Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman and outside contender for next year’s Democrat nomination, is already a controversial figure on the American left. Solidly on the moderate, centrist wing of the Democratic Party, she’s been smeared as a “Russian asset” by Hillary Clinton. Now she’s gone all out to alienate the party’s far left-wing by disowning the “progressive” dogma of open borders and uncontrolled immigration.
Immigration has become a key battleground in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination, with several candidates jostling for the left-wing vote. Ignoring warnings that they’re leaving the mainstream of American politics — along with most of the voters — far behind, they’re promising to make it even easier for people to enter the US illegally and stay here. Tulsi Gabbard isn’t playing that game.
- Talking to reporters last week, Gabbard said she believes borders are key to a country’s sovereignty. “The reality is that we do not have a nation if we do not have borders,” she said.
- That’s not what some of her competitors think. Almost all the Democrat candidates support decriminalizing illegal entry. Julian Castro even wants to decriminalize illegal re-entry — coming back into the US after being deported. Right now that will earn an offender at least two years in jail.
- Gabbard insisted she looks at every issue based on what she thinks is in the best interests of the US, not on what other politicians are saying. There was some implicit criticism of other candidates, as she condemned “being so reactive to saying well I’ve got to be for this because those guys are against that or whatever”.
- According to Gabbard, voters are being given a “false choice” by other Liberals. She criticized the idea that if you support secure borders you must be anti-immigrant. “I think that we can and we must have a secure border policy that’s actually effective and works and also reform our immigration system so that it works for our country can be a safe secure border along with the humane immigration policy and achieve both objectives,” she said.
- A look at Gabbard’s own voting record shows that she’s far more liberal on immigration than President Trump — but even that’s enough to put her out of step with Dem activists and candidates. The truth is that if there’s a Dem candidate left who’s still in touch with the mainstream of US politics it’s Gabbard — but she’s now seen as far enough to the right that the party machinery is turning against her. The Left is more interested in political purity than the national interest. We are not surprised.
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