in the party as well as the entire Democratic process. She said they were not being transparent and that “people deserve having that transparency because, ultimately, it’s the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be.”
And she is, without a doubt, correct.
It is the people’s job to decide who will be nominated, as well as who will be president. It isn’t the party’s job to choose that or even the leaders of that party.
She is experiencing precisely what then-candidate Donald Trump warned about in 2016. Gabbard, like Trump, is up against “a small group of really powerful political elites, the establishment, making decisions that server their interests, and maintaining that power, while the rest of us are left outside.”
Trump found himself on the outside because he was not like most of his opponents from the political world. And Gabbard, while having experience in politics, has not presented herself in such a way that aligns herself with most of her opponents, and therefore, she has been “left outside.”
One such way the DNC is ensuring that only the top candidates make it is to create a set of strict rules for qualifying for any of their debates. And as the election gets ever closer, those thresholds are continuously being raised.
To qualify for the October debates, Democratic candidates must obtain at least 165,000 unique donors with a minimum of 600 individual donors per state in at least 20 states, and they must also have at least three percent in at least four DNC approved polls.
Gabbard did qualify for this month’s debate but failed to do so last month.
To be clear, one does not have to participate in the DNC debates to continue campaigning for the presidency or even win it. However, doing so can be extremely beneficial to any candidate, as appearing on national television gives you an opportunity to let the nation know about you, the policies you stand for, and just what kind of leader you plan to be.
Many have said that not participating in the debates is essentially campaign suicide and as such choose to drop out of the race if they are not allowed to.
Gabbard is not one of those, though.
When she didn’t qualify last month, she was asked if she would concede a loss. Her response, was “I started hearing from a lot of people in the media when they said, ‘K, you didn’t make the third debate. Are you quitting?’… Hell no! If any of them had been listening to what I’ve been saying about what this movement is about, about why I’m running for president, and what is at stake, they would understand why we are here and why we will never quit.”
Gabbard has made it clear that no matter how hard the DNC and mainstream media push her from the limelight, she will fight to win because it is worth it.