Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard at UVU

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard at Utah Valley University

On February 21, 2020, Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard came to Utah Valley University (UVU) to present her platform on which she is running for President. She was hosted by UVU History and Political Science Department and answered questions from mainly political science students. Mrs. Gabbard is a Hawaii Army National Guard major and is currently serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s second congressional district.

            One of the main points Mrs. Gabbard made during her speech is that she believes that one of the biggest problems in Washington D.C. right now is that politicians there have forgotten who they work for. They are more concerned with getting and keeping power instead of serving the people. One of the examples she used to prove this point was the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. People in Washington were so involved in the trial they forgot that most Americans had other, more pressing issues they were concerned about. She believes that politicians and people need to leave their partisanship at the door to make sure we have a government that is of, for, and by the people. We as the people need to use our power to vote and hold leaders accountable.

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard speaks before UVU students

            After this, the floor opened to students in the audience to ask her questions. I think one of the most relevant questions that was asked was about speakers view on second amendment rights and how she differs from her running mates. VIP-guest said that we need to first encourage a dialogue so both sides can better see eye to eye. It is a complicated issue because some are worried about their rights getting taken away while other are more concerned about shootings and how to ensure that those who wish to do harm cannot obtain firearms. We need to be able to have a conversation and find a middle ground. 

            Another question that she addressed was her take on healthcare. Congresswoman Gabbard started with discussing the issue of our current medical industry that is very greed driven. From this we are seeing prices on many medical supplies continue to rise. Some say this is because research is expensive, but this isn’t the case for all medications and technology. Things like insulin, a drug many people need to live, had its patent sold for $1 yet now a single vial can cost people over $300. She said that she would push for a single payer plus plan loosely modeled after Australia. This would provide all Americans will healthcare while still giving people the freedom to choose different options. She also said that the country can save money by pushing for prevention of health issues through education and awareness.

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard responds to student question

            One other question that was asked was how Congresswoman Gabbard would shift America from a culture of partisanship to compromise. She said the first thing she would do would be to invite leaders of Congress to the White House to talk. Nowadays whenever members of Congress go the white house it is a big deal and it is always scripted, not a real conversation. She said that her first years as a congresswoman was under a Republic majority, so people said she wouldn’t be able to get anything done. To try and overcome the barrier she asked her mother to make over 800 boxes of toffee for the members of Congress as well as staff. She also hand wrote notes. Because of this people from the Republican started to come up to her to thank her. Following this she was able to get things done and eventually pass a bill. She said that there needs to be a way for us to come together, treat each other with respect and have levelheaded discussions and debates.

            Finally, one other question she addressed that I found interesting was Congresswoman Gabbards’ perspective on cyber security threats coming both from China and Russia. She said that one problem is that our laws have not caught up with this threat. The government doesn’t know whose jurisdiction cyberattacks fall under and what the rules of engagement are. She also said that we need more people working within our government to protect and ensure us against threats. Many of the best people in the field are taken up into the private sector. We need to figure out a way to get these people to work for the government.

            Overall, I was very happy I had the opportunity to attend this advent. Congresswoman  Tulsi Gabbard was a candidate that I knew little about, so it was a great opportunity to hear her speak in person and see her view on issues that I and many other Americans are concerned about. One reason I think that she would make a great president is her background has given her a lot of experience that sets her apart from other candidates. Aside from serving in the National Guard, she is a woman, a Samoan-American, and the first Hindu member of U.S. Congress. I think these things give her a unique perspective that is becoming more important as the United States becomes increasingly diverse. I appreciate efforts of the UVU History and Political Science Department to arrange a presentation for us, students of such an important and interesting dignitary, which contributes to our professional advancement.

(Left to right) Jeff Hibbard, UVU student, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Megan Davis, UVU student

I had a brief opportunity to meet and take a picture with Congresswoman Gabbard. She was very nice and took time to stay and talk to all who wanted to meet her.

Jeff Hibbard, UVU student

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MEDIA ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TULSI GABBARD VISIT TO UTAH

Deseret News: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Makes Campaign Stop in Utah to Share Hope to End War Unite Country

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Daily Herald – Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Talks on Ending-Division at Provo

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Salt Lake Tribune – Tulsi Gabbard Brings Her Campaign to Utah ahead of Super Tuesday Vote

STUDENT REFLECTIVE ESSAYS

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Megan Davis-Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Speaks to UVU Students

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Jake Lamoreaux-Attending Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Event

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Dallas Karren-Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Presents before UVU students

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Yana Andersen-Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard at Utah Valley University

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McKay Anderson-Tulsi Gabbard Presentation at UVU

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Thomas Ulrich-Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Visit to UVU

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Paige Laursen-Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Visits UVU

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Anthony Jackson-Tulsi Gabbard and Working Across the Aisle

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Miriam Funk-Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard With UVU Students

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