On Tuesday, former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard announced her departure from the Democratic Party, citing an ”elitist cabal” that runs the party.
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party. It’s now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism, who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution,” Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter. The announcement was made on the first episode of her new podcast, “The Tulsi Gabbard Show.”
Gabbard was a 2020 presidential candidate and has been a pariah in the Democratic Party for the better part of a decade. In 2016, she famously resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Bernie Sanders, a move that earned her the ire of her fellow Democrats. She was also hyper-critical of former President Barack Obama for refusing to call out “Islamic extremism.”
Gabbard’s statement quickly drew criticism from users on the platform, who saw her statement as a dogwhistle to the QAnon community. QAnon believers have long considered Democrats to be in the thrall of an elite cabal of Satanists and pedophiles, language Gabbard aped in her comments.
“I see that Tulsi officially quit the Dems by tweeting an antisemitic talking point (and QAnon dogwhistle) about elitist cabals,” one user said
“Tulsi Gabbard hasn’t been a Democrat for a LONG time,” said Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to Julian Castro. “She’s a Russian plant happily spreading Qanon-adjacent propaganda on behalf of Vladimir Putin.”
Gabbard has often been criticized for being to the right of Democrats and in recent months guest-hosted Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.
Users on Twitter began to speculate on her future.
“Logic would hold that she’d officially work with QAnon, but they may not be insane enough for her,” one user said.
“Tulsi’s rhetoric in this tweet is concerning as fuck to me,” another wrote. “She’s likely going to join the Republicans. Another year or so and she’ll join the ranks of the QAnon.”
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*First Published: Oct 11, 2022, 2:50 pm CDT
Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.