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If I Had Ten Minutes with Tulsi Gabbard, I’d say this…

I admire already Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawai’i. Let’s see, NBC already is running a story calling her a Russian plant (here’s the other side) and the Huffington Post wrote this snarky article about her. She’s off to a good start. Maybe Walter Mitty the blogger should join her campaign team.

A few thoughts on her roll out:

Forget the “Medicare for all”. Can clarify it as meaning everyone can buy into the Medicare system at a rate set by means.

I like the part about private prisons – I am totally opposed to private prisons. But not sure to punish companies for the opioid epidemic

I really like the anti-intervention angle. Intervention acts to “…[D]ishonor our troops, treating them as political pawns and mercenaries for hire in wars around the world…” Wow! Did I say I really REALLY like the anti-intervention angle! Politicians from both parties who sit in ivory towers to think up new places for people to die in! Talking about the budgetary harm too! I am tempted to vote in the Dem primary in 2020!

And you call out the neocons! Venezuela and Iran is cited and to be fair I am struggling with Venezuela and Iran. Gabbard says the neocons “dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform…” I love it. You are absolutely right, Cong. Gabbard.

Well, if I had ten minutes with the Hawai’i Member of Congress I’d say something like this:

What you should do is carry a tiny Hawai’i stick flag everywhere you go – have a bunch of them and after the event, give the flag to a little boy or girl or maybe an enthusiastic supporter.

Use the flag of Hawai’i to show what can go wrong with intervention. the flag of the state of Hawai’i (the only US state flag with a foreign flag within it – due to the friendship between the Kingdom of Hawai’i and Great Britain) was once the flag of a sovereign nation: The Kingdom of Hawai’i.

But that friendship did the Kingdom little good when the Queen was overthrown and the Republic of Hawaii annexed by the US in 1900 without asking the Hawai’ians what their wishes were. Don’t take my word for it: Congress apologized for this blatant imperialism some time ago. My blog post on it is right here. I cite Congress.

So, I would use this history – you are from Hawai’i and you want to bring aloha into the White House – but you can’t have the aloha without the bad news.

So, I would suggest to the Member of Congress that it is not only time to end interventions (unless they serve the national interest) but speak out on these issues:

  1. Propose some sort of solution for Cyprus – divided into two republics (one only recognized by Turkey) since 1978. Maybe a Federal Republic of Cyprus with ample ways to ensure both Turks and Greeks have a say in their own government.
  2. Let’s call laws like the Magnitsky Act and the Global Magnitsky Act that label individuals and companies human rights violators by Congress and/or the executive branch what they are: Unconstitutional Bills of Attainder that meddle in other nations internal affairs.
  3. The sanctions regime the US has around the world needs to evaluated on a case by case basis and only continued it is in the national interest and in the manner that does the least harm to innocent individuals. No more bragging like one GOP Presidential aspirant did in 2012 tat the sanctions against Iran had destroyed the economy so they will overthrow the government.
  4. Let’s insist that Catalonia have a right to decide if it wants to be part of Spain or not and to stop all trials in Spanish courts of those who advocated independence peacefully. All nations and people groups have a right to self-determination. Including the Kurds.

If you are going to take the foreign policy road, take it. You have started to do something like the courageous Hawai’ian noble woman who walked into a volcano to show that the Christian faith was right. Whether you win or lose, you’ll know you did right. Maybe it takes a Hawai’ian to best say it.

On other issues:

Promise to change the Federal criminal law system to devolve it back to the states to prosecute most crimes and insist on every state to have a statewide indigent defense system.

Reform banking laws to enhance financial privacy.

Protect those states that have decriminalized marijuana or made it legal from federal reprisal.

Finally, Rep. Gabbard, feel free to steal this paragraph from my blog (slightly edited to update it):

Let’s remember Hawai’i when we debate what sort of government Iraq or Afghanistan should have or what leader a nation should have or what civil war to intervene in.  It’s wrong to intervene where the compelling US interest does not require such intervention.  It’s imperialism to deprive other nations of self-determination and sovereignty.  As a former Member of Congress once said on the campaign trail, “We just plain don’t mind our own business!”

May Rep. Gabbard go far in the primaries to keep this voice alive. If you voted for Ron Paul in 2008 or 2012 and if you are eligible to vote in the Dem primary – consider voting for Rep. Gabbard in your state’s primary. (Got to get her first on the ballot. I’ll gladly help in Virginia.) It is not unethical to vote in the other parties’ primary to help a worthy candidate; it is unethical to vote for the weakest candidate to help your side.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “If I Had Ten Minutes with Tulsi Gabbard, I’d say this…”

  1. Rick Ryan says:

    Since you brought up banking, why are the individual victims of identity theft the ones on the hook for damages? The hacked institutions which hold personal data are at fault. It is their lax security measures which allow the hackers entry. The hacked institutions should hold harmless the compromised individuals and make, no keep, them whole. Let the institutions have to buy insurance protection. Then watch how quickly the institutions fess up their security.

    Rick Ryan, Cold Harbor


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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