For some conservatives, the first Democratic debates were a tedious waste of time with no substance. However, there were plenty of teachable moments throughout the evening.
Tulsi Gabbard stood out among the candidates by using her foreign policy ideas as her main identity, namely to criticize US policy in the Middle East. She is an undeniably strong voice against intervention in Iraq, Libya, and Syria—despite the heavy blowback she receives from her own allies. She has also stressed that she is not an absolutist on non-intervention.
This has been a polarizing position in the Republican party since most of its top officials are hawks on this issue. Gabbard speaks from her personal experience as a veteran and the horrific events of war she has seen firsthand and exposes the false premise built around foreign policy discussions. Gabbard has clarified that war and total isolationism are not the only two options of foreign policy, something that resonates with many people. She emphasizes diplomacy as the key to healthy, cooperative international relations.
Of course, voters are in a difficult spot because one can never know if a candidate is able to keep his or her campaign promises once in office. That being said, conservatives can see Gabbard as the only adult in the room who wants to question the mindset in Washington. Since the first Democrat debate, Gabbard, according to Google trends, became the most searched candidate.
It’s also worth mentioning that it is incredibly rare for someone to willingly bring these unpopular talking points forward because they represent a threat to the status quo. Her stance on American foreign policy issues represent the views of many independent voters who believe the money spent on wars can be spent better elsewhere.
And it’s not just about the money.
The goal is to center around the human cost that comes from regime change. Her message is to bring the focus and funds back to the working class in the U.S. and unify both parties. She wants us to understand the human cost of war and tension, not ignore it as we often have.
This message can easily resonate with many conservatives who are looking for peace in the Middle East and a candidate who has not been bought out. One might even draw comparisons to Donald Trump when he made his stance clear on past foreign policy decisions, saying, “The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” during an exclusive interview with Hill.TV.
Gabbard’s response to Tim Ryan during the debate captures the same populist energy that energized the conservative movement in 2016. She distinguishes herself as the real progressive who doesn’t pander to one side and she is already winning over independents and libertarians.
Anyone who is hung up on her views concerning social issues and party affiliation is stuck in a partisan bubble. Using the anti-war position can be a valuable benefit for veterans, voters, and future politicians.
Unfortunately for Gabbard, her delivery did not receive the same attention as other candidates like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. It’s very clear who the Democrats are forcing to lead in the primaries—despite lacking the strong arguments made by Gabbard.
There is still time for people to make up their minds on Tulsi Gabbard. It’s important to remember that the Republican Party is far from perfect and sometimes must take ideas from other political circles to serve American interests. Conservatives can use these arguments and attract a wider voter base that is inclusive to the best parts of all parties.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.