Cruising at around 5% in Democratic presidential polls (5.6% as of Nov. 6), author, activist and spiritual thought leader Marianne Williamson may have no chance of beating President Joe Biden in the primary, but she deserves more recognition for her progressive albeit unconventional policies.
Williamson is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including “A Return to Love,” “A Woman’s Worth” and “Illuminata.” She is well-known in the self-help world, appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s show several times.
Williamson ran for president in 2020 but dropped out before the primaries and caucuses commenced. A touchstone of her campaign was “to harness love for political purposes,” her primary driver being to defeat fear-harnessing former President Donald Trump, as she said in the 2019 Democratic debate.
Call her cheesy all you want, but the rationale behind Williamson’s sentiments of “love” is true: Trump uses fear-mongering tactics to rally his base, and I don’t see a world where he’s beaten by someone who stoops to his level.
Williamson is back on the campaign trail for 2024, having been the first to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination. I find her politics refreshing, innovative and deserving of consideration despite Williamson’s seemingly inevitable loss to the incumbent Biden.
I believe the most intriguing proposal by Williamson is her 21st-century “Economic Bill of Rights,” an idea originally conceptualized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In an interview with Newsweek, she called out Biden for misleading the American people about economic prosperity that is enjoyed by the few, not the many.
“That island of economic well-being is surrounded by a vast sea of economic despair,” Williamson said. “Going to the American people in 2024 with a message that the economy is doing well is deeply disconnected from the visceral experience of the majority of Americans.”
Williamson’s “Economic Bill of Rights” would act as her “roadmap” to reestablish the economy as one meant to serve its people by guaranteeing means of economic security. Some of these means include the right to a job that pays a living wage and the right to universal quality healthcare.
I appreciate this idea from Williamson. While an “Economic Bill of Rights” would take years to ingrain in the ideology of our nation, I think it’s important that the United States government makes some sort of promise to its people that it will work to improve economic livelihood for all, fulfilling the rights Williamson outlined.
Another one of Williamson’s policies that I support is the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace. The new federal department “would seek nonmilitary solutions to foreign conflicts and oversee efforts to combat domestic extremism,” according to the New York Times.
Williamson accompanies this proposal with the promise that her administration will work to transform the U.S. war economy into a “peace economy” and foster a culture of peace.
I find this proposal refreshing. Since World War II, the U.S. has had its head stuck in the sand of the military-industrial complex, building up its military to try and maintain global supremacy, including preparation for major power conflicts with China and Russia up until today.
We need a sector of government specifically dedicated to nonviolence. Not only could this hopefully ease tensions overseas, but it would also develop new, potentially more productive solutions to conflicts that the U.S. might have previously responded to with force.
Williamson, unfortunately, has not received much media coverage during her campaign. Her lack of political experience has caused many people to fail to take her campaign seriously, and her spiritual beliefs are often weaponized against her.
“I understand that there are forces, that there are media forces, that there are political forces. I understand that they’re married to one another,” Williamson told POLITICO. “But I am continuing to do what I can to break through all that, to break through that fog.”
I see through the fog. It’s fair to say that Williamson has no chance of beating Biden in the primary, what with his runaway lead in the polls and numerous incumbency advantages — however, we need to listen to what Williamson is saying with open minds.
Trump had no political experience when he launched his 2016 presidential campaign and was initially not taken seriously as a candidate, but he still made it into the White House. I don’t support him personally, but it’s an undeniable fact that he broke the mold of who can serve in the highest office.
Can we not grant Williamson, or at least her ideas, the same consideration?