Tulsi Gabbard is the latest democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race and she happens to be a crypto holder.
Congressional filings show the Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district bought ethereum and litecoin at the very peak in December 2017.
She appears to have small investments of $1,000 to $15,000 in a number of stock indexes and in crypto, so taking a diversification approach to investing.
That might mean she considers cryptos as just another investment basket, but the 37 year old might actually be a fan.
“A rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party,” according to the Intercept, Gabbard has grabbed attention for seemingly being somewhat close to Senator Bernie Sanders.
Gabbard resigned as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee on February 28, 2016 in order to endorse Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
So raising perhaps one of the biggest question in current American politics: Will Sanders himself run or will he instead endorse Gabbard?
Campaigns against her have already begun with NBC effectively suggesting she is Russia’s chosen candidate, presumably because she met with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in 2017.
That prompted Glenn Greenwald of Intercept to say: “the whole story was a sham: the only ‘experts’ cited by NBC in support of its key claim was the firm, New Knowledge, that just got caught by the New York Times fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election.”
That makes her an interesting candidate who according to Wikipedia: “In July 2004, Gabbard asked to deploy with her Hawaii Army National Guard unit, volunteering for a 12-month tour in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist in a combat zone with the 29th Support Battalion medical company. She learned that she would not be able to serve with her unit and perform her duties as a legislator, and thus chose not to campaign for a second term in office.”
A Rising Star?
She has raised $2 million so far, a lot less than Elizabeth Warren’s $11 million, but it is still way too early in the game.
While everyone knows Warren, and her distaste of cryptos, few have heard of this Samoan-American born to a Hindu mother of Indian origin and a Christian father of European origin.
The one interview she gave prior to the campaign launch had a powerful message of light overcoming darkness.
The question of war and peace appears to be her main focus and in many ways she seems to be the opposite of Donald Trump, the compassionate side.
She was against removing Assad by force and she was against the Iraq war. She seems to support Trump on some issues, like the North Korea deal, but she was in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement with Iran which lifted the sanctions before Trump reinstated them, and she is against any intervention in Venezuela.
She appears to be independently minded, getting her in trouble with some Democrats due to her campaign against LGBT rights which she has now said was wrong and has apologized.
A Powerful Message
Her campaign launch speech says the right things for most people. Rejecting labels and divisive rhetorics, she says:
“Our nation was founded on the principle that our government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Where all people are treated equally and with respect in these United States of America.
But today that vision seems like a far off dream. Where hatred and divisiveness have cast a dark shadow across our country.
We’re being torn apart by powerful, self-serving politicians and greedy corporations. People fomenting hatred, bigotry, and fear. Inciting conflict between us because of the color of our skin, the way that we worship, or the political party that we might belong to.
This corruption of spirit is driven by greed and selfishness and is eroding the very fabric of our society and democracy itself. This is not who we are, America…
We must stand up, stand up against this administration that claims to believe in america first, but who sells our troops, our weapons, and our interests to whichever foreign country is the highest bidder.
We must stand up against those who dishonor our troops, treating them as political pawns, and mercenaries for hire in wars around the world.
We must stand up, stand up against powerful politicians from both parties, who sit in their ivory towers, thinking up new wars to wage, new places for people to die. Wasting trillions of our taxpayer dollars, hundreds of thousand of lives, undermining our economy, our security and destroying our middle class…
Our nation was founded on the values and principles of putting service before self. Rejecting the rule of kings who prospered from the sacrifices of the people, and forming a new nation founded on the premise that leaders should be motivated, not to serve their own interests, but to serve the people.
And deep inside the heart of every American, is the love, honor, courage, and ideals that formed the foundation of this country. Ideals that still shine in each and every one of us. Each of us, and all of us, must rise again now, and come together for each other, our country, and the world.”
Can She Win?
All those words are nice and all, but in the oval office you need immense skill to tackle highly complicated matters that have no easy solutions.
Can she handle Putin’s fake cough which tripped Trump in the first press conference they had? She seems willing to stand up to Israel, but does she have a realistic plan for peace in Palestine? Likewise she appears willing to stand up to Saudi Arabia, but can she handle the significant complexities of that entire region?
Love might be a nice message for a speech, but how would she open Shenzhen and the wider tech industry in China to foreign participation at an equal level, ensuring they secure property rights and so on?
What’s her plan for Latin America, does she have one? What of Europe, does she want a free trade deal? And what of the economy, where does she stand on falling IPO numbers and on investment prohibitions imposed by the Securities Act 1933?
Even if she does have a plan and even if she can stand up to foreign leaders, can she handle the American civil service which will probably try to stand in her way at every step so as to maintain the status quo?
We should have known some of these questions, but her campaign page has no manifesto at the time of publishing. So it isn’t clear what her big vision is beyond mere rhetoric.
Yet perhaps winning the presidency is less important than the message she has which once more gives voice to tolerance and socially liberal principles that explicitly argue against dividing people into labels.
She may therefore be a leading candidate for the nomination, but in a potential choice between her and Trump, it would be quite difficult to decide.
Trump has had some prominent achievements in the foreign arena, including the ending of the wars in Syria and Afghanistan as well as the brokering of a peace deal in Korea.
The problem for Trump however might be that American citizens may be worried about what he might do in the second term when he has no skin in the game so to speak as he wouldn’t be able to run for a third term.
Meaning that democrats do have a realistic chance of taking the Whitehouse, but whether Tulsi would be it, remains to be seen.