When we speak of “the Tulsi Gabbard conspiracy theory”, our first obligation is to specify which conspiracy theory we are referring to. Are we speaking of the claim that the Democratic National Committee deliberately undermined and sabotaged her campaign by striking her name from many “approved” polls, the latter adjective assuming a newly ominous implication in light of what was happened in the last few days? If so, then we are speaking not of a conspiracy theory, but of simple and frankly unsurprising fact, fact which is accessible and intelligible to all but the most incapable of critics. To be sure, there are myriad, even innumerable, critics of astounding incapability, such as Aaron Rupar of Vox, whose grueling distortion of the aforementioned fact I exposed in my most recent piece.
This distortion, this denial of the Democratic National Committee’s corrosive influence, is the real Tulsi Gabbard conspiracy theory. This theory, rooted in a pseudohistorical forgetting of the DNC’s proven conspiracy against Bernie Sanders three years ago, facilitates the DNC’s anti-democratic tyranny in the present, and thereby necessarily facilitates the same future tyranny. Education is the enemy of the DNC, both factual and moral: factual education reveals the DNC’s ongoing history of fascistic field-tilting, and moral education forbids us to support and reward the DNC by voting for its chosen nominee, whosever that person may be.
Hitherto, I have written much in critique of candidates, in criticism of individual politicians. I have expressed my disinterest in voting for, say, Joe Biden because of his failings. But as I observe the DNC wage its internal war against Gabbard, I call into doubt the virtue of voting for the eventual nominee of the Democratic Party, regardless of who “wins” the nomination. Even if that person is principled, virtuous, intelligent, and altogether affirming, and even if that person had not conspired with the DNC, still I suspect that the person’s affiliation with the DNC is a problem, a problem we can’t solve by voting for that person, because to vote for that person is to support the DNC, if only indirectly. We must abandon the DNC as a hosting network for respectable people and look toward the other, smaller organizations—or, preferably, to truly independent people.
This idea requires further elaboration, though probably not as much as I currently believe, and we will revisit it as we are drawn ever closer to the election. Not everyone will join us, though, lacking as they are in the courage required for such an endeavor. For example, I am certain that one Molly Jong-Fast, a propagandist employed by the United Kingdom’s ironically named Independent, will prove too pusillanimous and too lethargic intellectually to do so much as to question the integrity of the mighty DNC—integrity defined morally or politically, depending on your view.
We have already disassembled Aaron Rupar’s unlettered, unsolicited response to Tulsi Gabbard’s criticism of the DNC, and in addressing Jong-Fast’s equally foolish prattle, we should not expect, nor should we endeavor, to unpackage every senseless commentary we find. However, I do see a significant, albeit very subtle, difference in these two incompetents’ approaches: whereas Rupar’s piece was pseudointellectual, seeking to expose logical fallacies in Gabbard’s complaint (of which there was none), Jong-Fast is much more interested in appealing to capricious power, to displaying her loyalty to the political establishment, an establishment in whose defense she is quite willing to write—though not at all expertly.
Jong-Fast makes no attempt to disguise her contempt for Gabbard, not even in the title she selects for her piece: “Tulsi and Marianne Need to Face Facts: No One Wants them at the Next Debate”.
Like many of her myopic contemporaries, Jong-Fast wants her audience—who, she assumes, know nothing of Gabbard—to believe that Gabbard appeals only to a negligible fraction of the American people, that hers is a niche campaign without sizeable appeal. Certainly, Gabbard has been ignored by the corporate media, for reasons which Jong-Fast has no interest in investigating, and even less in questioning. While it is no shame to be overlooked by the corporate media, how can Jong-Fast overlook Gabbard’s resonance in the alternative media? Did she miss her appearance on The Jimmy Dore Show, or her discussion with Joe Rogan, who subsequently endorsed her? What did she think about that shocking primary endorsement by Ron Paul, a libertarian who disagrees with her entire domestic agenda? Even Helen Buyniski, a columnist for RT who released a scathing—and, for an honest viewer, painfully persuasive—criticism of Gabbard has since tweeted about the importance of allowing her to remain in the televised debates. Perhaps none of this means anything to someone who knows only the corporate media, but in suggesting as much, Jong-Fast betrays only her own ignorance of American counterculture—an ignorance which is expected of a plebian, but which is cruelly embarrassing when exhibited by a journalist.
For the record, Jong-Fast’s minimization of Marianne Williamson’s campaign is no less pompous. Williamson probably doesn’t have as much support as Gabbard, but she has developed a dedicated following after two impressive performances in the debates. After all, there’s a reason why I felt it was worth my while to track her down and to ask her what she thinks about Julian Assange. I don’t mean to let Jong-Fast’s nonsensical criticism of her stand; it’s just that I don’t know enough about her campaign to explain how the DNC conspired against her. Perhaps her more knowledgeable supporters could take up that work for themselves?
In Williamson’s case as well as Gabbard’s, the disrespect extended by Jong-Fast, Rupar, and their compatriots reveals a troubling contradiction: they believe that “no one wants [these candidates]” to compete for the nomination of the Democratic Party, yet they believe that the criticism of these candidates’ exclusion is significant enough to be written about at length. Are they suggesting that the people who complain about these candidates’ exclusion from the next debate outnumber those who support their campaigns? Well, many of the jurors who voted to exonerate Socrates voted to condemn him to death an hour later, but still, the question stands: if these campaigns were truly so unpopular on Thursday, how did they become so dangerous on Friday?
Jong-Fast has no explanation for Williamson, but she does have an inventive excuse for Gabbard: she suspects, without citing any incidental phenomena to support her accusation, that Gabbard is soliciting the nomination of the Green Party. Personally, I would love to see Gabbard abandon the Democratic Party and undermine the Washington duopoly, but even if that does eventually occur, what on earth will it have to do with her complaints against the DNC’s polling system? How does the latter pertain to the former? Like Rupar, Jong-Fast makes unintelligible references to the 2016 election, when the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders, and while Jong-Fast does improve upon Rupar’s pathetic fibbing by admitting that the DNC did tilt the field, the connection to Gabbard is still pointlessly murky. Sanders didn’t work with the Green Party after being screwed by the DNC, so I have no idea what Jong-Fast is implying—and once again, even if she could somehow prove that Gabbard’s pushback against the DNC were part of this scheme, still she would have to explain how the same is true of Williamson, who is probably far likelier than Gabbard to run on the Green Party ticket.
We will spare ourselves the trouble of dissecting Jong-Fast’s defense of the “transparency” of the DNC’s polling system. Suffice to say that Jong-Fast doesn’t comprehend Gabbard’s argument any better than Rupar did, so anyone who is interested in her philosophical failings can read my piece on Rupar. On this front, my only comment will be on the unnatural omnipresence of the term “transparency” in essays like Jong-Fast’s, essays that offer a callow, toothless defense of the DNC. Even if Gabbard’s complaint were entirely meritless, one might ask why an institution as powerful as the DNC needs to be defended, especially by journalists. Once again, the question of consistency is raised: how is it that someone like Gabbard is too feeble to register the faintest pulse in the polls, yet somehow, she is dangerous enough to pose a threat to the DNC? I don’t know if I will ever get over the cognitive dissonance exhibited—one might say, exposed—by the propagandists over this very controversy, short-lived though the controversy may be.
You know, I was in a pretty decent mood when I started writing this, but the more I contemplate the philosophical absurdity of Jong-Fast’s claim—Gabbard is irrelevant, but she poses a mortal threat to the DNC—the more I think back to an equally ridiculous argument, made by the United States government to justify its obsession with Julian Assange: “He is too small to be of concern to you, the people, but he can single-handedly destroy the United States.” Can you imagine being dumb enough to make that kind of claim? Did they think it made sense when they put it together? Because it didn’t, at all! Just how gullible do they think I am? Just how gullible do they think Tulsi Gabbard’s supporters are—or Marianne Williamson’s, for that matter? Do they think that we will just forget everything we heard and everything we saw, all because some pseudo-journalist, some mercenary of informative power, was paid to write a slipshod essay on a political candidate—and a political movement—of which she knows nothing? I understand if Jong-Fast is too busy sleeping in her ivory tower to get out and walk among the people of this country, but before she succumbs to the temptation to craft another uninspired hit piece on Gabbard, maybe she should spend some time with her fans. After all, she insults us at the same time that she claims we don’t exist, which says a whole lot more about her estrangement from reality than it does about ours.
Oh, and one last thing: typing “Tolstoy Tulsi” is the political equivalent of driving while drunk. In the first place, Tolstoy was one of the greatest writers in world history, so you’re actually granting Gabbard an exceptional compliment when you compare her to him. Secondly, Tolstoy was actually a Christian anarchist who, last time I checked, wrote an 1,100-page book condemning warfare, so his political views probably don’t have a whole lot in common with Putin’s or Trump’s . . . come to think of it, I don’t know how much they would have in common with Gabbard’s, either. Thirdly, Tolstoy died in 1910, so comparing his Russia to the modern Russia is actually a pretty ambitious exercise in political fantasy. Fourthly, and relatedly, the connection to Russia in your insult is so indirect that any respectable editor would reject it for publication; you might as well call her Gogol Gabbard, or something. Lastly, if you’re going to structure an insult like that, at least be a bit more graceful and call her “Tolstoy Gabbard”, not “Tolstoy Tulsi”. Seriously, that’s just clunky.