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[Tvt News]Marianne Williamson Is a Lefty With Soul

Don’t let the New Age jargon keep you from understanding that Williamson is the most progressive of them all. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

She’s not being taken seriously by the political professionals: One of her biggest problems so far is convincing pollsters to include her in candidate preference questions so she can display some popularity, if only for purposes of qualifying for debates. She’s often treated as a sort of New-Age accessory to Oprah Winfrey. And her one previous run for public office, an ill-fated indie run for Congress in California in 2014, is often mentioned as a sign that she has no actual or potential following outside a few celebrities from LaLa Land.

Bur Marianne Williamson deserves some serious attention, and not just because she’s written four books that hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list. At a time when the leftward drift of the Democratic Party is regularly in the news, she is by any measure the most rigorously progressive candidate in the field of 23. That she wraps her progressivism in a syncretic spirituality instead of socialist materialism may even be an advantage for a politician in this God-haunted country of ours.

Pick an issue, and odds are Williamson is going to out-Bernie Bernie and out-Warren Warren. She’s for Medicare For All, unsurprisingly, but she’s also for heavy investments in preventive medicine and nutritional education, and a pretty heavy regulatory arm on those she feels are poisoning our bodies, including those who produce “high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats.” So far as I can tell, she’s the only candidate committed to reducing national stress levels, too.

flatly for a tangible program of monetary reparations for the descendants of slaves:

“What I have proposed is $200 to $500 billion — I think anything less than $100 billion is an insult,” Williamson, an author and activist, told Hill.tv’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton, adding that the money would be paid over a 20-year period.

In the international arena, she has been closely associated for years with the idea of creating a Department of Peace (mostly notably promoted by former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, a close friend of Williamson) that would actively address conflict prevention. It’s fair to say she thinks we can get by with a relatively small fraction of today’s Pentagon budget:

reproductive rights and protections for LGBTQ folk.

And she matches or exceeds the progressivism of her rivals. Like Andrew Yang, she’s for a universal basic income. Like Bernie Sanders, she’s for free college, and like Elizabeth Warren, she’s for full college debt relief. Like Cory Booker, she’s for baby bonds. Like several other candidates, she’s for universal pre-K. She’s even equaled Pete Buttigieg’s commitment to a robust national service program.

Many progressives, of course, will be put off by the New Agey stuff. And it’s impossible to ignore: Williamson never stops insisting that America’s and the world’s problems are spiritual as well as economic or institutional or interpersonal. When she talks about the climate crisis, she has specific proposals, but her main argument is for something money can’t buy:

terrifying:

explains that the tradition she represents combines influences from “Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism and Transcendentalism before the Civil War and, subsequently, Spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, mind cure and reinvented versions of Asian ideas and practices.” She’s less a theocrat than a pantheocrat.

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