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US 2020 election: Who is Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson and what are her policies?

US 2020 election: Who is Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson and what are her policies?

Postby smix » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:45 am

US 2020 election: Who is Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson and what are her policies?
The Independent

URL: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 79606.html
Category: Politics
Published: June 29, 2019

Description: Self-help guru and US presidential candidate Marianne Williamson raised eyebrows at the second Democratic debate on Thursday night, not least for the way in which she bizarrely struck out at New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Ms Williamson claimed her first act in the Oval Office would be to call Ms Ardern and "tell her, ‘girlfriend you are so wrong’, because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up”, taking issue with the high-profile leader expressing a similar wish for her own country. Despite previously receiving political backing from Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey, Ms Williamson admitted struggling to get her message across during a relatively lacklustre performance in the rest of the debate. But she quickly became the most searched for candidate on Google, as her previous social media posts emerged heavily referencing “love”, “soul” and laden with spiritual metaphors.

marianne-williamson.jpg

So who exactly is the Marianne Williamson?
Ms Williamson was born in Houston, Texas in 1952, and was raised in a conservative Jewish family. She studied acting and engaged in anti-war activism at California’s Pomona College for two years before dropping out and moving to New York, where she spent a “lost decade“ working as a cabaret singer, allegedly surrounded by “bad boys and good dope”. It was while living in New York that she first came across A Course in Miracles, a book written by Helen Schucman, who claimed to have merely transcribed every word of the book according to an inner voice she took to be that of Jesus Christ. This tome became central to Ms Williamson’s own philosophy, and she later helped bring it to prominence during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, to whom she has advised since the mid-Nineties. “A Course in Miracles helped me access something on a much deeper level than I ever had before,” she told EW in 1992, ”but I’ll refer to Buddhism, Jung, Abe Lincoln, Gandhi, Star Wars — you can find truth anywhere.” After a short stint running a spiritual bookshop at home in Houston, Ms Williamson moved to Los Angeles, where she lived while hosting lectures on Ms Schucman’s book and founded centres for counselling and food aid in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 1992, she published her first book – A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, and began to develop a large following, particularly among the LGBT+ community whom she helped in her social work. Since then, Ms Williamson, has written 13 books, four of which have topped the New York Times bestseller list in the “Advice, How To and Miscellaneous” category. During this period, she also founded the Peace Alliance, an advocacy group which builds support for peaceful foreign policy, and sat on the board of directors for poverty alleviation charity, RESULTS.
Is this her first time in politics?
No, although she has never been an elected politician. In 2014, she ran for US Congress as an independent for California's 33rd District. Despite high-profile support from the likes of Kim Kardashian, Oprah and having her campaign song written by Alanis Morissette, she ultimately came fourth in the polls. Ted Lieu won the seat. Her campaign announced on 9 May 2019 that Ms Williamson received sufficient contributions from unique donors to enter the official primary debates – $1.5 million (£1.18 million) – from nearly 50,000 individuals.
What are her policies?
Throughout her career, Ms Williamson has never shied away from airing her views on any given subject of national or foreign debate. Her prior activism work also gives strong clues as to her politics. “A Williamson administration’s foreign policy will be guided more by soul force than brute force, waging peace and not simply preparing for war,” she wrote on Twitter. In Israel and Palestine, in particular, she advocates for building peace “on the level of the heart”, as opposed to “settlements and checkpoints”. She supports reparations to the descendants of slaves, and has suggested putting £200bn into a fund called the Reparations Plan For African Americans. Notably, she is also an advocate of the Green New Deal, proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and supports free college education – both radical policies in terms of US politics. She is also in favour of increasing access to abortions, gun reform, and creating a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants.
What has she done in the race so far?
Ms Williamson has had little chance to make her mark, save for during the first two presidential debates. She spoke to The Independent following Thursday night's debate, admitting that while she struggled to have her voice heard during the debate, that she remained committed to spreading her message. In order to "defeat" Donald Trump, she said "we have to harness our love for each other and the world. Love is to fear what light is to dark." Ms Williamson was roundly mocked on social media following her comments about Jacinda Ardern, who is yet to respond to the remarks.
Does she stand a chance?
Not particularly. If Ms Williamson were to sweep to victory, she would become the United States’ first female and first Jewish president. However, she faces substantial hurdles along the way. Eleven other Democratic candidates are vying for the party nomination, with Ms Williamson currently a relative outsider. Several bookies currently place the odds of her becoming US president at 100/1. Despite the recent surge in interest in Ms Williamson, it seems unlikely to translate into political currency.
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New Age Marianne Williamson is breakout winner of Democratic debate

Postby smix » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:57 pm

New Age Marianne Williamson is breakout winner of Democratic debate
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2019/07/30/new-age-m ... ic-debate/
Category: Politics
Published: July 30, 2019

Description: Used to be that Republicans running for president had the monopoly on unknowns, also-rans and non-politicians who would suddenly step up and deliver standout performances in debates. It happened in 2008, when Mike Huckabee shot into the top tier with cracker barrel humor and cornpone wisdom and the libertarian crackpot Ron Paul ranted about foreign aid. In 2012, various candidates from the far-right Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann to a restaurant executive named Herman Cain to the long-out-of-office Rick Santorum would electrify the party for a couple of weeks before fading back into the pack and leaving Mitt Romney the last man standing. Well, Tuesday night in Detroit, the veteran New Age motivational speaker Marianne Williamson hit it out of the park and brought the Democratic Party into the Nutcase Era. The key problem afflicting America, in Williamson’s view, is a “dark psychic force” that is weaving a racial divide. It is the cause of white nationalism. That racial divide is causing an “emotional imbalance” that is interfering with human thriving. And this betrays the purposes of the founding fathers, who brought America into being to allow us all to have “possibilities.” To most of us elitists, this either sounds wacko on its own terms or is dismissible as a semi-pagan illiterate translation of classic Christian thinking about the devil’s role in ordinary life. But we dismiss the power of this approach at our peril. These are key themes not only through American history, but also ideas that have played a significant role in the Age of Oprah. Williamson has been speaking in this way to gigantic audiences for close to 40 years, under the East Coast radar. And you know what? She’s really good at it. And she brought real feeling and passion to the most visceral issue for Democrats at the present moment. She essentially said that racism and white supremacy are nothing less than demonic and that saving America from their evil is a moral task. “I want a politics that goes much deeper,” Williamson concluded. “I want a politics that goes to the heart. . . . We need to override dog whistles . . . We need to love each other, love our democracy.”

marianne-williamson-cnn.jpg

Williamson won the debate going away, if only because her performance was so unexpectedly effective. But the enduring impact of the debate was really the way in which Elizabeth Warren may have finally curb-stomped her fellow leftist, Bernie Sanders. Warren was as focused in her demagoguery as I’ve ever seen her. She did not bother to answer pointed questions about whether her spending plans would require raising taxes on the middle class (they would) but instead threw out more argle-bargle about how millionaires and billionaires would just do it. She said not wanting to do big things was “spineless.” Alas for Sanders, he was unfortunately reminiscent of Austin Powers — not as an international man of mystery, but as someone coming out of a 30-year deep freeze and discovering that he was “having difficulty controlling THE SOUND OF MY VOICE!” Yell, yell, yell, yell. If you wanted substance, you got it. The first hour was mostly taken up with a lively and interesting debate on what is and is not realistic when it comes to health care spending and insurance plans. The problem is that the candidates (John Delaney and Steve Bullock) who said Warren and Sanders were offering pie-in-the-sky plans that would rob 180 million people of the private insurance they might actually like are completely out of step with their own party. But keep an eye on that “dark psychic force” Williamson warned us about. It might have legs.
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Why People Like Marianne Williamson

Postby smix » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:49 pm

Why People Like Marianne Williamson
BuzzFeed News

URL: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ka ... williamson
Category: Politics
Published: July 30, 2019

Description: Yada, yada, yada.
On some level, we all seem to know that Marianne Williamson shouldn't exactly be on the debate stage. Even she seems to know it, because she operates like she's performing a commentary on the rest of the stage, speaking from a different stage about the debate taking place Toward the end of Tuesday night's debate, she practically jumped off the ropes with a flying elbow against the candidates who'd been laying into Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She says "yada, yada, yada" onstage. She talks about love. Williamson has sold a lot of metaphysical books and lectures that, while occasionally drifting into the "everything is an illusion" zone of New Age, basically offer solid and old fashioned advice: love other people, love something higher than yourself, believe in the egalitarian dignity of your own life. When Oprah started ruminating on spirituality 25 years ago, she brought Williamson on her show. And Williamson is part of that wider wellness world — up to and including Williamson's view that, for example, antidepressants are overprescribed (which earned her some real criticism last week, about how that view can stigmatize seeking real help) and other hazy aspects of the wellness approach to health. But we know that, or maybe suspect that going in. So it becomes this balance between fun and emotion, which is why the room goes silent and is rapt when Williamson speaks. She's not Donald Trump in 2016 — by now he was leading the polls. It's FUN, for once. Like can't we have just a couple minutes that are fun and a little charming and weird She doesn't talk like a politician, but she doesn't exactly talk like your average person, either. And there's something magnetic in hearing racism described as a "dark psychic force," as Williamson did Tuesday night. On the first level, that sounds absurd, because those are funny ghost words. On the second level, isn't racism a dark psychic force? Isn't this country's original sin slavery, and doesn't racism poison too many interactions big and small? Where Williamson sounds hazy and a little silly is around some of the domestic policy proposals she puts forth (department of children, and so forth). She can be pretty testy, too, in interviews, particularly when pressed on health issues. But separate from Williamson, Williamson's argument that America's problem is spiritual in nature, and ostensibly moral, is a compelling one, and it's part of the reason her case for reparations works onstage. She identifies the long arc of slavery through Jim Crow as a moral issue, and then says we don't need a committee to make a decision about doing it. This is, to understate it, a weird moment in American history, and we end up maybe slightly keen to people who have arguments about why things are so bad. And what she wants is "a politics that speaks to the heart" about "something emotional and psychological." Williamson sounds ridiculous, and it is a little ridiculous, but then... there is a spiritual void, after all. And why can't something be fun? Why can't we enjoy something? Why can't it be about emotion? That's the Marianne Williamson moment!
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Marianne Williamson Rides Stream of Consciousness to Debate Spotlight

Postby smix » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:21 pm

Marianne Williamson Rides Stream of Consciousness to Debate Spotlight
Fortune

URL: https://fortune.com/2019/07/31/marianne ... ic-debate/
Category: Politics
Published: July 31, 2019

Description: Bernie Sanders is calling for revolution. Marianne Williamson would rather see a psychic, "moral uprising." The 67-year-old self-help author and spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey now vying for the Democratic presidential nomination doesn't sound or carry herself like a politician. Speaking in wandering streams of consciousness, Williamson has an arresting style and a lilt to her voice, as well as an accent that sounds vaguely aristocratic — or at least nothing like most people who hail from her native Houston. But on Tuesday's opening night of back-to-back debates in Detroit, Williamson showed that as long as she's in the race, she'll keep things interesting. And that while those long, winding declarations don't always make sense, they can occasionally produce powerful political moments. Some of the loudest applause came when Williamson became the first of the 10 candidates on stage to evoke racism at length, calling it "part of the dark underbelly of American society." "If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days," Williamson said, adding that, if the party doesn't "start saying it, then why would those people feel that 'they're there for us,' and I feel like they won't vote for us, and Donald Trump will win." Trump has put race at the forefront of his reelection campaign, condemning Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings' majority-black Baltimore district as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" and suggesting that four Democratic congresswomen of color "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," as if they weren't U.S. citizens. That debate moment began a pattern of sorts, as Williamson continued to chide the other candidates for putting detailed policy over more ambitious pledges to cure the country's larger ills. "I almost wonder why some of you are Democrats," she said later. "You seem to think there's something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people." Williamson is still the longest of longshots to capture her party's nomination, and remains more famous for selling wacky online merchandise than for anything she hopes to accomplish if elected president. Republican donors have boasted about padding her campaign coffers to help ensure Williamson qualifies for subsequent debates and sucks up valuable air time. Indeed, Williamson briefly seizing the spotlight came after weeks of dismissing charges that she's a "new age nutcase." Earlier, Williamson's opening statement didn't seem to help that case much. In it, she decried a "false god" of multinational corporation profits that she said "takes precedence over the safety and the health and the well-being of we the American people." In her closing statement, Williamson again dismissed the night's political insider rhetoric and intellectual discussions, proclaiming that it was instead time for "radical truth telling." But then she returned to the kind of long declaration that has become her trademark. "I want a politics that goes much deeper," Williamson said, continuing that the only way to combat Trump is with "new voices of energy" that only come when the nation makes "amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations. Something emotional and psychological that will not be, be, be emerging from anything on this stage. It will emerge from something I'm the one who's qualified to bring forth." That brought more applause. But it seemed decidedly more hesitant than earlier in the night.
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Donald Trump Jr. thought Marianne Williamson won the Democratic debate

Postby smix » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:46 pm

Donald Trump Jr. thought Marianne Williamson won the Democratic debate
The Hill

URL: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing ... democratic
Category: Politics
Published: July 31, 2019

Description: Donald Trump Jr. said he thought a clear winner emerged from Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate: Marianne Williamson. “People are gonna think that I’m trolling but compared to what else is up on this stage I think Marianne Williamson is actually winning this thing,” Trump Jr. tweeted during the debate. “This is amazing. No question she seems to be drawing the biggest applause of the night.” Williamson had a memorable appearance Tuesday night with some top moments from the showdown, including her taking aim at President Trump’s administration by calling out a “dark psychic force” emanating from the White House. "If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days," Williamson said. The self-help author also called out her fellow 2020 Democrats on taking money from corporate donors. “For politicians, including my fellow candidates who themselves have taken tens of thousands and, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors, to think that they now have the moral authority to say, ‘We’re going to take them on,’ I don’t think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe ‘yada, yada, yada,’” she said, prompting applause from the audience. And when asked about tuition-free college, Williamson — who supports eliminating student debt — slammed people who “think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people.” “I almost wonder why you’re Democrats,” she said. “You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace and that is how we will have prosperity.” Williamson was the most searched candidate during Tuesday night's Democratic debates, according to Google Trends.



Marianne Williamson supporters organize 'occult task force'
The Hill

URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4 ... her-behalf
Category: Politics
Published: July 31, 2019

Description: Some supporters of 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson have reportedly organized an "occult task force" on her behalf, however, her campaign has tried to distance itself from such activities. The person organizing the task force told The Washington Post anonymously that a group of 13 chaos magicians, witches and energy workers were doing synchronized “gestures” to help their candidate gain more visibility in the presidential race and more airtime during Tuesday's Democratic debate. “The whole orb gang community is tapping into the power of memes to reflect back on, and multiply, the sort of pulsing undercurrents of our collective unconscious,” the person told The Post in an email.

williamson-essential.jpg

The author and spiritual adviser's campaign, however, has expressed some discomfort over the matter, specifically the association with the world “occultist.” “I am very, very concerned about the word occultist,” campaign spokeswoman Patricia Ewing told The Post. She said she did not know about the task force. Williamson last week in a tweet said she is “not a cult leader” or anti-science.
I am not a cult leader. I am not anti-science (that one is almost funny, given how much I quote Einstein). And I am not an anti-vaxxer. Hoping that if I repeat it 3 to 4 times a day I might penetrate the field of lies created to keep some people out of the conversation.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) July 23, 2019

The Hill has reached out to the campaign for additional comment. The Post also reported that some followers of Williamson call themselves the “orb gang,” posting memes and emojis. Williamson appeared in Tuesday night's Democratic debate and is among more than two dozen people running for the party's 2020 presidential election. She was the most searched candidate during of Tuesday's event, according to Google Trends and searches for the phrase "dark psychic force" also trended after Williamson used the term to illustrate her concerns about the Trump administration.
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Outsider candidate Williamson brings 'radical love' to the Iowa State Fair

Postby smix » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:50 am

Outsider candidate Williamson brings 'radical love' to the Iowa State Fair
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1V0017
Category: Politics
Published: August 10, 2019

Description: DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Marianne Williamson came to the Iowa State Fair on Friday with a simple request: Take me seriously. The self-help guru and bestselling author appeared on stage at the fair, telling Democratic voters why she should be the party’s nominee to take on Republican Donald Trump in next year’s general election. She told the crowd it was time “to slam it and kick ass.”

marianne-williamson-iowa.jpg

It was an unlikely scene for 2020’s perhaps most unlikely candidate, dressed not as a politician but as an anti-establishment outsider in Southern California chic: a watercolor-splashed jacket, jeans, and snakeskin sandals standing amid the classic cars, tractors, and meats-on-a-stick. Williamson didn’t talk like a politician either. She spoke of “energies” and the nation’s “deep goodness.” Americans, she said, “were born of a rambunctious spirit” and added that the presidential election requires “a rising of consciousness.” “Democracy is radical,” she said. “And love is radical.” If elected president, she would not operate a “top-down leadership paradigm” but instead would “co-create” with the public. In the first Democratic debate in Miami in June, Williamson was treated like something of a punchline, portrayed on social media as a kooky mystic. But during the second debate in Detroit, she spoke eloquently about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, talking about disadvantaged communities of color and the need for environmental justice. Her words struck a chord, and she became most-searched candidate on the internet. So far, that interest has not translated into widespread support, however. She sits below 1% in public opinion polls, and is in danger of not qualifying for the next debate in September. At the fair, Williamson suggested “powerful forces” were trying to keep her off the debate stage. “I’ve heard that I’m dangerous. I’ve heard that I’m crazy. I’ve heard that I’m a grifter,” she said. She attracted a small but boisterous crowd. They hooted and hollered during her speech, as she decried the U.S. “military industrial complex” and its “amoral” economy. “I really like that she kinds of speaks the truth,” said Grant Fay, 19, a student from Ames, Iowa. “She’s campaigning for peace and love,” said Leanne Otting, 58, of West Des Moines, who was holding up a sign for Williamson during her remarks. “She’s a force to be reckoned with.” It was a day for outsider candidates at the fair, a traditional stopping point for Democratic presidential contenders. Next February’s Iowa caucuses will be the first nominating contest as the party seeks a nominee to run against Trump. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang spoke before Williamson. “This is how you start a revolution,” he told the crowd. It was Trump, a businessman and real estate developer who had never held public office, who paved the way four years ago for insurgent and inexperienced candidates such as Williamson and Yang, and their resumes resonated with some in the crowd. “I think the people who should actually be in office are normal working people,” said Joel Wacker, 21, of Ames. And Williamson sometimes talked in the same blunt, populist manner as Trump. “Right now, the political establishment looks at the American voter like you’re a poker chip,” she said. “You’re not a poker chip. You are the power.” Mark Gerstein of Ames, wearing a t-shirt that read “Love Wins,” said Williamson is underestimated. “She is the light,” he said. “There is too much darkness in America right now, based on hate and fear. She’s the opposite of all that.”
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Williamson deletes tweet suggesting 'power of the mind' can deter Hurricane Dorian

Postby smix » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:01 pm

Williamson deletes tweet suggesting 'power of the mind' can deter Hurricane Dorian
CNN

URL: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/politics ... index.html
Category: Politics
Published: September 4, 2019

Description: Washington (CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson posted and then deleted a tweet Wednesday morning that suggested the "power of mind" could deter Hurricane Dorian from slamming into the US. "The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas...may all be in our prayers now. Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm," her now-deleted post read.
This was the tweet:

marwilliamson-dorian.jpg

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 4, 2019


She replaced the tweet with a post offering prayer for "people of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas." "May the peace of God be upon them and their hearts be comforted as they endure the storm," she wrote. In an email to CNN on Wednesday, Patricia Ewing, a campaign spokeswoman, said Williamson's original post "was a metaphor" and explained that the tweet was replaced because it "led to confusion. She also accused the media of treating the 2020 hopeful unfairly. "When others speak of prayer and the mind it's considered profound, but Williamson is held to a different standard," Ewing wrote. Though she removed the post, Williamson defended herself against criticism on social media. In response to a reporter's screenshot of her original post, Williamson wrote, "Since you obviously want to debunk, counter or mischaracterize anything I do, would you like to have an honest and fair public dialogue? Since I'm neither crazy, irresponsible nor dangerous, I would appreciate the opportunity to counter the caricature." Hurricane Dorian pulverized the Bahamas for two days, leaving the islands in an apocalyptic wreckage and devastating destruction. At least seven people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed and authorities expect that number to rise. As of Wednesday morning, Hurricane Dorian remains a category 2 hurricane as it heads toward a possible landfall in the Carolinas. The eye of the storm is about 100 miles off Florida's east coast, with heavy rain and tropical-storm-force winds pounding the coast. The storm is expected to turn northeast along the US coastline, teeing up what could be devastating flooding Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina. A spiritual guru and author, Williamson, who announced her campaign in January, has called for a "moral and spiritual awakening" for America and promised to "harness love for political purposes" to defeat President Donald Trump. Williamson, after appearing in the first two Democratic debates, failed to qualify for September's debate in Houston. She had reached the fundraising threshold set by the Democratic National Committee, but didn't meet the polling minimum to qualify. Williamson was one of the most searched candidates following her debate appearances, but she has drawn controversy for her past comments on vaccines and depression.
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'Bringing love into politics': Marianne Williamson finds a foothold in Iowa

Postby smix » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:19 pm

'Bringing love into politics': Marianne Williamson finds a foothold in Iowa
The Guardian

URL: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... ld-in-iowa
Category: Politics
Published: September 4, 2019

Description: The university town of Fairfield is a hub of transcendental meditation, progressive politics – and Williamson supporters

williamson-iowa.jpg

Marianne Williamson is the longest of long shots. After an at-times surreal performance in the first Democratic primary debate, the self-help author turned presidential candidate has languished in the polls and failed to qualify for the third debate in September. But in Fairfield, Iowa, a thriving town of about 10,000, she’s no joke. In this unlikely seeming hub of transcendental meditation and progressive politics smack in the middle of midwestern farm country, where she has appeared multiple times here both before and since launching her 2020 bid, Williamson’s new age-infused campaign resonates. Her at-times controversial spiritual teachings connect with many in this town mostly for one reason: it is home to the Maharishi University of Management, a private college affiliated with the transcendental meditation movement. According to data compiled by the New York Times earlier this month, she’s in the top three in donations received in the area – right up there with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. While her candidacy is unlikely to take her to the White House, some here in Fairfield feel that the message she has brought to the campaign is one worth hearing. “It’s all about community,” Fairfield resident David Sands said of her platform on a recent afternoon in Revelations Cafe – a coffee shop and bookstore that sells books by Williamson. “It’s all about working together.” “In this very contentious time, that’s a really good message,” he added. Fairfield residents who spoke to the Guardian have no illusions about her chances. They know she probably won’t be the next president, and they don’t even necessarily view her as their preferred candidate; Sands, for instance, is an ardent Sanders supporter. But the community’s fondness for Williamson – while much of the country has treated her campaign as a political novelty act – is illustrative of the town’s unique political culture – particularly in Iowa, where the crowded field of Democratic candidates have spent months barnstorming ahead of next year’s caucus. Though the state as a whole went for Donald Trump in 2016, it also has a strong progressive tradition. Barack Obama won its six electoral votes in both 2008 and 2012, and Sanders lost only narrowly to Hillary Clinton at the caucus last cycle. But Fairfield seems uniquely progressive – an area that served as Sanders’ strongest base of support in the state during the last primary – and willing to consider nontraditional political candidates who may be disregarded by the national media. Located in south-eastern Iowa, just a little ways up the road from the farmhouse painter Grant Wood immortalized in American Gothic, Fairfield is a small town with a big reputation. With its thriving startup culture, it has been lovingly described by some as “Silicorn Valley”. With its university, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973, it has become a hub for mindfulness and transcendental meditation. It’s been profiled by major media outlets, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, and was even the focus of an Oprah Winfrey program in 2012. And with the attention has come a wave of presidential candidates, including Williamson, Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard – another controversial long shot whose message has resonated with some voters here. “She’s ahead of her time,” Fairfield resident Mary Tarnoff said of the Hawaii representative. Implicit in some of the coverage of Fairfield is the notion that transcendental meditation drives the town’s tendency toward progressive politics and respect for less traditional political figures. “People who meditate naturally find themselves wanting things to move,” Sands said. “They want their business to grow. They want the environment to improve, their community to be beautiful and fun to be in and safe and all those other things, and so they’re more inclined to be active in that way. Whereas, yeah, some of the other towns in Iowa that are more dominated by tradition – tradition means pretty much the same. But the world is changing. And that’s where it doesn’t work for them so well. “There’s a vitality that exists to a considerable degree here because of that,” he said. But Jonas Magram of Climate Action Iowa rejects the notion that transcendental meditation is a driving factor in the town’s progressive disposition. “TM doesn’t turn you into a liberal,” the Fairfield resident said, noting that some practitioners of TM in town are conservative and some of the area’s progressives do not meditate. Instead, Magram points to the fact that many residents here are from elsewhere – including from coastal cities more known for progressive politics than the corn belt. “When people moved here in the 70s and early 80s, it was like most small towns in Iowa,” Magram said. “We had to get creative to support ourselves. So a lot of entrepreneurism sprung out of necessity.” David Goodman, a professor at Maharishi who has lived in Fairfield for more than three decades, is originally from Canada. He was a precinct captain for Sanders last election, and has been impressed with him, Warren and Pete Buttigieg so far this cycle. But he also has affection for Williamson, even as he regards her prospects as unlikely. “She talks about wisdom and bringing love into politics,” he said. “When people meditate, there is some idea that they’re increasing in wisdom. A lot of people here connect with that and relate to that.”
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Marianne Williamson: ‘I Didn’t Think the Left Lied like This’

Postby smix » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:31 pm

Marianne Williamson: ‘I Didn’t Think the Left Lied like This’
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election ... like-this/
Category: Politics
Published: September 3, 2019

Description: Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (D) revealed that she did not think the left was “so mean” and “lied like this” until she ran for president as an outsider candidate. “I know this sounds naive. I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this,” Williamson told the New Yorker’s David Remnick in an interview. “I thought the right did that. I thought we were better.” Williamson accused the left of lying about her use of crystals and “crystal gazing,” telling Remnick that there has “never been a crystal on stage” at any of her events and “there is no crystal” in her home. She accused those on the left of also falsely accusing her of having told AIDS patients not to take their medicines or implying that “lovelessness” causes diseases and “love” is “enough to cure their diseases.” “I’m Jewish, I go to the doctor,” Williamson said, ripping those on the left for labeling her as an anti-science candidate who does not believe in modern medicine. Williamson has in recent weeks criticized the “political-media industrial complex” and warned Democrats that nominating a conventional or establishment candidate to go up against President Donald Trump in 2020 could be disastrous. Williamson will not be at the third debate next week in Houston. Though she has met the 130,000 unique donor requirement for the second round of debates, she needs three more qualifying polls (2%) to qualify. Criticizing the nominating process, Williamson recently said on MSNBC that there should be a “deeper conversation than just the horse race” and wondered why so few polls approved by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were released prior to September’s debate deadline. She added that she is not dropping out of the race, though, because she could qualify for the October debate and her campaign is about “consciousness and inspiration.” Williamson also warned that process-obsessed Democrats could nominate a presidential candidate who specializes in the “insider politics game.” Such a candidate, according to Williamson, will not be suited to defeat a “phenomenon” like Trump because that type of Democrat will bring a knife to a gun fight.



Russell Brand Joining Forces with ‘Spiritual Leader’ Marianne Williamson
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment ... illiamson/
Category: Politics
Published: September 9, 2019

Description: Actor and comedian Russell Brand is joining Democrat candidate and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson (D) for an event in Los Angeles, California, dubbed “A Conversation with Marianne Williamson & Russell Brand.” Williamson retweeted a video of Brand discussing the essence of her unique presidential bid and told her 2.8 million Twitter followers, “Russell Brand will be joining me in Los Angeles on Sept. 15.” The Arthur actor released a video about Williamson on Sunday, asking viewers, “could America really be about to get its first Spiritualist president?”



Brand talked about the significance of Williamson’s appeal from a spiritual standpoint. Brand argued that the Republican party is also a “spiritual” party but accused it of using “anger, rage, alienation and a kind of weaponized nostalgia” as its main resource. The comedian acknowledged that Williamson knows how to speak the “language of feeling” and added that politics “can no longer afford to exclude basic spiritual principles” like “compassion, community, [and] kindness” — all concepts Williamson attempts to exemplify. “These ideas were always present, but I think we all got so lost in the idea of — speaking for myself — of individualism that we forgot that we all exist tied by a thousand invisible threads to one another, that we are all in constant relationship, that my success is tied to your success. My happiness is tied to your happiness,” Brand said. “Marianne Williamson is talking a language that for me is truthful and apposite and the kind of discourse that I’m happy to see introduced into politics,” he continued. Brand added that Williamson’s entrance into the political mainstream is a “positive thing because it opens up the conversation.” “Just to hear the word ‘dark psychic forces’ spoken in American political conversation is for me exciting because what is this really?” he asked. “Human beings alive in the world aware that we and everyone else is going to die knowing that we’re dealing with power and resources and that mostly for most of us we have no access or purchase or ability to control the systems and institutions that determine the types of lives we will live.” Tickets are selling for $100, according to the event’s page.
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Don't mock Marianne Williamson's emphasis on the power of prayer

Postby smix » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:21 pm

Don't mock Marianne Williamson's emphasis on the power of prayer
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin ... -of-prayer
Category: Politics
Published: September 5, 2019

Description: Self-help author Marianne Williamson is either leading or tied with two United States congressmen, the mayor of New York City, and a Democratic power-playing billionaire in the polling average for the Democratic primary. She's a stone's throw away from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and her unique donor count has surpassed another senator and a governor. She's running a long-shot bid, one widely mocked as dead-on-arrival at the outset and a pie-in-the-sky vanity project. Yet, her persistent grassroots support tells a different story: Williamson has tapped into a void of representation in the Democratic Party. Williamson has suffered any number of slights. Vogue left her out of a photo shoot of the female presidential candidates. She has received general hostility from cable news shows. This only highlights the cultural Left's disdain for her focus on the power of love and prayer.

Marianne-Williamson-spiritual.jpg

But none distilled the divide more than the news cycle centered on her tweets about Hurricane Dorian, the category 5 storm hugging the southeastern seaboard and threatening millions of American homes. "The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas...may all be in our prayers now, " Williamson wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm." Progressives pounced.
This first day back from vacay is going to be an adventure
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) September 4, 2019

As someone whose homeland was devastated nearly two years ago, leading to more than 3,000 of her people dying: Fuck this tweet.
— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) September 4, 2019

Just as bizarre as people who think climate change isn’t real or people who don’t vaccinate. She also has made remarks alluding to anti vaccination being ok so, we might be hearing about how to change the climate with our minds soon.
— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) September 4, 2019

Williamson's questionable tweets entertaining the pseudoscience of anti-vaccination aside, her call to prayer wasn't worthy of the Left's contempt or derision. Sure, prayer may not literally push the path of a hurricane, but like hundreds of millions of religious Americans, Williamson understands that prayer posits a kind of power — certainly, it is at least as powerful as cursing a storm or publicly calling (praying?) for the passage of legislation on Twitter. Later in the day, Williamson rightly slammed her critics.
I was born and raised in Texas so I’ve seen it. Millions of people today are praying that Dorian turn away from land, and treating those people with mockery or condescension because they believe it could help is part of how the overly secularized Left has lost lots of voters.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) September 4, 2019

You can privately believe that prayer constitutes nothing but hocus-pocus poppycock, but Williamson is 100% correct. More than 3 out of every 4 Americans believe in a religious faith, the overwhelming majority of whom practice one of the three major monotheistic religions. Mocking people for praying in times of hardship, be it for illness or hurricanes or gun violence, may fly in the hallways of the Ivy League philosophy departments, but the Left's instinct to write off faith will leave them in the electoral dust. It's a moral failure, but also a strategic one. Joe Biden, who has been vocal about his Catholic faith and made the politics of empathy central to his campaign, is dominating the Democratic field, in large part due to his support from black voters, who tend to be more religious than average. Demanding action on issues like climate change matters to Democratic voters, but a lot of them see through the mockery of "thoughts and prayers." Williamson gets it. The question is whether her competitors will.
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