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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/2/19

Tulsi Gabbard's Exclusion from Debate Stage is Further Proof that United States is Democracy Free

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Republished from American Herald Tribune

Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard
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Hawaiian Congresswoman and Democratic Party presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard will not be speaking at the third Democratic primary debate in Texas on September 13th. According to the DNC's arbitrary rules, Gabbard failed to meet the two percent threshold in the number of polls required to qualify (4). She did, however, surpass the individual contribution requirement by over thirty thousand donors and received two percent or more of the vote in several "non-qualifying" polls, including from reputable sources such as The Boston Globe and The Economist. In other words, the debate process was rigged against Gabbard. Her exclusion from the debate stage only offers further proof that the United States is a nation free of democracy.

There have been no explanations coming from the DNC as to why the rules exist as they do in the first place. No democratic process is involved in deciding what qualifies as a "certified poll" and what doesn't. The DNC was pressured in the aftermath of the 2016 election to make reforms after it was exposed for its role in systematically cheating Bernie Sanders from any chance at the nomination. Clinton conduit Debbie Wasserman Shultz stepped down as DNC chair and the corporate Super Delegates who decide the nomination process were stripped of their ability to pledge their support for candidates months before the voting process began for delegates and voters. However, the super Delegates were neither removed completely from power nor was the DNC made any more democratic. Reforms to the DNC also included new loyalty oaths to the party and an open door for Super Delegates to vote in a contested convention.

The reason for Gabbard's exclusion from the debate is multifaceted yet simple. It is clear from the DNC's refusal to debate the issue of climate change that the Wall Street-owned party does not want to discuss war and foreign policy, either. The first two Democratic Party debates saw a total of nineteen minutes spent on foreign policy questions. Foreign policy makes up the majority of Gabbard's presidential campaign. Even though her political record is slightly more hawkish than Bernie Sanders, Gabbard spends far more time placing an end to U.S. regime change wars on the top of the political agenda. For this, Gabbard has been labeled a "dupe" of Russia and attacked at every turn by the Democratic Party establishment.

The exclusion of Gabbard from the third debate is another indicator that the United States' electoral process is hardly democratic. If the U.S. were a democracy, decisions about debates would not be determined by the whims of a largely anonymous DNC led by corporate-friendly political figures such as Tom Perez. A democratic election process would consider the needs and interests of the general population. That means climate change, which is a primary concern for Democratic Party voters, would be debated and discussed. It also means that the candidate who was most searched during both debates, Tulsi Gabbard, would be allowed to debate for a third time in front of a national audience.

Jeff Bezos' Washington Post touts the slogan "democracy dies in darkness" to brand its media product. Yet neither the Washington Post nor the entire corporate media has any trouble collaborating in the destruction of any semblance of democratic process in the United States. The corporate media is completely averse to asking questions of the powerful political elites in the DNC who shower them with insider privileges. Tulsi Gabbard was ousted from this club after she denounced the DNC in 2016 for its anti-Sanders campaign and decided to run a presidential campaign centered on a critique of U.S. foreign policy. Democracy in the United States is only reserved for opinions, individuals, and groups who do the bidding of the corporate interests that control official Washington.

It is public knowledge that so-called "democracy" in the U.S. exists only for the rich. Reputable research and even former president Jimmy Carter have called the U.S. an oligarchy, not a democracy. Campaign finance reform is a wildly popular policy which has gone nowhere because of the intransigence of the capitalist oligarchs who rule over the state. Lobbying, whether in the form of corporate kickbacks or Israeli pressure, is the norm within Congress and the presidential election cycle. Corporate oligarchs have designed a system that creates the illusion of representation while ensuring that the electoral process is dictated by the wealthy.

The U.S.' sham democracy is a bipartisan project. Twelve of the twenty Democratic Party candidates running in the primary have received donations from at least three billionaires. Corporate favorites Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker have seventy-one billionaire donors between them. So-called progressive Elizabeth Warren has declared that should she win the nomination, she too would embrace the patronage of wealthy donors to avoid what she called "unilateral disarmament." Warren's statement is an admission that U.S. democracy as it is currently constituted is defined by a struggle to win the support of billionaires and oligarchs, not the people.

The consequences of a capitalist-controlled democracy are devastating for those excluded from the U.S. electoral process. Tens of millions of workers are without healthcare and half a million workers file for bankruptcy each year due to healthcare expenses. Half of the United States' population is considered "near poor" and without enough savings to cover a $500 emergency. Black Americans, who find no true representation from the Democratic Party and have their votes suppressed by Republican states and districts, have been economically and politically devastated by the white supremacist underpinnings of the rule of the rich. Unemployment for Black American men is nearly 21 percent and the median net worth of the Black American family is $1700. Economic misery is buttressed by a mass incarceration regime that warehouses nearly a million Black Americans behind bars, or over forty percent of the two million prisoners in the United States.

Thanks to the political campaign of Bernie Sanders and grassroots movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement and Occupy Wall Street, these issues have been forced into the narrow space of the electoral arena in the United States. However, the oligarchs who control the U.S. political process have been waging a war to silence any discussion about policies that would improve the lives of workers and oppressed people suffering from the maladies of corporatea rule. The Democratic Party establishment has used Russia, its corporate control over the DNC, and the corporate media to ensure that policies such as Medicare for All or reparations for Black Americans are either discredited or amended to serve the interests of the elites. Tulsi Gabbard's exclusion from the debate indicates that discussion over U.S. foreign policy is prohibited in the electoral arena, especially in the Democratic Party. Thus, Gabbard's predicament is much bigger than her individual campaign or her political contradictions.

There is a dangerous trend developing among the various political factions of what calls itself the "left" in the United States. The trend is characterized by a series of "purity" litmus tests that reinforce individualist and colonialist attitudes and behaviors. Those who defend Gabbard's right to speak at the debates are labeled apologists for her support of Indian Prime Minister Modi or her declaration that she is a "hawk on terrorism." According to CodePink, Tulsi Gabbard's record is contradictory on questions of war and peace. While these aspects of Gabbard are important to understand, it is equally if not more important to understand the fundamental relationships of power that direct U.S. domestic and foreign policy. The entire Democratic Party establishment, including the military industrial complex, is arrayed against Gabbard. It is on this basis that we must defend Gabbard's right to bring much needed conversation about the dangers of U.S. foreign policy into the electoral arena. Our principle job is to organize a mass movement for a working class democracy that serves the interests of the many, not assist in the DNC's efforts to suppress Gabbard's voice.

 

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Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to (more...)
 
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6 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments


shad williams

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The establishment is demonstratiing that they are afraid of a Gabbard presidency. Sanders, Warren and Gabbard together need to figure a way to knockout the DNC.

The globalists have already undercut Trump, so he is finished. The globalists being liars, thieves and murderers have several options to preserve their dominance. Unless the vote is a massive middle finger to the establishment we will have very little time left. If the vote is stolen at that point, the elites will have brought the streets into their houses.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 5:28:08 AM

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Dennis Kaiser

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I agree with Sanders and Gabbard, but am afraid Warren proved her allegiance lies with herself and her career. She proved that in 2016 when she completely went against all she was saying she stood for and endorsed Hillary because she saw that as helping her career. That showed me she would flip whichever way she felt it would better her needs, not because it was the best way. Bottom line you can't trust her.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 11:32:10 AM

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Warren was a Republican until I believe 1996.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 1:25:42 PM

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Hillary was a Republican. I think until Bill ran for Governor of Arkansas.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 8:19:06 PM

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Of course you are correct. There are several good people that could make up a counter revolutionary administration...The doodoo is very deep and the people don't have the boots to get through it.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 7:58:02 PM

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It is telling that Gabbard, the only candidate running on a platform of re-establishing a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people plus one that denounces these illegal wars for profits has been smeared and silenced from the establishment's propaganda arm, what is politely passed off as the Main Stream Media (MSM) as she is actually voicing how corrupted our government has become while leaving its citizenry behind.

She gets further condemnation from her own party because rather than playing by the corrupt rules of the DNC where she would have been their "darling" in this campaign, she exposed their corruption and resigned as the #2 official in 2016 because of the dirty tricks they were committing in that campaign against their chosen one, their chosen one, not the peoples'.

Knowing this campaign would be a tough one as Tulsi Gabbard is, IMHO and that of many others who her, the best candidate in this campaign, much better than their newly chosen "darling" Kamala Harris, who is nothing more than a Hillary redux.

It is also telling how Gabbard is the ideal candidate when the smears are actually a "one-trick pony" where, in carrying out her duty as a member of Congress, she was invited to meet with President Assad of Syria. Because she will not say Assad is a war criminal all of the bought and paid for propaganda mouthpieces chastise her. I wonder why they don't ask her to also name George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others who have caused the deaths and destruction of far more innocent citizens and nations as war criminals.

The bottom line on this is Tulsi Gabbard is precisely what this nation needs at this time in history if we the people have any hope of resurrecting our dismantled democracy. She has the intelligence, compassion, and the strength to fight for what is needed.

All she needs is the people to wake up to how far our nation has fallen and the desire to get it back.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 11:02:54 AM

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People forget she said, "When it comes to the War on Terror, I'm a hawk." Please don't do what people did with Obama and project your hopes onto someone who will not live up to them.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but we can't afford to let our guard down like that again. We need someone who is going to have the intestinal fortitude to take on the military/intelligence apparatus in its entirety. Someone who thinks the GWOT is legit is not going to do that.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 1:32:47 PM

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There is more than one way to fight terrorists and I believe she is doing that by making it illegal to equip them with weapons and/or training. I believe the last resort for her would be putting troops in harm's way.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 1:38:44 PM

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The clear and obvious immediate flip-side of ending regime change wars--and is there really any other kind?--is to create a world with no terrorists.

I recall the first line in my journal on the morning of 9/11: Who did we piss off now?

People don't normally wake up one day and suddenly decide to kill their neighbor because they "don't like their way of life."

We surely need to pay attention, yes, and I could well be wrong, but imo Tulsi is a masterful politician, in this case putting the obvious in plain sight, where it is most likely to be missed.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 3:35:59 PM

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There also is the transnational capital class, US security state and a corrupt congress state and local governments where the majority vote and audition to continue the murder and regime change in the world. We'd have to repeal the 22nd amendment and keep peacemakers in the government in order to disarm it...nyet probably not.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 at 8:06:28 PM

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I hope this does not mean she has been forced out of the running.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 12:01:55 AM

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