But I won’t vote for Bernie again today, even though a Sanders-Trump match-up would present the country with an honest choice between left and right the way a competitive election should. My vote is for Tulsi Gabbard because she represents the most hopeful future for her side of politics. She’s not a septuagenarian, she’s not white, but she’s not an identity-politics liberal. Her campaign has focused on what is arguably the greatest of all the policy failures of the bipartisan establishment — or if not the greatest, the least excusable — the calamitous foreign policy of endless wars for liberal-democratic regime change that never comes to pass. America’s mideast wars this century have precipitated the virtual extirpation of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, a crime for which the perpetrators in both parties may never atone in this lifetime. The cost in Americans’ lives lost to suicide and other deaths of despair at home, no less than to combat abroad, are likewise incalculable.
Gabbard is anti-war. She is not anti-American or anti-soldier, as too many left-wing critics of US foreign policy have been (and some right-wing critics, too). She’s a soldier herself, which hasn’t stopped her from being smeared as a ‘Russian asset’ by Hillary Clinton. The war pundits in clown makeup perpetually crying havoc on CNN and MSNBC call Gabbard an Assad apologist for her refusal to support a regime-change war in Syria like the regime-change wars that worked out so well (for the Islamists) in Iraq and Libya. Gabbard elicits these reactions because the liberal interventionists are afraid of what she represents as a veteran and a young Democrat who doesn’t accept the Washington consensus on war. A pillar of the humanitarian liberal faith is the salvific power of war waged with good intentions, and Gabbard openly calls it into question.