After watching the first Democratic Primary Debate in June, I wrote these words in an unpublished Medium post:
“I’m going on record right now by saying that I think there’s a possibility Marianne Williamson could be the next Donald Trump.”
With that type of prescient insight, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t make my living as a political pundit.
(I only play one on the internet.)
On Friday, Williamson officially dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, evaporating into the ether. Most people probably forgot that she was still running.
For a little while, though, Williamson had me worried.
I know it seems like an eternity ago — and given the 24/7 whiplash nature of our politics these days, it was — but try to think back to last June and July when the first and second Democratic presidential debates were held. There onstage stood Williamson, spiritual guru and author of 13 self-help books, saying that her first call as President would be to Jacinda Ardern.
“My first call is to the prime minister of New Zealand, who said her goal was to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for children to grow up,” Williamson said. “And I will tell her, ‘Girlfriend, you are so on.’ Because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up.”
O-kaaaay. Williamson’s answer was in reference to the March 2019 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that killed 50 people and resulted in that country immediately addressing its gun laws.
Sure, it was kind of a stupid answer to a throwaway question, but it spoke volumes about Williamson’s flimsy mindset when it came to the issues facing the leader of the free world.
When asked in that same debate how she would defeat Donald Trump, she replied that she would “harness love.”
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m a big fan of love. But in these times, in this election, in this fight against this president, love is not all we need.
(My sincere apologies to John, Paul, George and Ringo.)
Admittedly, at first I was laughing along with the rest of the country at Williamson’s comments. This woman was nowhere near presidential material but she certainly provided comedic relief to this campaign. For a few days, everyone was talking about Marianne Williamson.
I realized that it wasn’t exactly the prospect of a President Williamson that had me worried. I’m pretty sure that a President Williamson wouldn’t be separating babies from their parents or reversing environmental regulations that keep our air and water clean or spewing hateful language about women and people of color and the LGBTQ community and immigrants 24/7 on Twitter.
It was this electorate that loves to be entertained that I was worried about.
We’re a country that craves the outrageous. I mean, obviously. And because of that, I could envision people really getting behind her just because she was kind of wacky with total disregard for her political naivete.
After the first Democratic presidential debate in June, The Washington Post reported that Williamson received the most Google searches of the night, ahead of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Maybe that was just a result of people wanting to know who this hippy-dippy chick was, but combined with a media that feeds on this sort of fluff it all started feeling…a bit too familiar. At one point Williamson had more Twitter followers than Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.
To be clear, even though this concerned me, it wasn’t like I was losing much sleep over Williamson’s candidacy. The current occupant of the White House has provided me with plenty of insomnia, thank you very much. I didn’t think Williamson’s campaign had a realistic shot, but then again, at this point in 2016 I didn’t think Donald Trump had a chance in hell of becoming president. We all know how that turned out.
When Williamson qualified for the second debate (and did much better than her first appearance), I shared my concerns with The Husband who, along with my son, are my two go-to people in political matters.
“I wouldn’t care if she sacrificed a virgin goat on the White House lawn,” The Husband said. “I wouldn’t care if she changed all the water to essential oils. Are you kidding me? She could burn incense, hold seances, have kids hunt for crystals on the White House lawn instead of eggs, hold tarot card readings in the West Wing. I. DON’T. CARE. After what we’ve been through, she can do whatever the fuck she wants.”
Well, he does kind of have a point. Had Williamson become the nominee, she would have gotten my vote (and The Husband’s) because if we have any hope of saving what tattered remnants are left of our democracy, I believe it is absolutely imperative to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho on November 3.
Even if it means harnessing some peace and love to do so.
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