GOFFSTOWN — Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard stressed unity and responsibility as a cure to America’s political division during Thursday’s Politics and Eggs event at the St. Anselm Institute of Politics.
Representing the Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, Gabbard referenced the “spirit of aloha” from her state, which she said serves not just as a welcome or farewell but as reference of mutual respect that is lacking in national political discourse.
Gabbard used a story from her first days in Congress to show her style, saying she asked her parents to bake boxes of toffee for all of her colleagues in both parties as well as their staff after being told cooperation with Republicans was pointless.
Soon afterward, several Republicans thanked her for the gesture, asked about the needs of her district and engaged in dialogue on how they could combine efforts to solve the problems of all Americans.
That spirit of respect, combined with a focus on objective and proactive problem solving learned through her service with the Army National Guard, served as a foundation for Gabbard’s platform, which ranges from empowering the federal government to help lower health-care prices to criminal justice reform, she said.
Gabbard voiced frustration at extreme voices on both sides as a root cause preventing solutions demanded by most Americans, using the ongoing spate of mass shootings as an example. She said both sides of the political aisle forget the issue and others pose common problems for everyone.
“Why is it that we have not yet begun to solve this? Why is it that we have not gotten to the point where we’ve begun to bring down the number of shootings in this country? It’s because we have not yet looked at the root cause of the problem and then coming together as a country to solve this,” she said. “Instead, what we see is one side pitted against the other. Yelling, shouting, screaming at each other and forgetting the unity we have as a country.”
Gabbard spoke out against American foreign military intervention and tied it to her time as a city councilor in Honolulu. She said funding remained difficult to obtain for needed infrastructure improvements while $6 trillion has been spent on war since 9/11. In addition to believing that that money would have been better spent locally solving those local problems, she said those wars have helped strengthen terrorist organizations, putting American troops in needless danger.
Gabbard referenced President Donald Trump by name twice, first to oppose talk of possible war with Iran that would only exasperate the issues she referenced regarding other recent U.S. wars. and later, in regard to recent bipartisan legislation passed by the House that has stalled in the Senate, noting Trump’s initial support for background checks that faded without a continual spotlight on the issue.