The speeches that have shaped Tulsi Gabbard's career

Over the years she has expressed messages of respect and admiration for the Army, unity at the national level, and peace beyond the borders.

Tulsi Gabbard has left the Democratic Party. She was not just another member of the party that Andrew Jackson created. She was a member of the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2021 from Hawaii, and vice chair of the Democratic Party from 2013 to 2016. She is the first Indian and the first Samoan-American to vote in Congress.

In April 2003, at the age of 22, she enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard, and was deployed to Iraq on the medical care team of the 29th Brigade Combat Team. In 2007, she graduated from Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy and was deployed to Kuwait in 2008 and 2009. She was the first woman to be decorated by the Kuwait National Guard. She received a medical combat medal and a meritorious service medal. In 2015 she was promoted from captain to commander in the Army.

She has combined her military career with politics. She joined Hawaii's Congress in 2002, at the age of 21. Since then she has given many speeches, in which she has expressed her messages of respect and admiration for the Army, unity at the national level, and peace across borders. These are some of those important speeches.

2012: speech to veterans

Just by way of introduction briefly, my name is Tulsi Gabbard. I currently serve on the Honolulu city council and also am a candidate for Congress. I am also a captain in the Hawaii Army National guard and have served on two deployments for the 29th brigade combat team to the Middle East. I see my Sergeant Major here from the first deployment, who I haven’t seen for a few years, and it’s this kind of connection and these kind of days that are really so special to me and that give me the motivation and inspiration to try to be in a position to fight for all of you.

As people who have sacrificed so much for our state and for our country and who don’t often enough have strong advocates and voices, who understand really what it means to wear the uniform, who really understands the sacrifices that you have gone through, the sacrifices that your family has gone through, and to really be able to speak for you, something I think for veterans whether you have served in previous conflicts, whether you are recently returned veteran, the value of your service to our community cannot be stated enough. So I want to just share with you today my thanks and gratitude to all of you for your service, for what you do, for what you have done both for you and your family and to just remind how valuable you really are to our community here. (...) So Mahalo Nui Loa enjoy rest of your lunch and Aloha.

Memorial Day 2012

In another address to veterans, she explains how she believes this appreciation should move us:

For me, I think the best way to honor their sacrifice as we go forward is to think, how can we, in each of our own little way, serve our community, to live up to the selfless sacrifice, the example that they have set and try to make our community better, to continue their fight for freedom, whatever conflict it was, whether it was World War II or Korea or Vietnam or in today’s conflicts that we have. There is so much work that can be done, and I truly believe that I know in my heart that no matter the challenge, if we embody that selfless service and sacrifice that we have seen from those who have come before us and upon whose shoulders we stand today, there is no challenge that is too great.

June 4, 2013: On Title IX

Congresswoman Patsy Mink led the way to create equal opportunities for women and girls across the country with her landmark Title IX bill. She grew up wanting to be a doctor and was rejected from over a dozen medical schools in the 1940s simply for being a woman. She went on to attend law school and dedicated her life to battling the status quo.Title IX law is a mere 37 words, but over the last 40 years, it has made an incredible impact in the lives of young women around the country. Today, girls can play basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis – or even football. Patsy opened the door for these opportunities. Many young women have walked through this door, paving the way for great athletes everywhere.

2014: Reforming the military judicial system

I stand here disappointed and heartbroken today as an American and as a soldier because Congress has missed an opportunity to stand up and fight for our troops, especially those who have been victims and survivors of violent sexual crimes that have occurred within our ranks. These are the less than 1 percent of people in our country who have voluntarily put their lives on the line for us, yet what are we doing for them? It’s our responsibility to hear the voices coming from within the ranks of our uniformed services and to let them know that we have their back.

The House this week had a chance to finally take action on a bipartisan effort to remove the chain of command from the decision-making process to prosecute a violent sexual assault, but this legislation was blocked from even getting and up or down vote on the House floor. This fight for justice is far from over because we will keep pushing for meaningful change that best serves our men and women in uniform, ensuring them justice and honoring their selfless service to our country.

2016: Against military interventions

Gabbard is an advocate that the role of the U.S. Army is homeland defense, not regime change outside the borders.

There's one issue that impacts all the rest. If we continue to spend trillions of dollars on these costly interventionist regime-change wars, overthrowing dictators and countries that we don't like, the fact is we will not be able to afford to make any real progress on the change that we need right here at home. Now the very reason why we're gathered here as progressives because we care about the well-being of others, we care about our future, we're soft-hearted people who have Aloha, respect, and compassion for others and we never want to be in a position to see anyone suffering. As a result, for some it may be easy to believe that well maybe we should support a regime change war if we believe that war will relieve human suffering. Proponents of the interventionist wars in Libya and in Iraq argued that these actions were justified because of humanitarian concerns. It was pointed out over and over again that these countries were in the grips of these evil dictators who had to be removed.

This is precisely the same argument that is being used today to justify our war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. Hoping to garner the support of the American people, proponents of these regime change wars routinely cite humanitarian concerns to justify this military intervention in foreign countries, but here's the reality, as a direct result of our intervention in Iraq, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, human suffering there is increased dramatically. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda took advantage of the Maliki Shia-led government that persecuted and oppressed the Sunni people. ISIS therefore gained a stronghold in Iraq, kidnapping terrorizing raping and killing thousands and thousands of innocent people.

2020: Announcement of his presidential campaign

If any speech marks a politician's career, it is her announcement of her presidential run. In it she expressed in a simple and eloquent way what country she wants to leave after passing through the White House. This is what Tulsi Gabbard was saying in 2020:

I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America. I will bring a soldier's principles to the White House -- restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency. And above all, love for our people and love of country. I ask you to join me, in this spirit of putting service before self, to stand up against the forces of greed and corruption. The road ahead will not be easy. The battle will be tough, the obstacles great. But I know that when we stand united, by our love for our people and our country, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome, there is no battle we cannot win.

We must stand up against those who pollute our land, our water, and our air. We must stand up against corporate private prisons profiting off the backs of those caught up in a broken criminal justice system. A system that puts people in prison for smoking marijuana while allowing corporations like Purdue Pharma, who are responsible for opioid-related deaths of thousands, to walk away scot-free and coffers full. This so-called criminal justice system which favors the rich and powerful and punishes the poor CANNOT stand. Stand up against those who perpetuate bigotry, hatred and violence against our brothers and sisters because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Stand up against this Administration who claims to believe in America First but who sells our troops, our weapons and our interests to whichever foreign country is the highest bidder.

2022: Abandoning the Democratic Party

The former congresswoman has not changed her way of thinking since she entered politics 20 years ago. But her party has been transformed. That is why Tulsi Gabbard is abandoning it and calling on other like-minded Democrats to follow suit.

I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoke anti-white racism. Who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality. Who demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans. Who believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, who are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.

I believe in a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite. I’m calling on my fellow common sense independent minded Democrats to join me in leaving the Democratic Party. If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, now I invite you to join me.