Monday, March 31, 2014

Marianne Williamson: "I Will Slam It!"


Is there any candidate for Congress anywhere like Marianne Williamson? Short answer: "No." Slightly longer answer, "Alas, no." I want to ask you to watch the remarkable video statement she just released explaining why she's running for Congress and what she expects to achieve if she gets there. That's why it's embedded on the top of the page. It's almost Grayson-like or Bernie Sanders-like in its scope.
We don't do that in America. No, no, no… we repudiated an aristocracy 200 years ago. And I have the sense that we need to repudiate it again… Both of [the parties] are beholden to the same monied interests. As long as this is the case, we will never be able to deal adequately with global climate change because fossil fuel companies continue to dominate the system. We will never be able to deal adequately with GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, and other ways that our food supply is being corrupted. Chemical companies and big agricultural companies dominate the system. And we will never have universal health care as long as health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies dominate the system.

We have shrinking civil liberties; we have expanding corporate influence; and we have domestic surveillance. This is a very toxic brew. This can put American democracy into a death spiral. We need a serious pattern interruption. It is not enough to just tweak it here and tweak it there. We're past that. We can't any longer just deal with the effects without dealing with the cause of all this. We can't any longer just deal deal with the symptoms without calling the disease what it is. There is a cancer that is eating our democracy. There is an issue that is underlying all these other issues-- and that is the issue of money in politics. That's why getting the money out of politics is the greatest moral challenge of our generation.
Do you think an opportunistic career hack like Wendy Greuel-- the Big Money Establishment favored candidate-- has even ever thought about the issues Marianne talks about? Greuel is the worst kind of business-as-usual exemplar of political dysfunction at the heart of everything that's wrong with the system Marianne wants to course correct. The primary in CA-33 is shaping up to be the most profound and most interesting House race anywhere in the country. And it isn't just a good (Marianne) vs evil (Greuel) contest. Greuel, a former Republican who stands for nothing whatsoever beyond her own ambitions, is certainly counting on other progressives in the race, particularly, state Senator Ted Lieu, to split the progressive vote and let her slip in through name recognition alone.

Over the weekend, Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, posting at Truthout, talked the same language as Marianne:
We must build a mass movement that is independent of the two parties, especially the Democratic Party, because their agenda is too corrupted by the ‘rule of money.’ We recognize that what is considered to be politically acceptable does not challenge the current system and therefore fails to actually solve the problems we face.

We adopt the view of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who did not ally with either party. King said “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both-- not the servant or master of either.” Just as King faced two parties dominated by segregationists when he was fighting Jim Crow segregation, we face two parties dominated by mega-corporate power when we are fighting the domination of government by big business interests. Just as King made the immorality of racism unacceptable, we must take a moral stand against putting the interests of money before the necessities of the people.

The obscenity of tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations-- which has occurred at every level of government-- while cutting necessary public services is not just misplaced priorities, these are immoral decisions. A child going hungry while the already wealthy hoard more wealth is one of the many immoral outcomes of these decisions. We need to explain these choices and be the conscience of a political system that is off track and of elected officials who put increasing the wealth of their campaign donors ahead of the necessities of their constituents.

The rule of money has become so deep in US government that the menu at the political table is very limited. The real solutions to the multiple economic and environmental crises we face are supported by the majority of the public but are not allowed in the political discussion. It is not our job as activists to limit ourselves to the choices allowed by this corrupt system but to expand the choices. Occupy’s greatest impact was to put issues on the political agenda that were not on it.

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At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We must build a mass movement that is independent of the two parties, especially the Democratic Party, because their agenda is too corrupted by the ‘rule of money.’"

I like her. I'm sure I'd vote for her if I lived where she's running. The above statement concerns me though. I know my Dems are corrupt, but I thought less so than the GOP. Does she think the Dems are worse than the GOP? Or just worse in that we expect more of the Dems than of the GOP?

What does this mean to you, please, if you'd care to answer? Thanks. To me - and I could be wrong - but it may hint of an Ayn Rand kind of anti-government type of framework. I hope I'm wrong. She sure is saying all the right and good things otherwise.

- L.P.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Amen Marianne! We need you!!!

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Howie, have you looked into some of Marianne's comments about abortion? And suggesting drug testing for food stamp recipients. Scary.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Marianne Williamson wrote a book, Healing the Soul of America. Based on the book and her statement that should ultimately run as a Democrat would lead me to not compare her to Ayn Rand. Definitely wish there was a candidate like her running where I was voting. She is the first person running for a political office that I have given money to without being able to vote for them.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This statement would have me thinking you are extremely conservative in your political thinking. If that is an incorrect assumption I would encourage you find out more about what she really thinks about the issues you've listed and more.

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Todd. I actually am not politically conservative at all. I've been a liberal, progressive, modern-democracy-began-with-the-New-Deal voter and activist for all of my adult years, and I'm 62. It may be prudently cautious of me to want to know for sure who I'm voting for though, I admit. I do like all of Williamson's policies as seen on, by the way. But given the way populist-type candidates can bend the truth during campaigns, I want to know more about her underlying assumptions about the differences between the two major parties.

Jody, Williamson's original pro-choice abortion position has evolved further toward unhindered reproductive rights since she first described wanting women to have three counseling sessions before 'we the people' can be sure the woman is not being too casual about an abortion - Whoa, that is some scary thinking for sure, but she at least says she realizes that's not how things work for women in the real world. So hopefully she's trustworthy about that. All of her other positions do sound extremely good.

I just want to know why she wrote that a mass movement built independent of the two parties is needed, "especially [independent from] the Democratic Party, because their agenda is too corrupted by the 'rule of money'".

The 'why' of singling out the Democrats "especially" of that statement could be positive and illuminating. I just want to know for certain if she realizes that the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 0.01% while the Dems still offer at least some hope of some mild improvement in how democracy is practiced in the U.S.

Just because someone holds liberal and progressive positions doesn't mean their thinking is clear enough to know the actual, though often minimal, differences that do exist between the two parties. Look at her original thinking about women needing counseling approval from society before they can be trusted to make their own reproductive decisions. That represented a stunted and dangerous patriarchal mentality.

She's grown since then, she says. Good! But what is the mentality behind that quote about "especially the Democratic Party". DWT, can you tell me? I do WANT to support her. I just worry about nutcases like Rand Paul slipping under the radar, like how so many people think Rand Paul is a civil liberties savior, when he's no such thing at all despite his grandstanding about drugs or drones. Scratch that surface, and Paul is a patriarchal authoritarian waiting to turn on the dolts who thought he was otherwise.

I admit to being worried that Williamson will turn out to be like another New Age 'thinker', Naomi Wolf, who wrote a bunch of 'liberal-sounding' things but turned out to be a Tea Party fantasist, including hawking anti-women social politics as well. Please relieve me of this dread!

- L.P.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Jody, I have-- and, if you'll notice, Blue America hasn't endorsed anyone in this race.


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