Rethinking America

Long Shot: Marianne Williamson for President!

If Donald J. Trump is darkness, then Marianne Williamson is light.

President's podium at the White House. (Credit: spiritofamerica -


  • The Democratic field is largely a wasteland of political dead-enders. They are professional politicians and thus lightning rods for American discontent.
  • Democratic candidates fall into two categories: The first wants to restore the status quo. The second wants to fashion the US into a European-style social democracy.
  • America’s problems are too complex, too big and too intractable for any one candidate to float a workable plan in the run-up to 2020.
  • Marianne Williamson doesn’t have a plan. Instead, she has a restorative point of view -- Make America Great Again from the inside out!
  • Whereas Trump personifies the dark underbelly of American discontent, Marianne Williamson represents eyes-wide-open optimism.

Whereas Donald Trump personifies the dark underbelly of American discontent, Marianne Williamson represents the eyes-wide-open optimism born of the same discontent.

Among the Democratic candidates, she alone has the power to mobilize the broader electorate in revolt against all the many inequities manifest in current American culture and society.

A political wasteland

The current Democratic field is largely a wasteland of political dead-enders. Some want to take us back to our recent past, to the days before Donald Trump became President.

They fail to recognize that the end of the Obama Administration was merely the end of a long trendline in American politics that started with Ronald Reagan.

From 1981, when Reagan became President, to 2017, when Barack Obama left office, U.S. politics were governed by a fixed set of political expediencies.

During this period, neither party offered voters true alternatives to a relentless status quo that consumed jobs, prosperity and hope with a voracious appetite.

Blinded by the time

Since this process unfolded slowly and systematically over a long period of 35 years, its perniciousness went largely undetected. But under the radar and without much fanfare, things did change profoundly.

Good jobs left the United States or were replaced by technology. America’s infrastructure quietly grew 35 years older and became creaky. Potentially irreversible damage was done to the environment.

American culture came under siege by a relentless influx of foreigners – not just asylum-seekers at the southern border, but also registered immigrants from India, China, Korea, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It is understandable that this has left many Americans uncomfortable.

In addition, a wealth gap developed that is wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon. And the U.S. federal government’s debt grew to more than $22 trillion.

Over this long period of 35 years, no one in either party was willing to depart from America’s pre-determined course — until Donald Trump came along.

For all his many shortcomings, he proved adept at one thing — identifying the socio-economic ills that had been inflicted on the American people by maintaining the status quo.

Of course, Trump’s proposed solutions to America’s problems were most unhelpful. They were all founded on bitterness and negativity. His policy prescriptions were thus ultimately little more than outright deception.

And since becoming President, the implementation of his policy choices has done little more than make things worse for the majority of Americans.

It’s not a binary choice

Democratic politicians running for President in 2020 fall into two categories. The first, exemplified by Joe Biden, wants to restore the status quo ante. Biden wants to put America back on the same course that has taken the country to where it is today – more of the same.

The second category, exemplified by Bernie Sanders, wants to reset America’s compass and fashion the United States into what would resemble a European-style social democracy.

Neither side of that debate will emerge with sufficient support to unseat Trump.

Furthermore, nearly all of the Democratic candidates are professional politicians and thus lightning rods for American discontent. They bring no fresh ideas and seem to lack the charisma that gets people out to vote.

A repeat of what happened to Hillary?

A careful reading of recent polls indicates that Democrats hold an advantage over Donald Trump and that this advantage is practically set in stone. There is only one way for Trump to win and that is for Democratic voters to stay home.

This is exactly what happened to Hillary Clinton. She was regarded as a pay-to-play political hack and failed to excite her constituents with a passion that would make them get up off the sofa and go vote. In this respect, Trump didn’t win the election. Rather, Hillary lost it.

The same dynamic is shaping up for the 2020 election. A centrist candidate will be rejected for many of the same reasons and in exactly the same places Hillary was rejected in 2016.

And a progressive candidate will get taken apart, a victim of his or her own wonkiness –Americans don’t want America to become Sweden!

There is no plan

No candidate has a believable plan for correcting America’s ills. This is because no such plan could possibly exist.

America’s problems are too complex, too big and too intractable for any one candidate to float a plan in the runup to 2020 that has a chance of being enacted into law.

Meanwhile, Marianne Williamson has got it right. A spiritual advisor, author and media personality, she is a long shot’s long shot.

She doesn’t have a plan. Instead, she has a restorative point of view. Make America Great Again from the inside out!

In taking this attitude to the electorate, she will have to plant flags — call them goals or aspirations — all across the political layout in ways that are both passionate and empathetic.

She must make communion with the voters on a personal level – acknowledging their worries and anxieties, as well as their hopes and aspirations.

She must share in their victimization. In doing so, people will rally round her flags, not because they represent polling data, but because they represent the “light” in the American soul.

Leadership does not need a plan

Marianne Williamson benefits from her lack of wonkiness. People just don’t want to be given a plan. They want a leader. Anyone who disagrees with that assertion might get a reality check by Googling the term “current U.S. President.”

But Williamson’s flags, if she chooses to plant them, can connect with a broader and more optimistic electorate than any candidate armed with a raft of policy solutions.

Importantly, Williamson’s flags have the potential to form the basis for a brand-new coalition in American politics, one that eschews the identity framework that is the standard today.

For example, Williamson doesn’t have a plan to fix America’s health care mess. But she has a flag that says, “Health care for every American!”

Similarly, she doesn’t have a plan to fix America’s deeply flawed tax code. She simply has a flag that says, “The wealthy must pay too.” By the same token, she doesn’t have a plan to upgrade America’s water infrastructure. Instead, she has a flag that says, “Clean water is a right.”

Grabbing hold of the big picture

By avoiding policy specifics and instead focusing on the nation’s problems — by promising to bring the best minds from all points on the political compass into a realistic discussion about America’s future — she might against all odds find a path to the White House.

She shook Democratic political sensibilities out of their long reverie, when in the CNN Democratic Debate this past July, she said, “Just tweaking things on the outside will not be enough to repair this country.” Post-debate, she was the most googled candidate in 49 of 50 states.

Americans want change. They want real change, change they can believe in. That is the reason Donald Trump is in the White House and it is the reason Marianne Williamson is the right person to serve him with an eviction notice.

Marianne Williamson can bring light into the darkness. She can unseat Donald Trump.

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About Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips is a New York-based international analyst with extensive financial sector experience. [United States]

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