Wednesday, February 19, 2020

“I Learned So Much From the Experience”: Marianne Williamson on Her Presidential Bid

The ninth Democratic presidential debate is taking place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. But I just can't stomach even the thought of watching it. It's not that I don't have a preferred candidate, I do! . . . Rather, it's that the sight of billionaire Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage would be too much of a painful reminder, not only of how the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is once again rigging the nomination process for a preferred centrist/moderate candidate, but also of just how corrupt our overall political system is, given that a plutocrat like Bloomberg can so brazenly use his wealth to manipulate public perception and basically buy the presidency of the United States.

And let's not kid ourselves: the DNC's changing of the rules so as to allow Bloomberg into the debates is an attempt to undermine and derail the momentum of front-runner Bernie Sanders, a progressive candidate.

And, yes, it's a form of cheating. Looking back, we can see that this moving of the goal posts also cheated other progressive candidates, like my first preferred candidate, Marianne Williamson (left), who dropped out of the race because she couldn't meet the fundraising threshold established by the DNC; a threshold that has now been abandoned in order to accommodate Bloomberg.

It really is quite sickening – and a profound betrayal of this country's democratic ideals. No one should be able to buy themselves the presidency. And by attempting to do so, Bloomberg and his supporters show that they are actually part of the deeper problem plaguing us – the corruption of our democracy by money. And as Williamson continues to remind us, it's a problem of which Trump is the most horrendous symptom. But make no mistake, Bloomberg's buying of the presidency would also be a terrible and festering symptom of this problem.

So with all of this in mind I've opted to forgo watching this evening's debate. Instead, I thought I'd share the following from Marianne Williamson. It's her thoughtful and heartfelt sharing of what it is she learned from her presidential run. Marianne first shared these thoughts on February 12 on her official Facebook page.

My concern now is for the process of democracy itself. Having spent a full year in the belly of the beast, which in the case of politics is as literal as you can get, I’ve seen the underside of American politics as well as the beauty of what’s possible.

After the second debate, when I was the most googled candidate in 49 states, the word clearly went out from the establishment on high to “Get that woman off the stage!” They knew if I was on the third debate stage I would be an unstoppable force, and they were right. So boy they went to work. Could you look anywhere that there wasn’t a headline about me being “anti-vax, dangerous, crazy, anti-medicine, anti-science, a grifter, bad to gay people, or fat-shaming”? The lies and vilification were extraordinary, many coming from people whose politics are pretty much like mine, and many, I am sorry to say, coming from women. People were duped into thinking I was some wacko crystal lady, whatever that means – or worse. It’s like I was radioactive. When voters actually heard me, I did fine. Great, in fact. But many people had the idea that it was beneath them to even come and hear me. And many just kept saying “She’s unelectable.” When every time you’re mentioned for almost a year the word “long-shot” is written before your name, it has an effect on people.

If I had run a better campaign I would have been able to survive all that. But for many reasons I did not. And I do regret dropping out when I did, because even though I was basically out of money I still would have gotten as many votes in Iowa and New Hampshire as did Tom Steyer or Andrew Yang. I was spooked by everything that was going on, and it made me drop out a minute before the punchline. [New Hampshire] still would’ve been the end of the road for me, I’m sure, but it would’ve been an ending on a much higher note.

I learned so much from the experience; that is an understatement. I said many times: the system was even more corrupt than I feared, but people were even more wonderful than I knew. I continue to feel such gratitude for those who supported me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t do better. If I ever do it again, I promise I will slam it like nobody’s business. :)

– Marianne Williamson
February 12, 2020


Following is an interview with Marianne from June of last year. It it she talks about the fundamental problem of the undue influence of money in politics (“the cancer underlying all of our other [societal] cancers”) and the steps that can be taken to address this problem.

NEXT: “It's Time to Take a Stand”:
Marianne Williamson Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

Related Off-site Links:
Marianne Williamson Says DNC Chair Tom Perez “Would Resign Today” in a “Healthy Democracy” – Tyler MacDonald (Inquisitr, February 4, 2020).
Marianne Williamson Wants to Personally Call a Former Supporter Who Now Supports Pete Buttigieg – Ignacio Martinez (The Daily Dot, February 10, 2020).
Why I Fear a Moderate Democratic Nominee – Ibram X. Kendi (The Atlantic, January 28, 2020).
Michael Bloomberg’s Polite Authoritarianism – Alex Pareene (The New Republic, February 13, 2020).
Bloomberg and Trump Are Two Sides of the Same Sinister Coin – Derecka Purnell (The Guardian, February 11, 2020).
Mike Bloomberg Is the Donald Trump of Democrats. If We Vote Him In, We Sacrifice Everything We Stand For – Max Burns (The Independent, February 18, 2020).
Michael Bloomberg Is Trying to Take Down Bernie Sanders, Not Trump – Alan Macleod (Mint Press News, February 19, 2020).
The New Rules of the Game – Chris Hedges (In These Times via Rise Up Times, February 19, 2020).

UPDATES: Calling Nominating Bloomberg a “Huge Risk,” Warren and Sanders Eviscerate Billionaire on Debate Stage – Eoin Higgins (Common Dreams, February 19, 2020).
Sanders Alone On Debate Stage to Say Candidate With the Most Votes Should Get Nomination at Convention – Eoin Higgins (Common Dreams, February 19, 2020).
Marianne Williamson Endorses Nancy Pelosi’s Progressive Opponent – Andrew Naughtie (Independent, May 18, 2020).

For The Wild Reed's coverage of Marianne Williamson's presidential campaign, see the following chronologically-ordered posts:
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
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
“This Woman Is Going to Win the Nomination”: Matt Taibbi on Marianne Williamson in Iowa
Something to Think About (and Embody!)
The Relevance and Vitality of Marianne Williamson’s 2020 Presidential Campaign
Quote of the Day – November 4, 2019
Quote of the Day – November 11, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”
Marianne Williamson and the Power of Politicized Love
Quote of the Day – December 14, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “I Am Not Suspending My Candidacy”
Marianne Williamson on New Day with Christi Paul – 01/04/20
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
A Thank You Letter to Marianne Williamson

Image: Greg Hauenstein.

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