The Incomparable Tulsi Gabbard and Her Inevitable Rise to World Prominence: Part One

“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” — The Bhagavad Gita As it Is

Recent discoveries of Capitol Hill’s many criminal entanglements and pay-for-play schemes have stunned and enraged the American public as legacy media outlets struggle to keep the lid on an avalanche of evidence that points directly at the Democratic Party. Furthermore, findings by independent media outlets and a small but resilient peppering of journalists have revealed that the DNC was not “hacked” as claimed by Hillary Clinton and her personal squadron of loyalists performing CPR on the Russian interference conspiracy theory, but was, in fact, complicit in the orchestrated rigging of the primary elections against Bernie Sanders. Now that rampant criminality plaguing our government has resulted in mass resignations, DOJ investigations and the ruin of entire careers, Americans are understandably worse for wear as Trump battles the Deep State’s most recent attempts at a coup d’etat a la ‘pulling a 25th on 45,’ it’s never been more apparent that our country is desperate for leaders of integrity.

Sectarian infighting on the left has pushed hope-starved progressives into a corner as the Trump administration’s decisions on EPA policy repeals, DACA and a proposed federal crackdown on already legal medical marijuana steamroll over decades of positive reform that will prove to be catastrophic, should it stick. Although the push for more progressive positions on issues such as single-payer health care, free college tuition, and cannabis legalization has begun to attract even the most reluctant of Democrats such as Sen. Kamala Harris and previously anti-affordable-prescription-drug-import and Big Pharma donation recipient Sen.Corey Booker, the hesitancy and disingenuous nature of their support rings far too hollow to be taken seriously.

Enter a wholly new kind of politician — a Democrat who immediately began to attract attention during her first term in Congress as an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s military escalations in Syria, later bravely stepping down as DNC Vice Chair during the 2016 election year to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard representing Hawaii’s second district, nearly the entire island state with the exception of downtown Honolulu.

Shattering stereotypes with her status as a Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard for over a decade and being the first practicing Vaishnava Hindu elected to Congress, Gabbard captivates audiences the moment she appears on camera with her million-watt smile and youthful confidence. The “aloha spirit” that she so fondly and frequently refers to as the driving force behind her passion as a public servant seems to come everywhere with Gabbard — one could swear by her perfectly swept hair and signature silver streak that she brings the Hawaiian tradewinds with her.

Despite her refusal to participate in partisan clashes on The Hill and her prodding for focus on key legislation, it’s been anything but easy for Gabbard. Her support for Bernie Sanders, a reluctance to cave to textbook Establishment smear campaigns and outspokenness on reforming campaign finance by going PAC-free has pushed her further to the outside of the hemorrhaging Democratic party with baseless accusations of “Russian collusion” (whatever that means, no one has an explanation thus far) and personal attacks aimed at dampening the prospect of Gabbard as a future Presidential candidate.

Unfazed by the cacophony of hysterical screeching by the mainstream media’s attempts to drown out Gabbard’s fiery indignation at the podium, the Congresswoman’s name and visibility continues to rise as a slew of colleagues exit stage right amid allegations of sex abuse crimes and the use of taxpayer dollars in silencing victims, it’s no wonder Gabbard wastes no time or energy refuting ad hominems and logical fallacies, although her rebuttals are succinctly entertaining.

So what accounts for Tulsi Gabbard’s immeasurable patience and readiness in the face of her most devoted detractors? What is it about the Samoan woman with a colorful mosaic of a personal background and multitude of accomplishments that has Americans waiting impatiently for her ascension into higher office?

At face-value, the answers seem relatively simple enough; her no-nonsense approach to civil servitude is genuine, the care with which she treats the American people emanates through her tireless measures to honor our veterans, and her bipartisan appeal has been key in the change she’s already enacted through legislation. Gabbard is never seen cavorting with socialites or schmoozing with celebrities for donations, and when she appears on mainstream television, the allure of her uniquely vibrant persona is enough to quiet living rooms across America the moment she enters the frame.

In truth, the enigma that is Tulsi Gabbard and her impact on American history will be studied in-depth by people all over the world for years to come as her role in leadership evolves over time. Now that an alarming number of elected officials and their staff are being revealed as conspirators or accomplices in a number of scandals that have rocked the nation’s capital, a noticeable clearing has been made for women like Gabbard, allowing for her inevitable rise to prominence on the world stage like never before.

Tulsi Gabbard’s journey to the present is far from your typical story of most American politicians, growing up in the former Kingdom of Hawaii without the benefit of a silver spoon or a trust fund, Gabbard instead came from blue-collar beginnings, a product of two vigilant educators who would later go on to run and win local elections throughout her childhood.

Tulsi, at two-years-old.

Tulsi Gabbard was born on April 12, 1981, in Leloaloa, American Samoa, the territory’s largest volcanic island, Tutuila, a small village nestled among the soaring mountain crags carpeted in lush emerald forest jutting into the Pago Pago Harbor, one of the world’s largest deepwater harbors. Enveloped in the vast natural biodiversity by the more than 800 native fish, 200 coral species, endangered flying fox and array of tropical forest birds, Gabbard’s family has been deeply rooted in their microcosmic paradise long before she arrived to later scamper barefooted along the glittering Samoan shores.

You could say the journey of Tulsi Gabbard’s personhood may have even begun even before she was born. Named ‘Tulsi’ by her Catholic father, Senator Mike Gabbard, and her Vaishnava Hindu mother, Carol Gabbard, Tulsi is the fourth of Gabbard’s five children with three older brothers, Bhakti, Narayan, Jai, and a younger sister, Vrindavan. Her name being Hindu in origin, ‘Tulsi’ is derived from the word ‘Tulasi’ and is Sanskrit for ‘matchless’ or ‘the incomparable one’, a reference to Lord Krishna’s most devoted servant, whose skin was of molten gold, her garments royal blue, lovingly adorned by with flowers and pearls by worshippers. In 2015 Gabbard married her cinematographer husband, Abraham Williams, in a traditional Vedic ceremony in which she donned a blue wedding dress, just like her namesake.

Tulsi, also known as ‘Holy Basil’ or Ocimum tenuiflorum.

A common Hindu household plant, guests will often find tulsi in a planter nestled in a pot among an ornate altar of candles in outdoor courtyards. A member of the mint family, tulsi, or ‘holy basil’ (Ocimum basilicum)is worshipped as a sacred plant with a number of incredible medicinal benefits that have been used to treat a range of ailments as a central pillar of ayurvedic medicine, from preventing liver damage, to stabilizing blood sugar, to cancer- fighting antioxidants to protecting organs and tissues from damage by toxicants and heavy metals.

“ That house where Tulasi Devi is present never falls on bad times and due to Tulasi Devi’s presence that place becomes more pure than all the Holy places.” — The Padma Purana

Tulsi’s father, Mike Gabbard, with his father Ben Gabbard at Hickham AFB.

Tulsi’s father, Senator Mike Gabbard, was also born in American Samoa in 1948 to an American father and Samoan mother, maintaining his Catholic faith introduced to Polynesian culture upon the arrival of missionaries in 1845, with Catholics now making up approximately 20% of the population.

Agnes Gabbard, Tulsi’s grandmother.

Carol Gabbard homeschooled and raised Tulsi along with her other four children, later heading a missionary school in the Philippines in their teenage years. Learning a number of mixed martial arts during in her time in the Philippines from Tae Kwan Do, to Capoeira, to the indigenous Filipino martial art known as Kali(aka Escrima or Arnis), Gabbard’s natural talent and deep appreciation for these ancient art forms are quite literally in her blood; as a subset of the Austronesian ethnic group comprised of indigenous peoples of maritime Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Taiwan, the Polynesian people’s closest original ancestors are believed to be the Atayal people from Taiwan and the Kankanaey people of the northern Philippines, who later mixed with the Melanesians of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.

The eldest of two daughters, Tulsi was described as as easy going and eager to learn by her family.

Gabbard’s childhood has been defined most poignantly by her memories of learning how to surf as a little girl, being taught environmental stewardship by her parents picking up plastics and trash on the beaches of Hawaii, and serving the community through selfless devotion to Lord Krishna. Her parents describe her as a shy, precocious child — she loved to learn as a diligent student, overachiever and self-described bookworm with a love for the environment that would give rise to the tireless advocate she’s become today.

Recently, her legislation known as the OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act was introduced in 2017 with a proposed 100% transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy by 2035, with a number of other measures included in the bill designed to create hundreds of thousands of green collar jobs and with the necessary training and educational support that would alleviate the problem of widespread coal mining and fracking job loss. OFF has garnered national attention and the advocacy of over 300 environmental grassroots organizations as climate change continues to wreak havoc on already disadvantaged communities, rampant wildfires in California and the total devastation of Puerto Rico and the mishandling of disaster relief effort are just the latest examples of a dire need for 21st century legislation appropriate for dealing with the worsening crisis of our country’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard working with Sunset Elementary students in their on-campus community garden where she recognized Kim Johnson and the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation (2014).

When Gabbard spends time working in her district with the agricultural community, she frequents farms of all varieties, sleeves rolled up and knee deep in a taro pond or surrounded by awe-struck children listening in earnest to a lesson on aquaponics. Whether she’s in the water for a morning surf immediately following a red-eye from DC, or weathering the extreme cold in support of her fellow veterans protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, it’s undeniable that Gabbard is connected to the land in a way that is a rarity among elected officials, a refreshing deviation from the antiquated machismo of hunting and golf culture in politics.

It should come as no surprise that Gabbard would also stand firmly behind the federal legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, teaming up with Republican Tom Garrett as original co-sponsors of H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. As an Iraq War female combat veteran with a tireless devotion to serving her brothers and sisters in uniform, Gabbard has been outspoken in the battle to allow soldiers to treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and opioid addiction with cannabis.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard hosted an intimate Town Hall on the Island of Lānaʻi on April 13th, where over one hundred people braved the pouring rain to hear the Congresswoman speak.

As 20 veterans each day succumb to suicide, the urgency of treating both the visible and invisible wounds of her fellow soldiers has been a top priority for Gabbard. Although A.G. Jeff Sessions is proving himself to be both aggravating and dense with his relentless pursuit to punish marijuana users, it’s only served to infuriate the states in which cannabis has already been legalized and rally Americans around supporting the states rights that Trump had sworn to protect.

The Congresswoman has a number of other environmental focuses in addition to the effects of climate change in her home state of Hawaii, Gabbard has been outspoken against measures to increase offshore drilling and the development of a massive gold mine in Alaska that would endanger one of the world’s most valuable sources of sockeye salmon and a number of native tribes that rely on Bristol Bay for sustenance. Although the mainstream media has been the first to sound the alarm on Trump’s EPA rollbacks, Gabbard continues to head efforts to bring attention to these policy decisions before the damage is done while Democrats are largely still focused on removing Trump from office and deflecting from their criminal misdeeds.

However, if Tulsi Gabbard were to gauge her efforts on how best to serve the American people based on Twitter’s trending topics or the political expediency of her current circumstances, she’d be no more significant than the current mouthpieces who already do the bidding of the Establishment. If her most pivotal moments in her career were supposed to be dictated by the antcipated popularity of her political decisions, Gabbard’s defiance of the Democratic party’s chiding of her alliances would indicate that she is far from a favorite among her bureaucrat predecessors.

It’s for these reasons that Gabbard’s reputation for being a rebel has earned her a diverse and devoted following of DNC dissenters, Bernie Sanders loyalists, veterans, cannabis advocates, minorities and beyond, re-writing the rulebook for women in politics in a way that white pseudo-feminists like Hillary Clinton never can, and never will. Make no mistake, Tulsi Gabbard more than eclipses the banalest of white feminist standards of the Democratic Party by so-called “allies” who have hijacked the plights of minority women for votes and the appearance of inclusivity while failing to even address the subject of intersectionality or lack thereof. Additionally, Gabbard’s direct experience in working with the communities of minorities, grassroots organizations and the disadvantaged has already earned her the ire of a handful of 2020 hopefuls frothing at the mouth at any chance to descend upon her in a Lord of The Flies-like frenzy for the coveted title of being the first female president of the United States.

After the initial shock has worn off from purging the dregs of D.C. at the highest levels of government, you can expect Americans to notice the enormous Blue Wave building in response to the Trump administration and its policies as mid-term elections draw near. Thankfully, there’s already someone who’s been watching the momentum and waiting for the perfect moment to guide the revolution she helped build with Bernie Sanders toward fulfilling the Progressive platform she still faithfully maintains, and she just happens to be one of the most notable warriors of our time.

Part Two coming soon.

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