For a while after the debate last night, Tulsi tweets were going crazy, but Tulsi Gabbard wasn’t even trending on social media. BBC boldly declared Joe Biden the victor of the debates despite his near-comatose performance. The New York Times was certain that Cory Booker somehow won, placing Tulsi in fifth place. After the first Democratic debate in June, Google suspended Tulsi’s ad account, costing her and her fundraising efforts both revenue and attention. She’s currently suing the platform.

There are those in the field who are presumed by media to be capable of winning the nomination, but if there’s anything we learned from the last election, it’s that there is no heir apparent. This race does not have to be about special interests and obvious choices. The media needs to stop assuming that the safe choice will own the day, because politics just doesn’t work like that anymore (despite the fact that the money still flows that way).

Tulsi Gabbard is the most fascinating candidate in the field. A long shot, sure, but so is basically everyone on the democratic platform who hasn’t been prepackaged by big interests. Because there are so many candidates, the ones who stand out are the ones who aren’t playing it safe, but are actually speaking their mind. Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang are actually appealing to people by speaking directly to them. Tulsi, however, is the only one with any legislative chops, having served Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.

Megan McCain aptly pointed out that Gabbard wasn’t pandering to the crowd, or saying what they wanted to hear:

Tulsi jabbed Kamala on her disingenuous record of locking up nonviolent marijuana offenders and then bragging about her own dalliances with the substance. Then she knocked her out with this vicious left hook: “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep a cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”

Predictably, Tulsi was smeared post-debate by the Harris campaign for being a Russian stooge.

In fact, Harris’ record speaks for itself.

The rules of the American democratic political landscape are to level insults at whoever looks like they’re out in front of you. While Warren and Sanders speak of unity on the left, everyone else slings mud, because it’s only the old guard that can benefit from a unified approach. Everyone else has to step outside the lines or risk obscurity. That’s why Tulsi, after her fact-based elucidations of Kamala’s record, got slammed so hard.

While the big kids on the playground played dodge ball, the kid with something to prove proved it.

The level that big tech is meddling with democracy is beyond insane. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are non-objective distribution platforms. Back when network TV came with rabbit ear antennas and a viewing schedule, the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, leased the airwaves to the networks. The networks paid a nominal feel for the privilege, and in return, the FCC got to tell the networks that they had to give equal time to each candidate. But now, there is barely any oversight at all. The FCC has nothing to do with how big tech companies allow access to their platforms. Although there have been rumblings in Congress that this might change.

The result is that these unchecked, monopolistic platforms are meddling in elections to the extent that would make Russia blush. Campaign finance equity isn’t as important as access to advertising and distribution platforms. If big tech companies are in a position to effectively determine which candidates are seen and which are not, they are in control of the electoral process. Twitter, Google, and Facebook are all falling over themselves to not offend, to pull or limit content that may make people feel uncomfortable or “unsafe.” 

Unsafe content is not that which disrupts ideologies, but that which alters reality in favour of a perception of how these tech companies wish it to be. And they don’t even know how they wish it to be, they are simply reacting in real time, and they lean toward exclusion.

Americans with progressive politics who abhor war are traditionally drawn to the Democratic Party. But it’s increasingly clear that the Democrats and the big money that enables them are not fans of Tulsi specifically because she is so vehemently anti-war. 

One thing is certain. The American people have had their interest piqued by Tulsi Gabbard. Google may try to diminish her chances, but she has broken through. Even Google can’t completely conceal that:

Tulsi is for real. We’re sure big tech will keep trying to suppress her voice, and in the end, they might even succeed. But for now, despite their best efforts, the American people hear Tulsi loud and clear.