“There is no public issue which will not ultimately make it to your private door.”
– Marianne Williamson
Listen to the podcast here:
EP2. Marianne Williamson: A Politics of Love & Reclaiming our Democracy
TUNE-IN TO HEAR:
- The process of not letting her fear stop her from running for President.
- How she plans to redistribute wealth to resolve the current state of devastating income inequality.
- What she means by A Politics of Love and how love and justice go hand-in-hand.
- Society’s role in politics and the importance of every spiritual and religious person getting involved.
Marianne Williamson: A Politics Of Love & Reclaiming Our Democracy
We’re talking to someone who has been a long-time author idol of mine, someone who is a wonderful leader in the spiritual teaching space. She’s an activist and a New York Times multiple bestselling author, who is running for the Democratic bid for President. We have someone with us who has some solutions to help us create a better world. With all that being said, I would love to welcome Marianne Williamson.
Heather, thank you so much for having me on.
We know you are busy, on tour and getting your messages out to the world. We want to do whatever we can to help you to continue to spread those good messages. With someone like you at the helm, I dare say there would be a lot less suffering in our country and probably the world. I love that you’re providing tangible, real solutions for us. In fact, in your book, A Politics Of Love, you lay out how we got to where we are and how we can get out of this situation. I would love to ask you, by finding out, when was that light bulb moment when you realized that you wanted to run for President?
It was a few years ago. I didn’t write down the date, I almost wish I had. I was sitting in my bedroom. I was living in New York. It was the middle of the day. I was sitting on my bed. It’s one of those moments sitting around and the idea popped in a way that was surprising to me at the time. I had run for Congress a few years ago. It had been an exhilarating experience, but a brutal one. I felt that was that, I scratched whatever itch that was. I won’t be doing that again. I assumed that anything that might have gone beyond that in politics, that door was simply closed. When I had that moment, it was startling and after that, there was about a month that felt different and I felt clear that I was going to do that. In a month after I originally had that idea pop into my head, I crashed onto the rocks of material reality, “Are you crazy? What are you thinking?”
The reality of it from the world of politics, “You’re not even in Congress. You haven’t served in office. They will mock you. They will humiliate you. They will say mean things about you. They will have bad pictures of you. You’ve got to be crazy.” That was processing that went on for about a year-and-a-half. That processing did not represent a moment, it represented a long journey. It was talking to people, thinking about this, praying about this and having to face my own internal, “Was I capable of growing a tough enough skin inside?” I know what it’s like to have people come after you. I’ve had it happen. It’s not like I’ve never been through any of this. It‘s one step after another in life and you monitor it, “Am I pushing a river here? Am I going with the flow?” It felt more like I was feeling internal guidance to do it more than trying to take some bull by the horns and here I am. That same feeling of, “Yes, do this,” it’s still with me in the form of, “Yes, continue.”
We often talk about how important it is to follow that internal guidance, that inner calling when we hear it. There have been a lot of crazy things happening in our world and you address a lot of them in your book. You talk a lot about how there’s such financial inequality. I believe the statistic is the wealthiest 1% of Americans hold 40% of the country’s wealth and the three richest people in the US have as much money as the bottom half of all Americans. There are thirteen million children in poverty as of 2017, most of them are going to school hungry. This is devastating but you also give us hope and a path for recovery. Can you speak to this inequality that’s happening and what might be a way to get out of it?
This inequality was created starting in the 1980s by an economic theory called Trickle-Down Economics. The theory was the idea that if you made market forces untethered to any government regulation, to any financial regulation and most importantly to any moral or ethical consideration for stakeholders beyond fiduciary responsibility to stockholders. This would be a good thing. It would create more money for what would be called the job creators and then all that money would trickle down and it would lift all boats. After many years, it’s fair to say the jury is in. This theory has been more than a failure. It has been devastating. It has ruined America’s middle class. It has created the largest income inequality since 1929 and it has put us in a situation where 40% of all Americans struggle on a daily basis with profound economic tension and anxiety just to make ends meet. Not knowing what will happen if they get sick, what will happen if one of their kids get sick, how they’re going to send their kids to college, how they’re going to pay off their college loans. It’s millions and millions of people living in chronic economic anxiety in the richest country in the world.
First of all, we need a massive infusion of economic hope and opportunity in the life of the average American. Repeal the 2017 tax cuts. The 2017 tax cut is $2 trillion tax cut. It gives $0.83 of every dollar to the richest individuals and corporations. Put back in the middle–class tax cut, which was part of it, which I feel should have been there to begin with. You’ve closed the ridiculous corporate loopholes and corporate subsidies such as why will we get $26 billion in 2018 alone just to fossil fuel company? I agree with the idea of a 3% tax on billionaires, a 2% tax on people who have $50 million or more in the bank. These are the ways that you begin to redistribute opportunity because as Louis Brandeis, a late Supreme Court justice said, “You can have large amounts of money concentrated in the hands of just a few people or you can have democracy. You cannot have both.”
What has happened is we have transitioned over the last many years from what is all intents and purposes a democracy to an aristocracy. An aristocracy is a veiled aristocracy and yet it is an economic aristocracy and that is exactly what we repudiated in 1776. Clearly, we have to repudiate it again. One of the first things I would do is submit to Congress legislation to establish public funding for federal campaigns. That’s the only way, given that the Supreme Court has passed the Citizens United decision, which we cannot foresee being overturned any time soon given the corporate system makeup of the Supreme Court. We need a constitutional amendment or we need legislation. Once again, even that, we have to have a Democratic Senate in order for there to be any hope of that. This is the information we need to motivate us. We need more than to win the White House in 2020. We need to win the Senate and keep the house as well.
You say it so well. You lay out the history of our country, how we got to where we are. It truly is a situation where the government is prioritizing corporations over people. While we talk about A Politics of Love, which maybe some people think, “That’s intangible. How is that going to help us out of this?” My take away from your book was that this is about looking at each other as human beings again and getting back to who we are and taking care of each other. You’re talking about just the basics, healthcare, food and making sure that all of our Americans are taken care of on a daily basis so that they can go from surviving to thriving. That’s when you can create a culture that has productivity, that is creative, that can take itself to the next level. Can you expand a little bit more on this concept?There is no public issue which will not ultimately make it to your private door. #theshinestrategy Click To Tweet
There’s no love where there’s no justice. It’s a lack of economic justice when you are systematically removing large, huge portions of your public treasury into the hands of a few people, leaving millions and millions of people hungry. Forty-one million Americans are hungry, thirteen million at least are children. We have to think about the fact of what it means that millions of American children go to school hungry. We have elementary school children on suicide watch in this country. We have millions of chronically traumatized children. We have children who go to schools in places where there are not adequate school supplies to teach a child to read. If the child cannot read by the age of eight, the chances of high school graduation are drastically diminished and the chances of incarceration are drastically increased.
We have 2.3 million people incarcerated, mass incarceration. The term prison industrial complex is not a misnomer. When I was in college, there were 300,000 people incarcerated in the United States. Poverty becomes a petri dish out of which so much societal dysfunction arises. We have millions of American children live in what’s called America’s domestic war zone, where the PTSD of a returning veteran from Afghanistan or Iraq is no more severe than the PTSD of these children. We should be rescuing these children no differently than if they were the victims of a natural disaster. The response of our political system is merely to normalize the despair of these children. I want the United States cabinet-level, Department of Children and Youth and a massive realignment of resources in the direction of children ten years old and younger. When the Prime Minister of New Zealand says she wants New Zealand to be the best place for a child to grow up, I want to be able to call her and say, “You are on because we are going to have one competition.” I don’t want any country in the world to be able to surpass the United States in terms of conditions for a child to grow up in.
This truly seems like common sense that if you take care of the children, you’re going to have a productive society. They’re going to grow into the people that take care of where our future is headed. I did see you speak at the Saban Theatre a couple of years ago. We even had the opportunity to meet at the premiere for a documentary, Pay 2 Play, which was all about getting dark money out of politics in which you were interviewed and I was doing the PR. This conversation, I know you’ve been focusing on this for a long time. What I also loved hearing you say when I saw you speak at Saban Theatre was that this is not a time for anyone to stick their head in the sand and think that even if you’re on a spiritual path, that this is something that will be negative or bring your vibration down. We have to choose sides. Can you speak a little more to that about how important it is not to ignore what is happening?
There’s nothing holy about complacency. It’s a counterfeit spirituality which would seek to use spirituality to justify turning away from the suffering of others. There is no serious religious or spiritual path anywhere because any of us pass on doing that. You can’t in a legitimate way say you’re on a spiritual path and conveniently choose to look away from the suffering of other sentient beings. That’s this new newfangled capitalist spirituality that’s come up in the last few decades, but you’ve never heard me be a component of it. It’s not like I’m anti-capitalist, but I’m for capitalism with a conscience and it’s only capitalism which is thinking about brand protection at the expense of moral and ethical values, which would sell anybody on the idea that you’re too spiritual to care about a hungry child. There’s something interesting about what you said that is worth repeating. There’s nothing about an economic system which leaves out care for children that is good economics.
No company thrives that does not take care of new products. If we were concerned with economic abundance ten years from now, what we would be doing is taking better care of ten-year-olds now. Any country that’s thinking, “How are we going to have the greatest economic abundance several years from now?” is thinking in terms of better care and better education of its children. The economic system that we have now has nothing to do with economic components. It has to do with sucking out profits in the present that should be reinvested for the future. That’s what happens when you take care of children, you are investing in your economic future and instead it’s sucking out of profits in the present and only for a few people. When you say that none of us should be sticking our head in the sand, there is no public issue which will not ultimately make it to your private door.
I don’t care how much green juice you’re drinking. I don’t care how much of a gluten-free diet you have. If they’re poisoning the water, they’re poisoning the topsoil and they’re poisoning the air we breathe. That’s what’s happening because of short-term profits for fossil fuel companies and chemical companies. We are gutting the Clean Water Act, gutting the Clean Air Act and overturning the ban on pesticides that we are sure to harm a developing child’s brain. There is no way to run away from this. You might have your head in the sand, but the rest of your body is going to be above the sand and it’s going to start suffering from what is happening above the sand.
It’s devastating when we think about it. A lot of us on a daily basis, we struggle with it. If we’re on a spiritual path, we do our meditations. We try to figure out how we can get involved and figure out what it is that we can do. In your book, you give us hope and you talk about the responsible corporations that are out there. There are B corporations. There are CEOs like John Mackey of Whole Foods that introduced conscious capitalism. There are people out there doing things. What else can the average person do?
Meditation, you don’t meditate and then struggle. You meditate to end the struggle. You meditate to receive your guidance. Meditation takes away the struggle. Meditation is where you basically say, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say and to whom?” Meditation takes us beyond the struggle and to the place with clear guidance as to what we are to do. Gandhi said, “They leave up the Indian Independence Movement with the smallest voice within.” Each of us should think about ourselves. There is no such thing as the average person in America. The power was placed in our hands. The role of the citizen is the most important role of all. Government is how we lend to them? The idea of citizenship we should think of, first of all, is the dimension in any wellness life.
Secondly, we can all think of ourselves as what we are. We are the immune system. You are an immune cell. The only reason Donald Trump has gained his power with an opportunistic infection, it has gained such power because of the societal weakened immune system. Some of us fight the cells in the body. Some are assigned to the pancreas. Some are assigned to the lung. Some are assigned to the blood. Some of us are assigned to the bone. In society, some of us are assigned to art. Some of us are assigned to the scientist. Some of us are assigned to education. Some of us are assigned to medicine. Whatever area you’re in, to give all that you have and all that you are to the purposes of love to transform that area. When it comes to politics, that is a shared assignment. The most important thing for everybody to be clear about is the election season coming up in 2020.
There are a lot of candidates. I’m running in a race with many good people. I’m not running against anyone I’m running with. There are a lot of great people. I’m one of the people that’s healthy for the Democratic Party and for our democracy. Many people are running. Listen to us all. See how you feel. When your heart says yes to one, do everything you can. Send money. Become a volunteer. Be very clear. We need to do more than win the White House. We need to try to win the Senate. We need to make sure we keep the House and get involved. There is no struggling to figure out what to do. Google it. What’s happening in your district? Who’s running for the House? Is there a Senate race in your state this time? Listen to myself and to others. You’re reading this now. I hope people will go onto Marianne2020. Read the Issues section. It’s simply a matter like anything else. You’ll heal one at a time and whether it’s me or anyone else. Think deeply, look into your heart and whoever you want to support, make sure you get out there and you do it.Whatever area you're in, give all that you have and all that you are to the purposes of love to transform that area. #theshinestrategy Click To Tweet
That’s beautifully said. Thank you, Marianne. That is inspiring and you all read it. Go take some action. Understand what she’s saying. Take her words to heart and we all have the power. We are all empowered to do something to make our world a better place. The future is in our hands. Marianne, I want to thank you so much for being here. This has been a life-defining moment and a dream come true for me to be able to talk to you and also give you a platform for your messages. I know you’re inspiring a lot of people who are hearing your words. We wish you the best of luck on your journey. I want to thank you so much.
Thank you, Heather. I appreciate it. Good luck to you with your show. I’d love to talk to you more as the journey continues. I hope that we get to talk some more.
We’re rooting for you. You’ve got my vote.
That means so much to me.
We’ll support you every way we can. Everyone, go to Marianne2020.com. Please support her in any way you can. Spread these messages. Buy the book, A Politics of Love. Read it. I feel like everyone in America should read this book and the whole world, because it’s not just our country that’s having these problems. The whole world has a lot of major issues that need to be turned around as quickly as possible. Thank you, Marianne. We hope to have you back soon.
Much love, all the best.