Thursday, July 4, 2019

Why No Traction For Tulsi Gabbard?

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the only focused anti-war presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, is stuck at 1%.

This is in line with other polls I have seen since the debates. But why?

The problem is that Gabbard is a one-trick candidate on an issue that most voters don't seem to have, as horrific as it may be, significant concern about, US military adventures around the globe

I hinted of this potential problem for her in my post-debate wrap-up:
In the post-debate polls, we will see how many consider an anti-interventionist foreign policy an important issue since Gabbard made her anti-interventionist foreign policy position very clear and it separated her from the pack. If people think the issue is important she will climb in the polls, she is now at 1%.
The fact of the matter is that the interventionist-inclination of the Empire is an issue that is not a high priority for voters. It may be for libertarians but that is about it. And from what I understand, from several sources, she, or at least her handlers, are making a determined effort to keep away from libertarians. This may or may not be a smart tactical move but, either way, she needs to bring something more to the table than she is now or she is going to fade away and quickly.

She needs to do more than spout lefty platitudes when she isn't talking anti-foreign policy interventions.

Mainstream media isn't going to give her the coverage to breakout unless she forces, by a groundswell, support that they can't ignore.

She needs breakout issues that she talks about that will resonate with the people that the others aren't talking about.

For example, Social Security is one such issue.

No one is talking about Social Security, yet the SS trustees themselves admit that, as things stand, in the future Social Security will not be able to guarantee full benefits for current retirees.

The Trustees project that on a theoretical combined basis, the trust funds will run out by 2035. That means the program will be insolvent when today’s 51-year-olds reach the retirement age and today’s youngest retirees turn 78. At that point, all beneficiaries will face a 20 percent across-the-board benefit cut, which will grow to 25 percent over time.

On top of this, all Millenials have a pretty good sense that they are going to be totally screwed by the SS system they are paying into.

Tulsi could have this issue that crosses all demographic boundaries all to herself since no one else is talking about it, and I can't think of a more important issue for those dependent on SS and those who think they will get screwed by the system.

Her anti-intervention policy is obviously not going to do it and talking lefty platitudes is not going to break her out of the pack. She needs to grab on to new issue(s) like SS and attack boldly and aggressively, otherwise, she is done. She won't make it into the September debates which require that she show 2 percent support in at least four qualifying polls.

And then there will be no anti-war candidates.

And we need her now more than ever with Trump in the last 12 hours issuing the  below tweet at a country that is 6,578 miles from Washington D.C. and is absolutely no threat to the United States:



  1. Most people I talk to think that the Iran war issue is dead. Trump can’t afford a war.
    I don’t know if SS is that big of a deal? All the people I talk to who get it now don’t care cause they got theirs, and my parents generation just doesn’t seem smart enough to get it, spoiled and think the government will figure it out, and everyone else, including me, is just resigned to the fact it won’t be there. Not that I care if it is.
    Tulsi won’t go anywhere.
    Dr. Paul was anti-war, but also anti-fed, bankers, bailouts, anti-government, and gave young people something to aim their anger towards.
    Promising more government handouts isn’t really an anger driven issue, so I don’t see her doing anything, unfortunately.
    You might be right on though too. I talk mostly to Alaskans, and they don’t think normally.

    1. Unfortunately, here in Virginia, we have "normal" thinkers that love war...

  2. I've often wondered how far a candidate could get by running explicitly on the platform of "self-ownership." In addition to being pithy and thus able to fit on the proverbial political bumper sticker, it has the potential to cross the right/left divide, both positively and negatively. Imagine a candidate whose primary message were that every human being is the sole owner of his/her own body, and thus is the only one who has the right to decide what may be done with and to that body and the things that that body peacefully produces or acquires. With that basic message, the candidate could then explain why, if you agree with him/her, you ought to be against foreign wars, conscription, jury service, the "War on Drugs," taxation, occupational licensing, the FDA, forced vaccinations, immigration restrictions, eminent domain, minimum-wage legislation, etc.

    While this candidate might not (would probably not) win, it would be very interesting to see public discussion around the implications of this principle, much like Ron Paul stimulated new, public discussion around the meaning of "liberty." In particular, it would be fun to see those who argue to the contrary explain how they can be against self-ownership. Cue the Zombie: "Slaaaaaverrrrry."

  3. "The fact of the matter is that the interventionist-inclination of the Empire is an issue that is not a high priority for voters"

    For the left, for democrat voters, it is worse than that. As I've mentioned before IME finding someone on the left that will even trade the warfare state for their welfare state desires is rare.

  4. Though the lead story in the local paper on July 3 was about the death of a young soldier in Afghanistan, it will not cause much angst among those who today celebrate the 4th. There are too few of these deaths to concern anyone. The MSM approves of the wars so it will not gain traction there. No one I encounter ever brings up the foreign aggression of the U.S. as a worry in conversation; the economy perhaps, militarism, never. It's on almost no one's radar.

  5. Tulsi should have been a lesbian....