Exclusive – Tulsi Gabbard: ‘Cancel Culture’ Is a ‘Disservice to Our Country’

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard talks with SiriusXM's "Breitbart News Daily" at SiriusXM Studios on November 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) told Breitbart News Daily on Thursday that the promotion of “cancel culture” in modern American society is a “disservice to our country” and “dangerous” because it “creates a culture of fear.”

Gabbard appeared on Breitbart News Daily on Thursday and spoke to Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, who asked the presidential hopeful to weigh in on the prominence of cancel culture and explain how she deals with it as a Democrat who is willing to speak across the aisle:

“I’m not running to just be the president of Democrats or one group or tribe or another. I’m asking the American people – every single American – for the opportunity to be of service of them to serve and lead them as President of the United States, as commander-in-chief,” Gabbard said.

“In order to do that, you’ve got to be willing to speak to and to listen to all Americans,” she continued.

“You get hatred on social media simply for showing up and having a conversation,” Marlow said of implications of cancel culture, asking Gabbard, “How difficult is this for you to deal with as someone who does want to speak across the aisle?”

“I think it’s important, again, for both leaders in our country and people to stand up for the right to free speech to encourage dialogue and discourse and debate around the issues that concern all of us,” she said, calling the promotion of cancel culture – which is embraced by elites in Hollywood, particularly – a “disservice to our country.”

“I think it’s a disservice to our country and, frankly, dangerous to promote this, as you said–this cancel culture–because it creates a culture of fear, frankly, for people who want to speak out, who want to share their views and their opinions,” she said.

“There are a lot of things people say that I disagree with, that I disagree strongly with, but, you know, look, I’m a soldier,” the presidential hopeful continued.

“I’m willing to lay my life down for the protection and defense of our rights and freedoms in this country, and I think that that’s where we need to get back to as a country rather than thinking that those who disagree with us should be silenced or canceled or told to shut up,” she added.

It is true that Gabbard, who topped both the Drudge Report and Breitbart News’s straw polls following the Democrat presidential debates she participated in, appeals to a broader base. The congresswoman attributed that to her ability to operate outside of the intolerant cancel culture promoted by elites in Hollywood, D.C., and media.

“I’m not turning my back on any one group or another in this country. And in this cancel culture, that goes a long way just to say, ‘Hey, everyone is welcome. There’s no one that we’ll turn away at our door,'” she said.

Marlow mentioned Hillary Clinton – who once assessed that Breitbart News may not have the right to exist – and described her as one who “exemplifies cancel culture.” Gabbard said the tension between herself and the twice-failed presidential candidate amounts to much more than a petty spat:

This thing that has rolled out over the last few weeks, I think it’s important to point out that this is not just, “Well, she doesn’t like me or I don’t like her.”  There’s a deeper issue and contrast here, and that issue really is, I think there are two main things here. Number one, what we’ve seen play out is this message and this warning that’s come from Hillary Clinton as well as her proxies and the foreign policy establishment elite in Washington that says if you stand up against them, if you dissent, if you, as I am calling for an end to our country’s long-held foreign policy of being the world’s police, toppling dictators in countries we don’t like, if you do that, then your character will be smeared just as they are trying to smear my character under my campaign.

“If you do this, you, too, will be smeared,” she added, harkening back to her remarks on the dangers of cancel culture.

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