The U.S. Politician Who Could Become Second Abraham Lincoln

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

There are several reasons why the progressive Tulsi Gabbard stands an extraordinarily good likelihood of repeating the extraordinary achievement of the progressive Abraham Lincoln.

The electoral defeat of a liberal Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the widespread recognition of the fact that a progressive Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate would have stood a far higher probability of beating Donald Trump than Clinton did, combines with an equally widespread recognition that the Democratic Party’s corrupted leadership by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton brought enormous harm to the Democratic Party by actually cheating the stronger and more progressive candidate Sanders out of the Party’s nomination, so that competition has already begun within the Democratic Party, to determine whom the Party should nominate in 2020 to run against President Donald Trump. There is no longer an incumbent (such as Obama), nor his chosen successor (such as was the former Secretary of State, Clinton), to dominate the Democratic field in 2020 (as was the case in 2016); and yet even Sanders himself — who in 2016 was more preferred to become President than was any other of the twenty major-Party candidates — would likely be too old for some of his 2016 voters to support again in 2020. Many Democratic voters will be looking for “new blood” — a progressive like Sanders, but one whose remaining life-expectancy will extend well beyond two terms as the U.S. President.

Clinton is simply out of the running because of her failure and because of the clear harms that she has already done to the Party (losing across-the-board: Presidency, Senate, House, governorships, and state houses); and yet Sanders is still considered as a possibility, although he would be 79 years old in 2020 and is therefore unlikely to be chosen. The field is wide open this time around, not at all like it was in 2016.

Attention thus has begun to be focused upon the young progressive who nominated Sanders at the Democratic National Convention on 26 July 2016: U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. One of the chief arguments that are presented against her as being a Presidential candidate in 2020 (if she won’t already by that time have become a U.S. Senator) is that she is “only” a member of the large U.S. House of Representatives, and not a member of the far smaller, and yet more powerful, U.S. Senate — nor is she a state governor (which post, along with that of being a Senator, have traditionally been the two preferred springboards into the White House). But her being “only” a Representative is not actually a disqualifier.

There were two U.S. Representatives who ran for the White House and who won, and one of those two was possibly the greatest U.S. President ever: the progressive Abraham Lincoln in 1860. (The other was James Garfield, 20 years later.) Also like Lincoln, who staked out and led a stunningly courageous progressive political position on the central political issue of his time, Tulsi Gabbard has staked out and led a stunningly courageous progressive political position on what is perhaps the central political issue of our time.

This young progressive might therefore repeat what Lincoln did.

Abraham Lincoln went from being one of Illinois’ Representatives in Congress, directly to becoming (according to historians in our time) tied with the progressive Franklin Delano Roosevelt as having been the greatest American President.

The progressive Illinois Representative Lincoln became a U.S. President because he displayed the extraordinarily rare moral courage, as a U.S. Presidential candidate, to condemn the most evil conservative tradition in his time, slavery, that had been cursing this country for decades, ever since America’s founding in the Constitution of 1787 — the nation’s founding document that accepted slavery, and that thus granted slave-owners an additional three-fifths or 60% of representation in Congress, for each and every slave that they owned; or, as wikipedia describes the net impact of the Constitution’s Three-Fifths Clause, “The effect was to give the southern states a third more seats in Congress and a third more electoral votes than if slaves had been ignored, but fewer than if slaves and free persons had been counted equally, allowing the slaveholder interests [the slave-owners] to largely dominate the government of the United States until 1861.” Lincoln broke the stranglehold that the slaveholding Southern aristocracy (and their backers amongst the northern aristocrats) had held, during the nation’s early decades, over the U.S. government. Lincoln broke the dictatorship of the slave-owners (and of their northern bankers and slave-merchants — after all, those suppliers to the slave-market had benefited considerably from the added clout that the Three-Fifths Clause was providing to their customers, and which had helped continue and even expand the slaving tradition: the buying of slaves, from those slavers).

The progressive Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard similarly displays extraordinarily rare moral courage, hers being to condemn the most evil conservative tradition of our time: she condemns the U.S. military-industrial complex’s decades-long stranglehold, ever since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, over the U.S. government — the dictatorship that the weapons-corporations such as Lockheed Martin have over the U.S. federal government after the Cold War had ended on the Russian side, in 1991, and after Russia’s communism had ended and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to defend against America’s NATO alliance, also both ended in 1991, on Russia’s side, but the Cold War did not really end on America’s side. The Cold War continues, even today, on the American side, because of the stranglehold of the U.S. military-industrial complex over our government, which expands (instead of ends) its anti-Russian military alliance, NATO, even after that alliance’s very reason-for-being — the communist threat — had ceased a full quarter-century ago.

As Gabbard has courageously expressed this matter, regarding specifically the very hot issue of America’s participation in the war in Syria, when speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, on 8 December 2016:

Ms. GABBARD. Mr. Speaker, under U.S. law, it is illegal for you or me or any American to provide any type of assistance to al Qaeda, ISIS, or other terrorist groups. If we broke this law, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. Government has been violating this law for years, directly and indirectly supporting allies and partners of groups like al Qaeda and ISIS with money, weapons, intelligence, and other support in their fight to overthrow the Syrian Government.

  A recent New York Times article confirmed that “rebel groups” supported by the U.S. “have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as Al Nusra.”

  The Wall Street Journal reports that rebel grounds are “doubling down on their alliance” with al Qaeda. This alliance has rendered the phrase “moderate rebels” meaningless. We must stop this madness. We must stop arming terrorists.

  I am introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to support terrorists.

She would refocus our military against jihadists, instead of against Russians.

Rather than asserting such a hateful conservative lie as “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe,” Gabbard was saying that jihadists in all countries (and implicitly thereby, the aristocracies, such as the Sauds, that fund them) are that. (But, of course, America’s military-industrial complex sells lots more weapons if nuclear war is the goal than if killing terrorists is the goal — so, they can’t support a candidate such as Gabbard, who prefers to defend the American people, instead of to sell weapons.) And not only was she asserting that Russia’s ally Syria was defending itself against the jihadists, as the U.S. itself is, but she was asserting that our country, the United States, has actually been supporting those jihadists because they’re trying to overthrow Syria’s anti-jihadist government, which is supported by Russia. She was interviewed hostilely by both the liberal newsmedia and the conservative newsmedia — both Democrats and Republicans — and was condemned especially by the Democratic Party’s leadership — for her leading this anti-aristocratic position, and for her displaying this moral courage, even in the face of the aristocracy who buy ‘electoral’ wins, such as seats in Congress, and ultimately buy even America’s Presidencies, the people who occupy the U.S. White House.

(As regards Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s famous assertion that “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe,” the only sense in which that statement is even conceivably realistic is that the settlement at the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was for the U.S. and Russia to have a balanced level of mutual-deterrence nuclear forces: the concept of maintaining Mutually Assured Destruction, or “MAD,” which had prevented another world war, was to continue, to the mutual benefits of both sides, and of the entire world. But that is very different from continued mutual hostility and a nuclear-arms race, such as the neoconservatives (all the way from John McCain to Hillary Clinton) want. After the end of the Soviet Union, that costly arms-race wasn’t supposed to continue. George Herbert Walker Bush and his agents all assured Mikhail Gorbachev that the Cold War would be over if communism ended and the Warsaw Pact ended. The U.S. aristocracy just doesn’t want to fulfill its side of that bargain — they lied; they want conquest.)

As I look at the viewer-comments that are posted on all of those videos of Gabbard presenting this position — a position which is rejected by all of the U.S. Establishment — I get the impression that her position wins such broad public support, that Representative Gabbard would, if she becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 2020, sweep the White House and the Senate and the House, and become, as Abraham Lincoln was in the 1860s, a President who would, temporarily, conquer America’s aristocracy, which this time owns the giant ‘defense’ oligopoly firms, instead of owns the most slaves.

Here, for example, was a typical statement from Lincoln — the first and only progressive Republican President (the only one, because his Party got taken over by the U.S. aristocracy immediately after he was shot dead in 1865); it’s dated 3 December 1861:

——

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and, with their capital, hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class — neither work for others, nor have others working for them. In most of the southern States, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters; while in the northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families — wives, sons, and daughters — work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital — that is, they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

Again: as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all — gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. No [Page  53] men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty — none less inclined to take, or touch, aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.

——

Here was a typical statement from Gabbard, this one condemning the then Democratic President Barack Obama’s hyper-conservative (or extremely pro-aristocracy) proposed TPP commercial treaty with Pacific-Rim countries:

——

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-itc-s-report-confirms-tpp-bad-deal-american-people

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: ITC’s Report Confirms TPP is A Bad Deal for the American People

May 20, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, released the following statement after the International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) projected impact on the U.S. economy:

“The International Trade Commission report confirms what we have known all along—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is a bad deal for the American people.  We’ve heard from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade.  The ITC’s report tells us the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don’t even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, which is not addressed in the deal, environmental impacts, and the agreement’s deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process that empowers foreign corporations to supersede our sovereignty and domestic rule of law. This report further proves that the TPP is worse than we thought, and will benefit Wall Street banks and multinational corporations on the backs of hard-working Americans and our economy.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard strongly opposed “fast-track” Trade Promotion Authority when it came before the House last year and has continued to speak out against the TPP.  Earlier this year, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Rosa DeLauro and other lawmakers released a joint op-ed on why the American people deserve better than the TPP.

——

Gabbard’s anti-TPP position, and her anti anti-Russia position, happen actually to be intimately connected, because a major motivation for Obama’s geostrategy behind all three of his mega-‘trade’ deals — TPP, TTIP, and TISA, all three of which were greatly facilitated by Congress’s passage of “Fast Track” — had also been designing it so as to exclude both Russia and China (as well as the other BRICS countries) from belonging to any of these proposed huge trading-blocs. TPP, TTIP, and TISA, were thus intended actually as huge collective acts of “trade war.” For example: “TISA involves 51 countries, including every advanced economy except the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).” The U.S. aristocracy are like a giant boa-constrictor, with an unlimited appetite for conquest, and they cannot succeed without their alliances with the aristocracies of other nations. Gabbard repeatedly has said that she wants to do everything she can to help “ending our country’s interventionist regime-change war policies.” A progressive believes that being more aggressive isn’t necessarily being stronger, but can (and often does) cause a nation to become weaker, and less prosperous — even if not for its aristocrats, who thrive by invading other lands.

Both Lincoln and Gabbard are Representatives (and, in Lincoln’s case, subsequently a President) who courageously waged ideological battle for the public, against the aristocracy — they were/are progressives. The main difference between them is that the aristocracy today wages its warfare against the public differently than it did in 1860. Whereas nowadays it derives the biggest source of its power from selling weaponry and energy and disease-care products and financial services (including to U.S. soldiers), in Lincoln’s time it was selling slaves and the products of slaves. So, today’s government has been designed for the ‘defense’ firms, whereas until 1860 it was designed for the slaving firms.

Though the times have changed, the basic ideological struggle remains basically the same as it always has been: the aristocracy versus the public. And, like Representative Abraham Lincoln did in the 1850s, Representative Tulsi Gabbard in our time has been making very clear, by her courageous actions and statements, on which side of the ideological divide she stands. It’s the same side that Sanders himself stood on: the progressive side. He would be terrific — in her Cabinet, or in her White House: like William H. Seward was, to Abraham Lincoln.

PS: Anyone who doubts the moral courage, the highest form of patriotism, that has been demonstrated by this devoted public servant, should consider that, on 14 March 2016, when the viciousness of Barack Obama’s treachery to replace the secular Russia-allied Syrian government by a jihadist Saudi-controlled government was being hidden by all of the U.S. press and was being supported by the entire U.S. aristocracy, Gabbard was the only Democrat, and was joined by only two courageous Republicans (Amash and Massie), voting in the U.S. House of Representatives against the pro-jihadist “BILL TITLE: Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the gross violations of international law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government of Syria, its allies, and other parties to the conflict in Syria” (also called “Condemning Violations of Law by the Government of Syria”), which one-sided condemnation (against only Syrian government forces) pretended that jihadists, whom Barack Obama called ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria, represented American values, and represented these values more than did the existing non-sectarian government of Syria. Gabbard had the guts, as a rare decent Democrat, to vote there against the then-U.S. President, Obama, who was of her own Democratic Party — the President who wanted Congress’s support for his escalating war against Russia, on the battlefields of Syria, based all on lies. No other House Democrat joined her in voting against this condemnation. A measure like this can, if passed (and the vote in this case was 392 to 3), subsequently be cited by a President who is seeking congressional authorization to go to war. So: it’s a step toward war —  a war on the side of jihadists, against an ally of Russia. In 2014, 98% of Congress had voted for a measure which would almost certainly have led to war against Russia. A President Hillary Clinton might have taken that bait, but the actual President, Obama, did not. In Congress, both Parties want war against any ally of Russia. Naturally, that could lead to a war against Russia. Russia’s patience with U.S. (and NATO) aggression has a limit. Perhaps Gabbard will wake Americans up to how dangerous America’s aggression can turn out to be. If she has the courage to do that, then would anything be able to block her from becoming President? And considering what happened to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, it would require a lot of physical courage, too. Who else but she would be up to the challenge?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • I would vote for Tulsi. It would be refreshing to have a president who is intelligent and tells the truth.

    • Eric Zuesse

      Thanks for saying that, because it’s my point. For truth-telling about the American government, she puts even Bernie Sanders to shame. And she wouldn’t have some of the disabilities he had. I have looked at reader-comments to hostile news-stories about her bold moves, and they’re remarkably supportive of her. These are at both Democratic and Republican ‘news’ sites. I therefore think that she is onto something, which could turn out to be huge.

      • kimyo

        would you still vote for her if she chose to leave the democratic party?

        • diogenes

          Because if she doesn’t find another way to run, and she’s alive and viable and American electoral process is viable four years from now, the Democratic Party will, as it is designed to do and adept at doing, prevent you from having a chance to vote for her in an election — a primary, maybe, but not an election. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. I’d like to see people like Zuesse showing more evidence that they have a CLUE about pertinent history and mean to learn by it, instead of flogging the same old same old. Because the same old same old gets us the same old same old, only worse.

          • Marko

            Trump’s Dept. of Homeland Security will be in charge of securing the entire election infrastructure.
            Tulsi has absolutely no reason to wor…….hahahahahahahahahahaha.

            Oh jeebus , I crack myself up !

        • Eric Zuesse

          Bernie Sanders should have left the Democratic Party and started a 50-state Progressive Party after he got cheated by the Democratic Party, he should have done like Lincoln did when he abandoned the Whig Party. Bernie, with his huge name-recognition, and the highest net-approval ratings of any U.S. politician, could have replaced the Democratic Party by his own new Progressive Party; he could have beaten both Trump and Clinton, who would have been splitting the non-progressive votes; Bernie would now be President, if he had done that.

          Tulsi Gabbard needs to be a Democrat unless and until she too becomes the nation’s top-preferred politician and gets cheated by the Democratic Party. Otherwise, a non-Democrat Gabbard would only lose, fail.

          • cstahnke

            I don’t think Sanders could have left the DP. He said clearly that he did not want to end up like Nader. He would have been crucified by the media and blamed for Clinton’s loss and thus further enabled the right-wing of the DP. That was his calculation. He believed if Clinton won he would have some “juice” in the Senate and if she lost he would have some juice within the DP caucus and I think its sort of turned out that way or could have turned out that way. However, the DP nomenklatura in the media decided to make everything about Trump and thus you have the hacks in the DP “leading” the way to galvanize the left to support the right wing of the DP. Neat trick–but barring a coup d’etat (not out of the question) this focus on the Trump personality and the usual identity politics will die down and Sanders may lead a sort of revival of social democracy that Gabbard can, after a while, capitalize on, i.e., a social democratic DP. We’ll see. I see no evidence that a new party will ever be allowed to form.

          • diogenes

            No candidate who is afraid of the parties and afraid of the media will ever be able to amount to anything. Puppets do as puppetmasters say. And our problem is the puppet-masters.

          • Eric Zuesse

            It wouldn’t have been like Nader, at all. Nader was never anywhere close to having the high net-favorables and name-recognition that Bernie did, and never earned it — never even entered politics except to run for President. He was a fake. Bernie had a long career and record in public office. He would have beaten both Clinton and Trump.

          • cstahnke

            Nader was not a fake–check his career and work — during the seventies he had real power. He was, on a personal level, a bit of an a-hole I’m told but he favored progressive policies consistently and once had high favorability ratings before he ran. Yes, Sanders had a lot of popularity and would be Prez today had the media and DP not sabotaged his campaign in a number of interesting ways–but the point is that is what Sanders told people privately and publicly–he didn’t want to end up as Nader. The mainstream media had the full power to destroy Sanders should he have not endorsed Clinton. The “left” in the U.S. is easily led by the media more than the general public and he would have had 100% assault by both the left mainstream (Salon, HuffPost) and all the other organs of the oligarchy. The campaign would have been relentless and crushing to Sanders–he would never be able to speak anywhere. Those threats were made (along with others) by the DP operatives who still have considerable power and they would have carried out their campaign as job 1. He would have been blamed completely for the Trump administration.

            As it is, he now has a free pass to criticize both Trump and the Democrats without being assaulted in a major way. He sits there ready to pick up some pieces of the ongoing chaos and disaster we will be facing in the next few years as being the one of the few credible mainstream politician we have.

          • diogenes

            Starting a “Progressive Party” in an election year is WAY too late. California Progressives overthrew the Southern Pacific machine that dominated California politics from 1870-1910, from the governorship and legislature to the town dogcatcher, by electing a Progressive Governor, Hiram Johnson, and a progressive legislature, in 1910. They started working on it in the early 1890s.

            But today we need to find a way to work around creation of a Third Party, because by now the corruptibility of parties is abundantly evident. For a discussion of this history and these problems and suggestions, see Parts 4 & 5 of my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America.

          • kimyo

            Tulsi Gabbard needs to be a Democrat unless and until she too becomes the nation’s top-preferred politician and gets cheated by the Democratic Party.

            in other words, as with sanders, wait until it’s too late to make any difference.

            i suggest you head down to your local urgent care unit and get yourself tested for Stockholm syndrome

            These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other

            you appear to have a terminal case. it’s way past time for all progressives to abandon the democratic party. (as you did, right? or are you slipping back into the darkness?)

          • Eric Zuesse

            I’m obviously an independent, as is demonstrated in my having urged Sanders to accept Jill Stein’s offer she made to Sanders until the Democratic National Convention, for him to replace her and take the Green Party’s nomination and run against Clinton and Trump, who would then have split the conservative vote. He already possessed far higher net-favorables than either of those competitors did, and also equivalent name-recognition. His opportunity then to become the second Abraham Lincoln (and to start the new Party [the Green Party] as Lincoln had done by replacing the Whig Party by the Republican Party, and so replace the Democratic Party by the Green Party) was rejected by him.

          • EmilyEnso
      • jadan

        You’ve got a nose for this. I think you’re right about this woman. She’s got something very special, a presence, an easy confidence, a self conviction, a lucid mind. She’s a natural leader. Off hand, I can’t think of a man with this kind of quiet commanding presence. And she’s really good looking, like a pop star. With a choice between Tulsi & Bernie, I vote Tulsi w/o a second thought. And why shouldn’t we look to the future? Trump the phony populist is a disaster in the present.

  • diogenes

    The quotation of Lincoln is magnificent, as far as it goes, and shows how utterly American democracy has been gutted by the New York City oligarchs who made the Civil War their opportunity to begin the take-over and destruction of our country’s government in the service of their world-class mass-murdering greed.

    But there’s something pathetic about finding nothing better to discuss than the 2020 election. It amounts to a council of despair in disguise. But go ahead. But try to think, because that’s what’s called for: If Tulsi runs for the Democratic nomination the Democratic Party, which is a tool of the Wall Street oligarchs, just like the Republican Party, will do the same thing to her candidacy as it did to Sanders’ and many another’s over the decades. Stop it. So if you are serious about her candidacy, you need to get serious about figuring out a way to run her outside the two-party system. That is, if you are serious. Because otherwise, you’re just blowing smoke. Stale smoke, too.

  • mothwhoflysbackwards

    Tulsi Gabbard is a women of conviction and courage and she is fantastic on so many issues. The problem is that in Lincoln’s time the Republican party was brand new and didn’t come with the massive baggage of today’s “institutional” Democratic party.

    The Democrats, unwilling to come to grips with their failed policies (economic neo liberalism for the benefit of the one percent, and neo conservative foreign policy dressed up as R2P) and flawed candidate, have descended to red baiting. They embrace the so called intelligence community and worry that Reagan would be spinning in his grave due to that commie pinko Trump.

    So Tulsi has headwinds within her own party that Lincoln never had.

    If the Institutional Democratic “left” can turn on Greenwald for daring to question the Russians hacked the election meme, will they also turn on Tulsi as she questions the received wisdom on Russia and Syria, especially as it would be implicitly critical of Obama?

    Wouldn’t the media be relentless in their attacks in an effort to preserve their false narrative?

    She may also find herself in agreement with Trump on some issues (e.g. TPP) and I am afraid that may be the proverbial “kiss of death” among some potential primary voters.

    She can’t abandon her principals and thus has to support Trump when they agree, but can distinguish herself on things like single payer and a less belligerent policy towards Iran.

    • cstahnke

      I think Gabbard is the only politician at this time that what is left of the left can rally behind–so she should be supported and not betrayed the way the left betrayed Kucinich thinking (without proof) that Obama was sympathetic to the left. We have to understand that at present the left is, at most, maybe 15% of the electorate (the figure has been constant for over a half-century). However, if the left can organize around Gabbard and others as well as make alliances with the libertarian left & right on civil liberty and foreign policy issues then we have a chance to reshape politics in the Democratic Party. If Trump fails to deliver what he claims he wants everyone but the left will have been discredited and the left could rise despite the 100% opposition of the mainstream media–just as Trump became President with nearly all the media opposing him.

      • mothwhoflysbackwards

        Alliances between the left and libertarian right on foreign policy and civil liberties are, I agree, crucial. Domestic policy progressive ideas — medicare for all, re regulating wall street and stopping the offshoring of jobs — could easily garner strong majorities of Americans, though I concede libertarians would drop out on those issues.

        Also, I have given up on the Democrats and would aim to reshape the politics of the country, not the party. My motto would be: any allies, any (progressive) issue. any time. I don’t have to agree with them all the time, and I am glad that ever more true progressives (leftists, liberals whatever) seem to feel that way.

        You make a great point at the end, but I don’t see the media as anti-Trump in the primaries. Perhaps (paranoia alert) the “deep state” wanted Trump to win the primary because “they” figured he would be easy pickings for the neocon war queen. The media opposed Trump from step two, but they will oppose (imo) Tulsi from step one.

  • dnr

    I always enjoy your articles, Eric. The only thing I would disagree with; is that Hillary Clinton is a liberal.

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    • Eric Zuesse

      A liberal is not a progressive. Virtually all Democrats in both the House and Senate are neoconservatives, like Obama was, or worse like Hillary was. Democrats are the liberal Party. Republicans are the conservative Party. Progressives disagree with conservatives on everything, but disagree with liberals on only some things.

      • diogenes

        A “liberal” is a conservative in sheeps clothing, a nazi dressed as a rabbi.

        • Army of Addicts

          Right . Liberals are the wicked step children of conservatives.

          They grind their teeth when they hear that one.

    • cstahnke

      No, she’s a neo-liberal in social/economic policy. The only place she is liberal is in the culture war area. She is not a liberal in foreign policy or civil liberties. She favors the old identity politics scam that makes symbolic gestures trump actual liberal social policy. She was status-quo all the way–that’s not liberalism as we knew it back in the day.

  • David Schultz

    Just by looking at her voting record we can see that Tulsi Gabbard is uniquely progressive in a sea of group think neo-liberals.

  • jo6pac

    Your can send her an email to show your support.

    https://gabbard.house.gov/contact/offices

    Thanks EZ. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this is something really good could happen in the future. We’ll need it after 4yrs of dump.

  • luther_blissett5

    Democrats are already worried about her. On liberal news sites with stories about Gabbard, comments sections often seem to have similar messaging warning that she’s racist and seems untrustworthy.

  • paul

    I like this piece very much. It’s the first real thinking about where to go next that I’ve seen , though I disagree in that Gabbard should leave the Dems and – with Sanders if possible, and some others – found a populist progressive party. And she shouldn’t be cute about it. She should start running now.

    • diogenes

      You got that right. If progressives are serious, now is the time to start serious organizing because it will take a long time to do it. And person to person is not only the only democratic way, it is the only way. Depending on parties and media is just handing our fate over to corrupted betrayers.

  • Professor Smartass

    I am a progressive and very impressed with Gabbard’s anti-funding of jihadis bill.

    My fear is that she will eventually be treated like Cynthia McKinney, who also told the truth and challenged the war machine, and was portrayed in the media as a kook and run out of office.

    On they other hand, Bernie was a tremendous challenge to the establishment and got pretty damn far though his challenge was mostly on domestic policy.

    If we had a real democracy and a media that informed the public, someone like Gabbard would have been president long ago.

    • Precisely I agree with you
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    • diogenes

      That’s certainly a reasonable fear, although Gabbard is better positioned than McKinney — who is a courageous lady and a genuine American heroine. And when the filth in charge made her an example, what they really gave an example of is their filthiness.

  • Jim G

    I don’t know if the Abe Lincoln thing is right on, but Tulsi has been fantastic last several years. I have been watching her for a while, even before she broke with the DNC to support Bernie. Big difference in the expansionist, imperialist, (and racist) policy of Hillary and that of in the anti-imperial, free-trade, anti-war wing of the Democratic party where it needs to be. Have you seen the videos of Tulsi on a surf board? She is a natural star. We need some one good in foreign relations and defense policy developing new non-imperialistic, peace oriented – military and defense policy. We need a defense policy oriented towards insuring our security, while everyday I feel less secure. Changes in military and foreign relations and defense policy would have to be integrated into a new trade and economic policy (foreign relations). I know Tusl is on the Armed Services Committee, and I think she is on the foreign relations Committee, – but she is well positioned to make some intelligent, long awaited changes in defense policy. The wrong people have been making wrong decisions in defense policy for too long, and it needs to be dry cleaned. Go Tulsi.

    • diogenes

      Fuck the Democratic Party. It never has and never will do anything but betray Americans to its owner and master, the Wall Street oligarchy — just like the Republican Party. Until Americans learn to see past this ‘good cop – bad cop’ hustle, we are fucked and will stay fucked. Excuse my french.

      • Jim G

        No argument there, but any access to control is through the two party system. It is rigged that way constitutionally. Our government leaders will emerge through this system and I think Tulsi is a good one.

  • BDUB

    “This young progressive might therefore repeat what Lincoln did.”

    Start a needless and costly Civil War? No thanks.