Opinion article by Farid Marjai
Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, a House member from the state of Hawaii, and a Democratic candidate for the Presidential election of 2020 has issued a delightful message for Norooz. In her message, she says, " the beginning of Spring is such a beautiful metaphor for a new start and beginnings." Her positive initiative and outreach should be welcomed and celebrated by the Iranian community anywhere in the world.
Tulsi Gabbard's election platform for domestic policy, ( health care,
education, economic development, and employment) is clearly progressive and
inclusive; indeed her policy platform is a reminder of what Bernie Sanders
accomplished within the Democratic party in 2016 presidential election. Ms.
Gabbard's foreign policy position is also progressive and stands firm against
any interventionist wars or militarist policies in general. And so far, she has
been able to articulate her antiwar stance for everyone in an articulate and
The 37 year old Tulsi Gabbard has a native air about her. Her mother is Indian and her father has Fiji background. She grew up in a military family, and that's why she volunteered for the war in Iraq (as a medical officer). Her experience with war was transformative; seeing the destruction of war at first hand, she was convinced that regime-change wars are destructive and harmful for all. In public office and media interviews she has often spoken to the issue. During the election of 2016, she resigned as the Vice Chair of DNC (the Democratic National Committee) in order to support Bernie Sanders candidacy. Recently she was under pressure to criticize Representative Elhan Omar's stance on Israel lobby, but Gabbard stood firm.
In order to sabotage her candidacy and overall progressive message, certain media outlets were spreading unfair rumors that Russian propaganda was pushing her campaign-- but they did not offer any evidence: www.tulsi2020.com/splash/no-fear
Ms. Gabbard appears to be knowledgeable about Iran-- in a TV round-table, she was critical of a policy towards Iran that overthrew Dr. Mosaddeq in a sponsored Coup (watch video at 12:56 minuets).
It is important that her Norooz message is not overlooked by us, and does not face indifference and silence. On this celebratory occasion we should not be passive observers, yet tap into our sense of "agency". It would be timely and worthwhile to send her emails and messages to demonstrate our appreciation for HER.
Her Norooz message is to all those who celebrate Norooz in general, which includes many peoples from western China, all the way to Kurdish people.
By mentioning "Iran", or "us Iranians" in the message, we recognize her
public gesture and also anchor the issue in a specifically Iran context. A
mention of her policy positions against war and sanctions also would be helpful.
Political communication should always be plain and concise; it should not contain too many points, it cannot address various disconnected issues, or present mixed signals and contradictory points. This is referred to as "Strategic messaging". Audiences, and interlocutors react well, and know what is expected of them when messaging is cohesive and strategic.
You can contact Tulsi Gabbard by email:
At a time when there is much discord in the world, it's encouraging to see affirmative public figures such as Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand) and Tulsi Gabbord.
Although Hawaii is part of the United States, but geographically, this state is very far from the mainland. In a way it can be seen as the gateway to the world. Barak Obama who campaigned on the platform of "change", also spent his formative years in Hawaii. Often the Naseem (winds of change) comes from this gateway.
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