Williamson: Moral beacon or kook?
Self-help guru Marianne Williamson “will not be the Democratic nominee” for president, said Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. “But hopefully the one who will be is taking note.” While other Democrats bickered over details of their health-care plans and other policies during last week’s debate, Williamson—an “impossibly youthful 67-year-old with a comical patrician accent”—repeatedly stole the spotlight “with a cut-the-crap sensibility.” She spoke “plainly and passionately” about the moral danger that Donald Trump and white nationalism pose to our nation. “This wonkiness,” she said, won’t dispel “this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country.” She’s absolutely right, which was why she dominated Google searches and Twitter right after the debate.
“I hate to crash the tarot card–reading party,” said Brian Boyle in the Los Angeles Times, but Williamson is a loon. She has a “history of anti-science, anti-vaccination rhetoric” and believes cancer and AIDS “are physical manifestations of a psychic scream” that can be cured with love and hugs. Oh, and have I mentioned she’s Cher’s spiritual adviser and “officiated at Elizabeth Taylor’s eighth wedding” at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch? The fact that political pundits are lavishing praise on Williamson’s performance shows they’ve learned precious little from “Donald Trump’s rise to power,” said Zack Beauchamp in Vox.com. It wasn’t too long ago that they showered attention on another entertaining celebrity kook who had no chance of getting the nomination. Look at how that ended up. Just stop, already.
Williamson might be a “wackadoodle,” said David Brooks in The New York Times, but she “knows how to beat Trump.” As she so keenly understands, this election is not about health care, trade, or any of the usually worthy policy issues that would otherwise dominate a presidential primary. Trump’s perversion of American norms has turned this election into a question of “who we are as a people, our national character.” At stake are honesty, pluralism, and “the moral atmosphere in which we raise our children.” As Williamson put it, “This man, our president, is not just a politician; he’s a phenomenon.” Other Democrats also better realize that only “a moral uprising of the American people” will be enough to overcome what Trump has unleashed, and return us to decency. ■