I will respond to a post from The Intercept criticizing the US presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, for “supporting nationalist leaders from Modi to Assad”, and I will explain why she could be a greater candidate than Trump, Biden or Sanders.
Because there is a strong difference between supporting nationalist leaders and promoting diplomacy with them
Soumya Shankar asserts that right-wing nationalism is a threat for humanity (that is true) and that Tulsi Gabbard would have to choose between support nationalist leaders or stand for liberal democratic values. But if Shankar is right to say this, we must not forget that there is still a third way that an authentic progressivist such as Gabbard could choose, i.e. opting for diplomacy with foreign leaders while distancing herself from their nationalist rethoric, that could be useful to help non-Western countries to liberalize themselves. The case of China demonstrates that when we favor diplomacy, adversary countries can then choose to liberalize free market, while that if we favor war and confrontation, these countries will then choose to withdraw into themselves and cut themselves from globalization.
In other words, diplomacy favors cooperation between nations and people while that war strengthens nationalism and populism. If we really want to eradicate right-wing nationalism, we must not pursue confrontation with other nations and peoples. War cannot be justified, especially to overthrow leaders whose we don’t like their politics.
For feminist activists, I recommend reading this very important post from Caitlin Johnstone blog that explains that the military-industrial complex is linked to toxic masculinity. Promoting war around the world is promoting the “alpha male” ideology, but more important is that war and militarism are the best allies of nationalism since nationalist and populist leaders need war and militarism to strengthen themselves. If Tulsi Gabbard wins next US elections and applies a pro-peace policy, she could embody a peaceful woman compared to hawkish men such as Bush, Obama, and Trump.
I read that Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept was somewhat critical of Democrats who were more favorable to war than Republicans, and it’s why Tulsi Gabbard could embody an alternative to Democratic hawkish establishment led by Clinton, Schumer,
Because she is a young woman from an ethnic and religious minority
Most main candidates are white old men and are higher than 60 or 70 years old. They are, thus, from older generations. It’s not a surprise that older generations are known to be more jingoistic and more favorable to war in comparison with younger generations.
Tulsi Gabbard, however, is an Oceanian Hindu woman and is younger from 40 years, and her progressive ascension could strengthen younger generations in West.
I understand that this argument could be questionable for some people, but in our time when white supremacists and masculinists are rising around the world, it could be a great thing that a young woman from a minority win next elections in a western country. In addition, Tulsi Gabbard would be the first woman to be president if she wins next US elections.
Because she could be a greater threat for Deep State than Donald Trump
Forget QAnon theory that suggests that Trump would be the “ultimate enemy” of neocon Deep State that would want, at all costs, overthrow the actual government in White House, because Trump is only an opportunist who pretends working for peace but has sold himself, at each time, to neocon elites and worsen tensions with Iran, China, and Russia.
In addition, he has strengthened neo-fascist movements in Europe and everywhere and has negatively affected our digital rights by abolishing net neutrality and now wants to take over big tech companies and force them to apply American law to everyone.
Trumpism is not the opposite of neoconservatism but the highest stage of neoconservatism.
About Tulsi Gabbard, we need to remember that she was soliticed to influence Trump about Syria before growing neocon influence among Trump administration. She had also strongly condemned Trump aggression on Syria and his support for Saudi Arabia.
As Tulsi Gabbard will rise, it is probable that she would face strong opposition from Democratic establishment that will work to weaken her and her pro-peace stances.
Then, we can certainly have our disagreements with some stances of Tulsi Gabbard, but she remains the best candidate for next US elections and it would be well that sincere progressivists being open to her political orientation.