The other day the reliably disgusting Samantha Bee tweeted an invitation to Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson to come “drop out” of the race on her show, which Williamson playfully declined from the green room of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Establishment narrative managers like Bee have been smearing Williamson with steadily increasing urgency lately, which is always a great way to pique the interest of people like me.
I’m not seeing much written about Williamson besides snarky smear articles and “Hurr hurr I hyper-meta-ironically think the magic crystal lady is awesome” joke pieces, so with the next round of debates coming up soon I thought it might be fun to take a straightforward look at her, her platform, what she gets right, and what she gets wrong. There aren’t many candidates who I find interesting enough to do such a thing, but she’s one of them. Without further ado, here are eight thoughts on Marianne Williamson:
1. As mocked as she is, she’d still make a better president than almost any Democrat running.
Granted, given the platoon of plutocratic palace eunuchs that is the 2020 Democratic primary race, this isn’t much of a compliment. But it’s still worth noting that her overall platform is more progressive than most of her primary opponents, and that she appears to be far less invested in coddling the oligarchs than Biden, Warren, Harris, O’Rourke, Buttigieg, Booker, or almost any of the other twenty-something candidates. Only Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard have more to offer in terms of challenging existing power structures, and of course Mike Gravel (who Williamson helped fundraise for) if you feel like counting his interesting campaign.
I tend to ignore any self-proclaimed “progressive” if they don’t express a determination to overhaul the status quo of the US-centralized empire’s forever war, but Williamson has been promoting significant changes on that front, including the creation of a Department of Peace, an idea she just plugged on Colbert. In a debate that was remarkably scant on any foreign policy questions, Williamson was the only candidate to point out during the immigration section that many immigrants are fleeing their countries because of disastrous US foreign policy.
Williamson also has unusually awake views on things like race, slavery reparations, and putting children first in a real and tangible way which could do a lot to heal America’s deep psychological woundedness, something she seems to prioritize in all her political thinking. This isn’t a Marianne Williamson campaign ad so I’m not going to go over all her positions on all issues, but anyone who’s curious can check them out here.
She’s easy to make fun of, she misquotes Albert Einstein sometimes, and her positions are far from perfect, but she also seems to be operating in good faith from a compassionate perspective and pushing back on some tightly held orthodoxies, which is more than you can say for most of the other candidates.
2. She has the ability to capture America’s attention.
Because of her willingness to talk about love and say things you’re just not meant to say on a presidential debate stage, Williamson was the most-searched candidate on Google after the last Democratic debates, with interest surging nearly every time she opened her mouth. You can tell me that a lot of that was the undesirable kind of attention, but if Donald Trump’s election taught us anything it’s that undesirable attention isn’t necessarily a thing for presidential candidates.
Williamson’s challenge is using that attention in a way that wins people over and captures their imaginations. If she can find a way to put out concise, forceful, positive messages that really light people up while she has America’s attention, it’s technically possible for her to turn interest due to novelty into actual support, especially if she can get better at taking advantage of her massive social media following. Unlike Gravel, Williamson is actually sincerely in this race to win it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she picks up a few tricks to help push toward that goal.
Williamson has a unique knack for getting herself into the bloodstream of the zeitgeist. There’s a very famous quote almost everyone has heard at some point that goes, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
That quote appears everywhere from memes to inspirational posters to graduation speeches, and it’s often misattributed to Nelson Mandela. It’s actually Williamson, from a book she published in 1989.
3. Her underlying premise is absolutely correct.
One of the things that sets Williamson apart from the other candidates is her insistence that the only thing which can really turn things around for America and for the world is a profound psychological change on a mass scale in the way human beings operate. Her stated goal is not just to change policies in a more progressive direction, but to help get people learning to relate to themselves in a more awake and truthful way.
Williamson is right to promote this goal. We’re never making it out of this mess if we keep operating and thinking in the way that we do. Only a profound shift in our relationship with thought will enable humanity to shake off the psychological chains of plutocratic propaganda and use the power of our numbers to force real change. Positive change isn’t coming by any other route, so it’s nice to see someone talking about the fundamental issue.
Whether Williamson is the person to facilitate such a shift is another matter. Generally if someone’s insights into the human condition have been sufficiently deep, they can talk about them like a normal human being without sounding all woo woo hippietastic. But maybe Williamson talks that way for her own reasons. In any case, it’s not like anyone else in US politics is speaking about inner work with any amount of profundity.
4. She’s crap on a number of issues.
Williamson has said “I see both sides” on the Trump administration’s completely unjustifiable prosecution of Julian Assange. She’s tweeted that she does not support BDS, as well as a few comments feeding into the discredited Russiagate conspiracy theory. Her “path” toward universal healthcare is the crappy “Obamacare plus a public option” approach, far less cost-effective and efficient system than the Medicare for All system being pushed by Sanders and more in line with what shitlibs like Beto O’Rourke are advocating.
5. The “anti-science” smear is bullshit.
Williamson has repeatedly denied that she is opposed to science, vaccinations and medical care, so the only way to continue to believe that she opposes those things is to decide that she’s a secret science-hater who is trying to get into the White House to wage a covert war on science. This would obviously be stupid. Williamson has said weird things in her weird guru-lady life to talk about the power of the mind, but if she’s saying in plain English that she supports modern medicine then there’s no reason to disbelieve her.
This is a common wedge issue against the political left in America that the establishment narrative managers are all too happy to use; they used it constantly on Jill Stein in the lead-up to the 2016 election, and she’s a bloody doctor. It works as a wedge issue because it turns the dreadlocks/patchouli lefties and the rationalism/atheism lefties against each other, thereby rendering them both impotent.
There’s no good reason to believe that Marianne Williamson is secretly plotting to become president so that she can steal your measles vaccines, though. Don’t be a doofy conspiracy theorist.
6. She is a collaborator first, competitor second.
When Williamson used her platform to send her supporters to help her opponent, the very naughty octogenarian Mike Gravel, get reach his target fundraising numbers, I was infuriated. Infuriated because I had cancelled her in my mind because of her position on Assange, and then she goes and does something awesome like that. In her policy reviews on her page she plugs another opponent Andrew Yang, even going so far to link to his on a Universal Basic Income. She also plugs two other books on economics for good measure. A strong feature of Williamson’s campaign is not just to take solid ideas and promise to implement them, but to bring the people who have been pushing those ideas along with her. She may have some blind spots when it comes to sovereignty and boundaries, but she sure knows how to collaborate in an effortlessly egoless way.
Watch @marwilliamson’s masterful job explaining the case for reparations and what it means for the US to atone for historical atrocities to a speechless Dave Rubin https://t.co/uRIyARjuYt
— Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) July 23, 2019
7. She has self-reflection.
She’s endlessly mockable, but Williamson knows how to laugh at herself, which is an astoundingly rare characteristic for someone with her reach, ambitions, and audience. Rather than react to the barbs with pursed-lips and aggression, she has a light way of dancing with the attention that ameliorates its effect. She is a deep thinker that is humble enough to change her mind when presented with evidence, but she doesn’t back down easily either. In politics, where nobody ever says sorry and changing stances is seen as a weakness, modelling her brand of agility and self-reflection is a blast of much needed fresh air. Of course, manipulators will use any apologies as a weapon against you, so you need to only apologise for things you have actually done and wish to change. Most of us use only defense or use only submission. She seems comfortable with both.
8. At least she’s interesting.
Is she perfect? No. Do I think she’s got a chance of being president? Stranger things have happened. But I’m glad she’s up there, right up in the guts of the establishment politics making them all work a bit harder. I love that they feel like they need to attack her right now, but she could go further.
If I ever got her attention, there’s a bunch of tweaks I think Williamson could make. For example, her Twitter game is sub-optimal for what it could be with the follower size she has, because she doesn’t make the kind of large, bold statements that could blow out a giant hole in the Overton window. With the following she has she could easily get people talking, but she has to give them something to talk about.
Going much harder on policy would get people talking, and there’s certainly plenty of room to stretch out on that front. She claims she wants to take America in a radically healthy new direction, so why not take a page from Gravel’s book and talk about halving the military budget and bringing home the troops? The Pentagon is the planet’s largest producer of carbon emissions, not to mention all the other poison they put in the air. She says she wants to “cut the waste in the military”, but why be a pussy about it? There are a bunch of issues like this where she walks this weird middle line that just gets lost in the boring beige sludge of the 2020 conversation. Just be a relentless advocate for health. No need to appease sickness in any way.
Williamson talks about “fear versus love” a lot, presumably a hangover from her A Course In Miracles days, when I think “life versus death” is a much more useful dichotomy for what we’re actually looking at today. When the status quo’s only solution to every problem is to apply the salve of death, in my view she wants to strongly put the case for applying healing and applying life in terms that people can understand. Whether it be the homeless crisis, healthcare, foreign policy etc, the only solutions we are being offered right now are predicated on lots of people dying so they’re not a problem anymore. It’s okay to fear that, and loving that isn’t going to fix it. Put the case for life, Marianne. That’s what I’d say.
But whatever, in any case, I’m glad she’s a thing. The presidential race is much healthier because of her.
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Seth / July 31, 2019
I like MW. I think she would be an amazing choice as our first female president. Furthermore, I think the only way the Democrats can defeat Trump is by running someone that’s less establishment than he is. Bernie and MW on the same ticket could do it.
Comment creeps: Licoln would have been a Democrat if he was a politician today, and if Hitler was such a promoter of family values, why does his mistress still have a household name?
HelenB / July 31, 2019
For the same reason that all the other untruths are spread about this man.
It suits the agenda.
Surely you could work that out …
Molloy / July 30, 2019
The apparent endorsement of Williamson is puzzling. (I believe that choice possibly belongs to a man called Adelson )
As someone once aptly observed—regarding the binary choices offered by the so-called democratic capitalist systems—here in this article, Republican Democrat, “two cheeks of the same greedy plutocratic backside”.
Tomas P / July 29, 2019
Nice job here. If you can’t win with facts or valid arguments, an ad hominem attack works just as well. A tactic commonly used by the boomer liberals. The “progressives” or what every you want to call them. What they do is insult, hurl accusations, or conflate ideas they don’t like with something very bad to make the other person look bad. Your “against egalitarianism and support racial and gender inequality as well as antisemitism and Nazism” is a great example of this.
First off, the word Nazi is a made up term by the communists who took over Germany and proceeded to genocide millions of innocent Germans and millions of other innocent white people. The Germans called themselves National Socialists. and yes, I would happily support them. They valued family, honestly, human rights, and other noble ideas. Show me a single time Hitler ever called someone a racial slur. Show me a speech by him where he advocates war and death. He never did. That was Churchill, Stalin, and FDR. In short, you don’t know history or are dishonest about it. Same for the fake holocaust.
Now to the other ” your need for absurd glorification of yourself by means of the barbaric and unjust dehumanisation of other humans”. Again, this is a rubbish statement. All I did was state facts. Apparently facts and scientific data are only valid if they support your ideas or agenda.
Your response is a great example of why progress will never be made in the west. Nothing can change until we are allowed to openly discuss and consider all the facts and relevant information. Just look at James Damore and what happened there. He was ridiculed and called a bigot and other names. Why? Did he say mean things? Was he bullying others? No, he used facts, made well reasoned arguments, and tried to have a real conversation about diversity. We all know that can’t be allowed.
For hundreds of years, the European culture was making great progress. Every generation was proceeded by one that had better life and made the world a better place. That was until the boomers. Since then, the west has started it’s downward path. The “liberals and progressives” don’t want progress. They want regress and that is what they are creating. Your “narcissistically worshipping everything about yourself and your culture” is again rubbish. I don’t. I do recognize the cancer that is killing our culture and it’s the liberal-hippie-boomer culture or what it really is: cultural Marxism. Something that my generation might be able to stop. Something many of us will NOT teach our children.
HelenB / July 30, 2019
Your opinions are unpopular, but not with those who actually take the time to explore history as it actually happened, not as some would have you believe.
I’m not sure what generation you are, but I wish you luck. Lies have become the perceived wisdom. I just hope it’s not too late.
While the subject of Marianne Williamson is where this all began – personally I have always found her to be fake. Yes it’s great to love one’s fellow man, it might stop you dropping a bomb on them … but in one’s immediate surroundings there are far more important factors that make up a moral and successful society, and that’s adhering to standards of behavior and morality, personal advancement and achievement, protection of the innocent, and respecting and supporting the natural family unit. Good old-fashioned values, which happen to be those advocated by Hitler.
Don Templeton / July 25, 2019
I’m not voting for anyone Democrat. Bernie Sanders is a flaming hypocrite (demands all businesses pay $15 minimum wage EXCEPT for his campaign — he’s exempt and doesn’t have to pay his workers $15 an hour). Tulsi Gabbard is a gun-grabbing loon like the rest of the “Progressives” which you seem to call yourself as well. And your new darling here is another race baiting wing nut. I saw her shameful pandering by leading a group of white people in apologizing for slavery. Hey, when are whites gonna get reparations for OUR slavery? Yeah, read history, lady. The majority of whites that came to the Colonies pre-Revolution were SLAVES to the East India Company. The majority of whites in America DIDN’T EVEN OWN SLAVES. When are you going to talk about the FACT that the Democrat Party is the Party of slavery? It was the Republicans that ended it. It was the Republicans who founded the NRA as a means of protecting freed slaves from the KKK and it was the Party of Progressives which FOUNDED the KKK.
When are you “progressives” going to call a spade a spade and address the elephant in the room? The only issue is GOVERNMENT itself. When you get on the platform to abolish government, then I might take you prigs seriously. As it stands, the progressives WORSHIP government because the constant empowerment of an organization with an monopoly on the use of violence is the ONLY way progressives will be able to push their agenda down everyone’s throats.
F. Foundling / July 26, 2019
Hilarious. No, the only issues are tyranny, injustice and suffering, and these are produced by inequality, be it political (through unaccountable government) or economic (through capitalism). When you get on the platform to abolish economic inequality, then I might take you seriously. As long as you only rant against government, I will know that your problem with government is not the times when it is used for tyranny and injustice, but the times when it is used for liberation and justice, because these are the things that you truly hate.
HelenB / July 26, 2019
I can’t argue with anything you have said. Most haven’t a clue.
Just about every government, state and federal, in the US is corrupt and does not have the interests of the people paramount.
Lloyd / July 25, 2019
Perhaps if there was such a position as “Keeper of the Flame” such attitudes would work well but considering how truly dysfunctional and totally sabotaged the US representative republic seems to be (regardless of whose narrative you’re paying attention to) it looks to me like the only flame evident can safely be assumed from “we’re toast!” Someone is steadily lying to us, even while “under oath” and/or having taken an “oath”. Follow the money folks, just follow the money.
Michel Bélisle / July 25, 2019
I do not understand Caitlin how you can put hope in the charade that is the political system in the West.
I consider that since the sad event of 9-11, gouvernments in the West have no legitimacy.
Ms Williamson has surely seen wreckages of airplanes in the Pentagone and in a field in Pennsylvania on 9-11. You cannot be a candidate if you did not.
And it is the same in Canada. You have to read this article:
The best thing is to do not vote. But if you feel guilty because of that, vote for independent candidates without any affiliation to mainstream political parties.
You cannot go and endorse a lie again and again by casting a vote.
But a lot of people will do because we are in the return of the days of Noah just before the Second Coming of Jesus and people are confused and of bad faith.
I pray the Rosary to hasten the return of Jesus because I am fed up and I have really really seen enough. Maybe also a prayer to Saint Jude, patron saint of lost causes.
DDearborn / July 25, 2019
Caitlin I admit I had to look up ” eunuchs” in order to appreciate just how succinctly your description of the candidates “plutocratic palace eunuchs” actually sums up the race. A wonderful turn of phrase.
Jimmy Roberts / July 25, 2019
None of the Democratic Party candidates, Sanders and Williamson included, are worthy of the support of the American working class. Both are nothing more than career politicians and liberals, wedded to the continuation of American capitalism and the goals of US imperialism. They are most definitely NOT Socialists, which is a scare word Trump and Company throw at anyone who disagrees with their far-right, authoritarian, warmongering, and capitalist agenda.
The real task facing the American working class is the same as that facing their counterparts elsewhere in the world, namely, to build an independent, working class, and Socialist political Party, and not to continue to waste their support on false prophets and sham “radicals” like Sanders, Williamson, and Corbyn.
None are committed to a Socialist transformation of society which is the burning necessity of our times, and which is the precondition for the survival of the human species, and its further progress and development. In fact, these false prophets serve the very useful purpose from the standpoint of the capitalists and plutocrats of acting as utterly useless safety valves for mass discontent and dissatisfaction with the system.
One other highly important point. All of these false prophets are doing very nicely themselves from the capitalist political system. Sanders is a career politician who never has, and never will, go hungry. So too Corbyn, who “earns” £150,000 a year as Leader of the Opposition, leaving aside all the perks, privileges, and pension entitlements that go with it. He who pays the Piper, calls the tune.
Ras Pettersen / July 25, 2019
Magnificent article. Thank you for your serious, practical take. She is far more serious than people are taking her and brings powerful information and a transformative attitude to the table. I am so very grateful to her for what she is doing, and all those caught up in and joining her movement.
scars / July 25, 2019
Why doesn’t she support the BDS movement? How do “progressives” like her think that South Africa’s apartheid system was dismantled? Celebrities mounted a very loud boycott of S. Africa (“Don’t play Sun City!”) and, guess what, it worked! Why does the US apply sanctions (which is essentially an enforced boycott?)? So sanctions are okay for government entities but boycotts led by average citizens are bad?
If she can’t be progressive enough to speak up for Palestinians and take a stand on a MODERN DAY slow genocide happening right in front of our very eyes, she doesn’t have the moral courage to be President.
If you oppose BDS, you are on the wrong side of history. Just like the Nazi appeasers were. What the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are doing today to the Palestinians is shameful. Never again should mean never again to anyone anywhere. Instead, apparently, is just means never again to Jews. If the survivors of the Holocaust can’t even learn the lessons of the Nazi persecution of Jews, then what hope is there for the rest of humanity. Because it only seems that the Jews in Israel have learned how to turn that same racial supremacy idea around to benefit them instead of it being used to persecute them. Who would have ever thought that discriminating against non-Jews in Israel would be the outcome of Jews being persecuted in Germany? What kind of logic is that? What kind of justice is that? What kind of “light unto the world” is that? What kind of democracy is that?
Frank / July 25, 2019
How can you learn from something that never happened? The overwhelming evidence that shows the holocaust is a fabrication is so vast, they have to make laws against anyone questioning their holocaust narrative.
HelenB / July 25, 2019
Thanks for that Frank. I was debating whether to go there … sometimes it’s easier not to prick balloons. But yes, when you realise how duplicitous certain folk can be, and for so long, genocide is what you do when you accuse others of it. It’s a known (and fiendishly clever) tactic.
F. Foundling / July 26, 2019
Just so you know, folks – what both of you are saying is actually utter rubbish. It’s also extremely evil rubbish. Not even the Nazis at Nuremberg, Eichmann and the like denied the Holocaust. It’s difficult to find a European Jew that doesn’t have some relatives, often very close ones, who died in the Holocaust. That includes extremely honest, courageous and principled humanists and anti-Zionists like Norman Finkelstein. There are equally moral and brave humanists and anti-Zionists who survived the Holocaust personally such as Hajo Meyer. You really have to be an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who dehumanises all Jews, if you believe that all of these people are lying.
HelenB / July 26, 2019
When you’re having your gonads crushed, you’ll admit to anything.
Millions of Germans were slaughtered, both by starvation (which is what happened to many Js), and by intent by (((Eisenhower))).
You need to do a little more exploring. Or not. I could care less.
sam / July 25, 2019
Williamson is a Zionist.
Thomas P / July 25, 2019
This post just makes me furious. Here we are again with the whole “all we need is love and the whole world will be happy” Tell that to Tyler Wingate (http://www.unz.com/sbpdl/his-name-is-tyler-wingate-24-year-old-white-man-gets-in-car-accident-with-black-male-in-83-black-detroit-black-motorist-beats-him-to-death/). It’s utter rubbish! Recent history is replete with examples all over the world just like Tyler.
The reason the world is in such a state is because facts and truth are not allowed if they “hurt your feels”. This egalitarian notion given to us by the hippy-baby-boomers is pure cancer and it needs to be stopped now. It’s time to grow up and put on your big boy pants.
Let me explain this to you. The facts are overwhelming that blacks have a far lower average IQ than Whites and Asians. Blacks are also far more violent that Whites and Asians and commit far more crimes. Men and Women are not the same biologically or mentally. The “pay gap” is nonsense and does not exist. The same goes for “white privilege” it does not exist. Try being a poor white person in the US or South Africa. All the science, data and facts prove these things beyond a shadow of doubt. However, it’s not “politically correct” or its “racist” and “insensitive” to state these. I don’t care anymore. I have had enough.
The holocaust never happened, WWII is a total lie and the commies won. Hitler was a good man and the German people did nothing wrong. They are not murderous crazy’s killing innocent jews. The historical and scientific facts bare this out completely. However, again we can’t talk about this. Some places it’s actually illegal to question this. It’s “anti-semetic” to talk about this and that can also land you in jail. How can one learn from history if they are never told the real history or allowed to question it?
It’s also a fact that western countries are under attack by a ruthless enemy who preys on our good nature. It’s been weaponized against us and you know what they say “The road to hell is paved in gold” and boy are we laying out tons of gold. Our entire civilization is being marched over a cliff with this hippy notion that love will save us. Love won’t do anything by leave you dead in the street just like Tyler.
People know governments lie and cheat. They know politicians do the same and yet they look to them for answers? How stupid are we? We know they are corrupt and fleecing us yet we seek to codify their power by voting in elections we know are rigged! What madness is this?
The boomers have, with a single generation, utterly destroyed the west. Our values, culture, heritage its all in a dumpster fire. They thew a once great peoples into the trash heap and burnt them to a crisp. By every tangible measure Whites and Blacks are far worse off than they were a few generations ago. Sure they can vote but economically, socially, quality of life, and life expectancy are in sharp decline. However, the wealth gap, that’s larger than it ever! We are reverting to neo-feudalism.
My grandmother told me that I will never be able to love another person unless I first love my self. The thing is, that goes for your people, your heritage, and your culture. Until Whites stop this bullshit notion of “white privilege” and break the “white guilt” no progress will ever be made. We will die off just like Tyler. Bloody in the street with nobody caring. Same goes for these hippy egalitarian notions. They are pure cancer and need to be cut out and removed otherwise the body will die. We need to go back to speaking our minds, speaking the truth, looking at facts, no matter how much they “hurt your feels”.
F. Foundling / July 26, 2019
If you are against egalitarianism and support racial and gender inequality as well as antisemitism and Nazism, then you should be happy about the wealth gap and neo-feudalism, not complain about them. As for loving yourself, that means taking care of yourself, appreciating and developing your good sides and working to get rid of your bad sides. The same goes for your culture. It does *not* mean narcissistically worshipping everything about yourself and your culture, ignoring your bad sides and unjustly vilifying and degrading other people and cultures. Your grandmother was right, but I don’t think you have ever come to truly love either yourself or anybody else – your need for absurd glorification of yourself by means of the barbaric and unjust dehumanisation of other humans suggest that you are trying to compensate for a profound conviction in your own worthlessness, which you have somehow, presumably due to faulty upbringing, come to believe in.
HelenB / July 26, 2019
Rachel / July 25, 2019
She went into a hall and made every white person there apologise to a black person. Regardless of whether or not they had ever done anything negative to any person of any race. Do you really think someone who encourages that sort of racism is a good choice.
Carol Law / July 25, 2019
Excellent piece, Caitlin. I would be fine with her being my President, or Tulsi orBernie. Williamson can get up to speed on healthcare (that’s going to be an ongoing struggle and negotiation) and I’ve been touting a Department of Peace for years.
Lewis Elbinger / July 24, 2019
Thank you for this excellent article, Caitlin. I shared it on my Facebook page.
Spiritual not religious.
Blessings from Mount Shasta.
F. Foundling / July 24, 2019
Concerning war, MW’s positions can hardly be described as ‘significant changes’. She espouses what used to be the mainstream Democratic attitude: the US should use less brute force and more diplomacy and ‘soft power’ to achieve its objectives. In addition, it should use more early measures so as to minimise the ‘need’ for later violence in achieving its objectives. She does not, however, question the presupposition that the objectives themselves are currently noble, peaceful and in no need of changing. Presumably, in order to avoid ‘being forced’ to stage violent coups against Chavez and Maduro, MW’s version of ‘smart’ American foreign policy would have used behind-the-scenes machinations to prevent Chavez from winning the presidency in the first place. The Democrats are the *smart* administrators of the Empire, you see. MW says she will increase funding of USAID; this organisation, and others like it, is already involved in the financing of violent US operations such as coups as well as non-violent US operations such as propaganda, and there is no sharp boundary between the two – they go hand in hand.
Concerning reparations, that strikes me as a typical idpol idea – radical-sounding, symbolically impressive, and useless and divisive in practice. History is full of all sorts of grave injustices perpetrated by all sorts of groups against all sorts of other groups. The correct approach in such cases is to eliminate *present* problems and injustices, not to dig endlessly in the past. What’s next – should the descendants of European aristocrats pay reparations for feudalism to the descendants of serfs? Should the UK pay reparations to France for the Hundred Years’ War? Should Mongolia pay reparations to the world for the mass murders of Genghis Khan? Shouldn’t US Latinos, too, receive reparations for the persistent systemic racism and for the occupation of Texas, New Mexico and California?
A one-time payment to every descendant of slaves, however generous, will not solve the serious *present* problems of African Americans – that’s not how you eliminate marginalisation. MW’s idea of giving the money to an assortment of ‘black leaders’ (whoever elected or appointed those?) and letting them decide how to use it to benefit their people is even worse: there are hardly any mechanisms in place that could guarantee that every descendant of slaves, or every black person in general, really will be benefited in this way, let alone benefited to an equitable degree. What such a payment *will* do is give white racists a pretext to wash their hands and say that from that time on, every problem of African Americans is solely their own fault and nothing is owed to them any longer.
The real reason black Americans must be helped is the same reason for which poor whites must be helped, namely that they are in a situation where they require such help – humans and especially citizens owe each other help, and societies require mutual help to function – and they require it *now*. It is *not* because of who the ancestors of most (but not all!) of them were in the mid-19th century. Massive inequality and misery don’t have to be a result of an extraordinary past injustice for state policies targeting them to be justified – that is a right-wing assumption that the reparations movement seems to accept tacitly.
To sum up, a symbolic issue and a practical issue are being confused here. For the symbolic issue of renouncing slavery, a formal apology with no money involved is enough. For the practical issue of eliminating the marginalisation of present-day black Americans, a one-time amount of money to be used in unspecified ways is extremely inadequate as a solution.
Ron Campbell / July 24, 2019
I guess I will never ” admire ” any of these ” political hood ornaments ” that aspire to be the next POTUS. The reality of this country is very far removed from what it is supposed to be on paper. A new country is badly needed.
elkojohn / July 24, 2019
The millionaire Williamson embraces, supports and fosters
U.S. American EXCEPTIONALISM:
‘ ‘. . . WE ASK OURSELVES, WHO AM I TO BE BRILLIANT, GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FABULOUS? ACTUALLY, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO BE? YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE WORLD. WE WERE BORN TO MAKE MANIFEST THE GLORY OF GOD . . .’ ‘
U.S. American EXCEPTIONALISM is at the core of U.S. American IMPERIALISM.
Jenny Kastner / July 24, 2019
I met Marianne Williamson, years ago, when she was hustling Hollywood and I was an activist also working in the business.
What was interesting to me was that with all her vaunted assertions, she wasn’t actually doing anything, and there was so much that needed attention in L.A. in those days (as now).
She struck me as a striver in her own interest, not anyone else’s.
Watch for her to become another talking head on one of the cable “news” programs.
P.Brooks / July 24, 2019
No More War
Larry Gates / July 24, 2019
A perfect assessment. Williamson is my third choice after Tulsi and Bernie.
When Jimmy Dore politely bur firmly confronted her about her position on Julian Assange, she was wrong, but not rigid. She even seemed opened to the possibility that Dore (also Caitlin, Aaron Mate, me, etc. ) might be right.
Truth first / July 24, 2019
Colbert asked Williamson if she could make tough decisions as president like killing our “enemies”. She said she would have no problem making such a decision.
It would be great to have a president who knew that killing people is never a solution. America has killed more innocent people since WW2 than any other country. How is that working out for you America? Are you happy spending a trillion a year on the worlds most massive killing machine?
HelenB / July 25, 2019
Indeed. The correct reply would be “to which enemy do you refer, and do we actually have any that we haven’t created”.
mike k / July 24, 2019
Check out this piece on Williamson’s candidacy:
Dennis Okeefe / July 24, 2019
Not by man!
John D. / July 24, 2019
Refreshing article Caitlin!
mike k / July 24, 2019
I am reading Williamson’s book A Politics of Love. Her ideas are all true, too true. The problem is most Americans have been inoculated against the truth by the great propaganda machine. The Masters of Mindfucking have made the truth irrelevant to most voters.
Trisha Driscoll / July 24, 2019
“… the only thing which can really turn things around for America and for the world is a profound psychological change on a mass scale in the way human beings operate.” Absolutely true.
And the reason that there is no hope for the human race. Genetic archetypes and cultural narratives inculcated over thousands of years have an inertia that – simply put – cannot be reversed.
mike k / July 24, 2019
And yet, we must find a way to transcend this historic inertia by some means that work for a large segment of the population. Williamson’s efforts are at least an experiment in that direction. It would be really great if her stuff would stir the corpse of American consciousness into at least a spasm of activity. That could be a basis for some hope for further improved efforts in that healthy direction.
Anarcissie / July 24, 2019
That may be so, but if indeed it looks like there is no hope for the human race (and I agree that its chances look pretty bad) it’s time to consider long shots, even very, very long ones.
mike k / July 24, 2019
I understand your pessimism, but we must not let it block our efforts at change. What else is there? Resignation, despair, and death? No thanks, I’ll choose hope, however slim.
Trisha Driscoll / July 24, 2019
Hope is easily manipulated, as demonstrated by that great “hope and change” huckster President Obama. Hopium is again being peddled to shepherd folks back into the corrupt corporate controlled Democrat party – the same party that paved the way for Trump.
It’s time to accept the fact that the human race is in hospice, largely on account of its destruction of the very biosphere upon which it depends for existence. Every day more species disappear and nearly daily reports on global climate shows that we’ve passed a tipping point and are now into abrupt change.
Trisha Driscoll / July 24, 2019
I’ve traveled down the long shot road for a long long time. Been arrested multiple times for civil dis-obedience, ran twice for office, played important roles in numerous local, state, and national political campaigns, and coordinated more direct actions than I can number.
All long shots, none of which landed. Over time I’ve watched my “progressive” community just get weaker and more misdirected – Russiagate being the latest example.
mike k / July 24, 2019
When you give up all hope for humankind, what are you left with? Selfish concern for your own interests?
HelenB / July 25, 2019
No, just despair.
The cold hard reality that those who are in charge have been working at getting there for a very long time, and nothing you can do, short of dropping a few nukes, is going to change one jot.
Vyonne Jenks / July 24, 2019
Thank you, very interesting collection of platform, I always appreciate your prospective. Both shortcuts to share were disabled so copy paste was the only way I could share this article in Idaho. Love ya Caitlin!
Wayne / July 24, 2019
Williamson ((( IS DIFFERENT ))) than any other candidate in that like most New Age thinkers, she believes in TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for your life, rather than the usual, normal, blame & shame where it’s always someone or something else’s fault.
“The 100th Monkey Effect” that she subscribes to, is very real, useful, and critical in the power to change by numbers, for collective consciousness is very powerful.
“Science” has long since been hi-jacked by special interest secret societies, so believing in “science” is just swallowing the Kool-Aid of the propagandist’s.
“Scientists” are the authors of The New Bible, which industry uses to BIBLE-THUMP populations into worshiping THEIR truth.
Williamson unfortunately knows NOTHING about diplomacy, foreign policy, administration, or world government, which is akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight, despite having the best knife in the world.
She understands that the path to peace is through CO-OPERATION not COMPETITION.
Her biggest downfall however, is that she fails to understand the enormous contrast to sustainability that the Democratic Party Platform is, and non-compatible with ANY & ALL of her beliefs and aspirations, for the Democratic Party and all it’s subscribers have long since been hi-jacked by pedophile, luciferian, open borders, war mongering, one world government, fiat currency indoctrination.
She’d be a lamb among lions trying to teach the virtues of veganism.
Hal / July 24, 2019
One very related problem has been shown to the world by Trump. That is that a President who does not have a large, preferably majority, faction in Congress behind them is basically powerless. They can use what was called “the bully pulpit” even before Trump, the ultimate bully, took it. They can make executive orders, but Congress can override them if they want, like the pro-nuclear war faction has done with Trump and Russia and sanctions. But that’s about it. So far this campaign is a mass distraction for Democrats away from the real fight which is primary challenges by people who favor humans over war and profits against the pro-war, pro-banker Democrats who currently infest the seats.
HelenB / July 25, 2019
Don’t forget the US State Department … what a hotbed of war mongers dwell therein. They never met a war they didn’t like.