Tulsi Gabbard, a candidate for president from Hawaii, will confuse some observers for a while because she is so different from what we have seen and what people have come to expect. We have to start to comprehend the ramifications of her offer to serve the people, rather than just competing for a high office.

Her primary issue is foreign policy because that is the most immediate grave danger to the security of the people she wants to serve. Consonant with her stance on foreign policy is the reform of our bad habits of blaming someone else, dividing people up into groups of pro and con, when what we need to progress out of our difficulties is some sincere unity. I think, in that sense, her vision is 10 or 20 years ahead of other candidates and because of our immediate past, we are not used to thinking that way.

Tulsi refuses to get dragged into questions that are clearly intended to pit one party against another, because she sees our current national disarray is from having lost sight of getting things done by working respectfully together. Working as “a single people” is a habit of mind we have not developed in our competitive race, but it is clearly called-for now, and the younger among us understand that. She uses the Hawaiian word “Aloha” a lot, so it is worth being explicitly clear about what that means and why she does that. The indigenous Hawaiian concept of Aloha Spirit was adopted into state law over 30 years ago because it is an invitation to diplomacy rather than a simple greeting. Aloha is a recognition we are in the presence of the divine spirit of life together, much like the mainland indigenous recognition of Gaia and ancestors. It carries the reminder and the intention of fraternal love and respect.

People say she’ll get eaten alive by the Deep State. Those who think like that do not understand Aloha; they think of winning as overpowering rather than persuasion, so they cannot see how this candidate fits into the slot they have imagined. Also, no one can take apart the Deep State alone, so the candidate needs empathy and fearless courage.

As our spokesperson and our public servant, Tulsi will be leading U.S. with Aloha into dissolving the Deep State. She is smart and empathetic and tough as nails, so I cannot see her being victimized by others in the executive branch. She remarked characteristically, “I will talk to Fox whether I like their views or not. They are part of the constituency, and I will speak to anyone anytime since I am not trying to score political points.”

She is so unusual, so unlike what Americans have come to expect, that some have already started rationalizing why she can’t succeed, and it will take a little time for them to discover it’s not like that. It is clear that corruption and income disparity have us on the path to revolution, and if Tulsi can make that happen softly, we will all get hurt far less. We must come to see that empathy, heart, composure and balance must prevail, because those we perceive as adversaries are humans, just like us. I was shocked when I realized this is the perfect time for Tulsi. Tulsi is so clearly the opportunity we have been waiting for, even though we hadn’t seen it coming.

Larry Sherk lives in Springfield.

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