Tulsi Gabbard Is Not a Libertarian

Peyton Gouzien | @pgouzien

For some reason, libertarians love Tulsi Gabbard.

Gabbard, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has been praised for her anti-war message and honesty on a range of topics including the industrial military complex, the federal reserve, and overarching tech privacy. But that does not make Gabbard a libertarian.

Though Gabbard promotes a general anti-interventionist message that is informed by her military service in Iraq, there are still lingering questions about her close relationship with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Still, some of the most prominent libertarians are willing to overlook her record.

Libertarians Love Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard’s list of fans includes former Texas Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul who has called her his favorite of the Democrats. This type of support has amplified her the buzz about her campaign in libertarian and conservative circles, with many right-of-center outlets publishing glowing pieces in support of her. Libertarians willing to compromise have found a natural ally in Gabbard.

But Is Gabbard Libertarian?

While Gabbard has an admirable anti-war message, her foreign affair policy is far from libertarian. On the issue of foreign intervention, Gabbard still supports the War on Terror. She also endorsed the continued use of drone strikes on terrorist organizations in Syria.

Though her policy positions are far less hawkish than the majority of candidates in the presidential field, supporting drone strikes on foreign nations is a direct violation of the non-aggression principle.

Gabbard is essentially just another “lesser of two evils” politician. Still, many libertarians back her.

On many issues, Gabbard says enough of the right thing but her actions don’t always back them up. Domestically, Gabbard’s record is undesirable and big parts of her voting records are a giant red flag for most any libertarian. Gabbard supports Medicare for all, banning offshore drilling, and free college tuition.

How these plans would be paid for and the cost to the American worker remains to be seen.

Libertarians Fall for the Same Trick Again

In their attempts to show at the ballot, libertarians have often compromised on candidates who promote libertarian policy upfront, only to adopt big government positions when elected.

President Trump is a great example of this. He has presided over a government whose deficit and debt have grown considerably in the span of four years. Trump has imposed reckless tariffs on China and dropped the MOAB and increased our involvement in Afghanistan

Supporting Gabbard is no different. Though she is a strong libertarian advocate on several issues, the places where we disagree are numerous and important.

Libertarianism is a message of limited government, both physically and financially. Gabbard has shown time and time again that she has no such interest.


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