I like hearing Marianne Williamson talk, but is that all she’s good for?
The best-selling self-help author was easily one of the most memorable players at Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, the first of two presidential debates airing live from Detroit on CNN. That wasn’t the easiest thing to do on a debate stage with nine other 2020 hopefuls, no matter how disappointingly centrist most of those other hopefuls might have been.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren managed to stand out thanks to their uncompromising, progressive positions, but most of the candidates up there got lost in a sea of spineless white men eager to win over the hearts and minds of Trump voters who will never want anything to do with them.
Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to Williamson. She doesn’t waste time trying to reach across the aisle, sugar-coating her platform to lure Republicans into the blue. She speaks firmly and truthfully about what ails the United States of America, offering radical solutions that exist far beyond the scope of wherever her competitors dare to dream. She doesn’t just condemn the water crisis in Flint — she calls it out as an example of environmental racism and warns that it’s just “the tip of the iceberg” as climate change gets worse. Where other candidates say that reparations for slavery would be worth looking into, Williamson throws out an exact-ish number ($200-500 billion) for the “debt that is owed” to Black Americans, adding that the “country will not heal” until the U.S. government does so.
Unlike her questionable history with weight loss and vaccines, I agree with what Williamson is saying here. I guess I just wish that another candidate was saying it — a candidate with a real chance of beating Trump next year. That’s not to say that I want her out of the race; Williamson has become a much-needed ombudsman among the Democrats, forcing them to talk about reparations, capitalism, and other things that establishment politicians tend to avoid, and I hope that she continues to play that role until the primary ends. Ideas are her strong point, not execution. She is a self-help author, after all, one who has spent decades telling people stories about themselves. No wonder I like hearing her talk. That’s what charlatans do.