Friday, August 23, 2019

“This Woman Is Going to Win the Nomination”


Matt Taibbi on Marianne Williamson in Iowa

Following, with added images and links, is an excerpt from Matt Taibbi's July 29, 2019 Rolling Stone article, “The Iowa Circus.”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a Sunday morning, just after services at the Unity Center, an alternative church that preaches a “practical approach to Christianity.” It’s a place you might expect to buy healing salts or take hypnotism lessons. The crowd is younger and more female than at most campaign stops.

Marianne Williamson, the self-help author made famous by Oprah Winfrey, is speaking to about 50 people. “When we get bad news, when we learn that something really terrible is going on, so many superficial concerns drop away. And we become very intelligent,” she says, glaring and pausing for emphasis.

Williamson is a small, almost ethereal figure with silver-streaked hair and intense eyes that 19th-century authors would have described as being “like coals.” Her superficial eccentricities and occasional incautious statements (she once said “there’s a skepticism which is actually healthy” on the issue of vaccines) have caused reporters to chortle at her run.

But her speech is not a lifeless collection of policy positions. It’s an interesting, tightly written diagnosis of the American problem. Precisely because socio-economic stresses have pushed them into heightened awareness, she says, the American public sees what she calls “a transition from democracy to aristocracy,” and the corporate sector’s “insatiable appetite” for money that dominates American life.

Williamson is not a traditional orator, with a voice that fills the room. You can barely hear her without a microphone. But she grabs crowds. Nobody is checking sports scores or Twitter. They’re in.

Williamson goes on to say that most Americans are aware that their government is now little more than a handmaiden to sociopathic forces. She describes a two-party system that, at its worst, operates in perfect harmony with the darkest impulses of corporate capitalism, and at best — presumably she refers more to Democrats here — sounds like institutionalized beggary.

“ ‘Pretty please, can I maybe have a hundred-thousand-dollar grant here?’ ” she says. “ ‘Pretty please, can we maybe have a million dollars in the budget for all this?’ ”

Heads are nodding all over the place.

“They say, ‘I can get you a cookie.’ ”

This elicits a few yeahs from the crowd.

Christ, I think. This woman is going to win the nomination.

Trump, she says, can’t be beaten by conventional thinking. “[He is] not just a politician,” she says. “This man is a phenomenon. . . . The only way we are going to defeat a phenomenon at the polls in 2020 is by creating a phenomenon.”

She stumbles a bit in Q&A, especially when a woman asks what she would do about the credit-score system. Williamson frowns, seeming genuinely perplexed. She clearly doesn’t know what having bad credit is like, and promises to look into it, in the tone of voice of a person who promises gamely to try a jellied-eel appetizer.

Still, she gets a rousing ovation at the end of her speech. After, she takes a few minutes to talk.

“The political establishment has the veneer of a deep conversation,” she says. “They think their political dialogue is so sophisticated. But it’s not sophisticated. It’s very unsophisticated.”

That lack of sophistication, she says, is what made Trump possible. Young people, in particular, have no more patience for the phoniness. “I see it especially in people who were born this century,” she says. “They’re tired of the nonsense.”

Williamson belongs to a category of candidate you might call the Ignored. They’re candidates blown off by national political wizards who don’t believe, or don’t want to believe, they can win. How anyone can think this way after 2016 is mind-boggling.

The list includes Williamson, entrepreneur and Universal Basic Income proponent Andrew Yang, Hawaii congresswoman and regime-change opponent Tulsi Gabbard, and, most conspicuously, Bernie Sanders.

It’s unseemly, the degree to which the press is rooting for Sanders to get his socialist tuchis out of the race. This is an actual headline from Politico after the first set of debates: “Harris, Warren Tie for Third in New Poll, But Biden Still Leads.”

The Washington Post/ABC poll showed Biden dropping to 25 percent nationally, with Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren jousting for third at nine percent. Where’s Waldo? The missing data point is that Sanders doubled both Harris and Warren in said poll at 18 percent. He also has the highest number of unique donors, and is the leading fundraiser overall in the race.

– Matt Taibbi
Excerpted from “The Iowa Circus
Rolling Stone
July 29, 2019

For more of Marianne Williamson at the Wild Reed, see:
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – November 5, 2018
Talkin’ ’Bout An Evolution: Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid
Why Marianne Williamson Is a Serious and Credible Presidential Candidate
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – April 24, 2019
Marianne Williamson: Reaching for Higher Ground
“A Lefty With Soul”: Why Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Deserves Some Serious Attention
Sometimes You Just Have to Take Matters Into Your Own Hands . . .
Marianne Williamson Plans on Sharing Some “Big Truths” on Tonight's Debate Stage
Friar André Maria: Quote of the Day – June 28, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “Today Is a Day of Shame”
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson: “We’re Living at a Critical Moment in Our Democracy”
Caitlin Johnstone: “Status Quo Politicians Are Infinitely ‘Weirder’ Than Marianne Williamson”
Marianne Williamson On What It Will Take to Defeat Donald Trump

Related Off-site Links:
Marianne Williamson Goes for the Gut – Elaine Godfrey (The Atlantic, August 11, 2019).
Can Self-Help Heal the Body Politic? – Why Marianne Williamson Has Found a Political Audience – Natalia Mehlman Petrzela (The Atlantic, August 10, 2019).
Outsider Candidate Williamson Brings “Radical Love” to the Iowa State Fair – James Oliphant (Reuters, August 9, 2019).
What Is It About Marianne Williamson? – Dylan Palmer (71 Republic via, August 7, 2019).
The Strange Appeal of Marianne Williamson – Matthew Boose (The Ohio Star, August 7, 2019).
You Don't Have to Vote for Marianne Williamson – Just Don't Call Her Crazy – Kerry Pieri (Harper's Bazaar, August 2, 2019).
Marianne Williamson Knows How to Beat Trump – David Brooks (The New York Times, August 1, 2019).
The Meaning of the Marianne Williamson Moment – David French (National Review, July 31, 2019).
Marianne Williamson Is the Only True Anti-Trump – Megan McArdle (The Washington Post, July 17, 2019).
Author Marianne Williamson on 2020 Run: “The Best Thing I Can Do Is Be Myself” – Miranda Bryant (The Guardian, July 27, 2019).
When Everyone Else Stepped Back, Marianne Williamson Stepped Forward – David Kessler (Medium, July 26, 2019).
Marianne Williamson Wants to Win the Presidency With the Power of Love and Miracles – Jesse Walker (Reason, July 13, 2019).
The Meaning of Marianne WilliamsonThe New York Times (July 9, 2019).
Marianne Williamson Is Just What the Democratic Party Needs – Tyler Cowen (Pioneer Press, July 5, 2019).
We Must Hear Marianne Williamson’s Message About the Overuse of Anti-Depressants – Kenneth F. McCallion (Mad in America, August 11, 2019).
Why Marianne Williamson Belongs Center Stage – CK Sanders (Medium, August 18, 2019).

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