The lone Hindu among US presidential contenders for 2020, Tulsi Gabbard, has come down strongly against what she calls “the lack of transparency”in the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC’s) qualification process for debates, reports Fox News.
Gabbard made the remarks after the 28 August deadline for democratic contenders to reach the required polling and donor criteria to qualify for the third debate passed, with her being one of several candidates who failed to meet the polling criterion.
While appearing on the television show ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’, she stated that the absence of transparency was resulting in "a lack of faith and trust in the process."
She pointed out that voters were exposed mostly to establishment candidates coming from the political elite, while “outsider” candidates like her were left out.
The third round of Democratic presidential debates will take place on 12 September, and will see ten contenders from the party take to the stage. Presently, former vice president Joe Biden, Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren are maintaining lead positions among the crowded field.
Gabbard has maintained that she will continue her campaign, and continue to speak directly with American voters across the country.
This is not the first time the DNC has come under criticism for the way it conducts the process for selecting the Democratic presidential nominee.
It was also widely criticised in 2016 following a mass leak of emails from its servers which revealed how a number of staffers at the organisation were heavily biased in favour of Hillary Clinton, widely seen as the establishment candidate, and were attempting to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.
Even as outsider candidates like Tulsi Gabbard, and others like Andrew Yang, suffer from a lack of resources unlike more mainstream veteran politicians, they have found themselves supported by a dedicated following of young supporters online due to specific unique positions taken by them.
Being a military veteran herself, Gabbard is well known for her strong anti-war stance, and she was able to greatly increase her name recognition after the second debates when she saw a major spike in her Twitter followers and also took the spot of the most googled democratic presidential contender.
As the lack of a place for her in the third debate will likely further dent mainstream coverage of Gabbard, she will essentially have to pivot even more so towards maintaining and growing her online following, while taking the initiative to increase her name recognition through multiple platforms – whether conventional or alternate.