Self-help author and presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson has not made an impact in the 2020 election polls, but those who support her candidacy are loyal followers who call her a “modern-day prophet” and “political visionary.”
“I’m going to harness love for political purposes,” Williamson, who has made a career of writing and talking about a metaphysical approach to solving personal and even social problems, said at the first Democrat debates in June.
Vox interviewed a number of Williamson’s fans, some of who have been following her for years and others who were won over during her unique approach on the debate stage.
“She knows how to capture the hearts of people,” Jacqueline Moore of Florida told Vox. “We don’t need a political mechanic, we need a political visionary.”
Moore said she discovered Williamson in the 1990s.
“I call her a modern-day prophet, because of the way she is able to receive and transmit truths,” Moore said.
Josh Wechsler is a 34-year-old musical theater teacher in Texas, who credits Williamson with saving his life as a gay teen. Wechsler told Vox that Williamson would be “inspirer-in-chief” if she were elected president.
“Her platform has been: If anybody needs to be involved, it’s people who have a social conscious [sic], it’s people who care about unity and inclusion and making the world a better place,” Wechsler said.
Among Williamson’s other campaigns was one she started in 1989. Project Angel Food “delivered meals to the homes of HIV/AIDS patients and others with life-threatening illnesses,” according to Vox.
“Yesterday she was not known by a lot of people, today they search for her, and tomorrow they will fall in love with her,” Laura Guzman-Rodriguez told Vox.
Williamson, 67, first gained real national public prominence in 1992, when she published her first book, A Return to Love, and appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show to talk about it. The book offered up her interpretation of A Course in Miracles.
As Vox explained earlier this year, A Course in Miracles, often referred to just as the Course, is a “massive three-volume religious work that teaches that the only real thing in the world is God’s love, and surrendering to God’s plan can lead to inner-peace and real-life miracles” published in the mid-1970s. It was published at a time when modern life seemed to be breaking with the dominance of religion and came on the tail of massive social change, such as second-wave feminism and the civil rights movement. The Course employs the language of Christianity, and its original author, medical psychologist Helen Schucman, said that Jesus had dictated it to her. Its adherents consider it to be a secular text and say the terminology was basically a way to make it more accessible.
A Course in Miracles resonated with Williamson, and she decided to bring it to others with A Return to Love.
“The same principle that transforms individual lives is the same principle that will transform our nation,” Susie Owens, a 50-year-old nurse from New York, told Vox.
“Meghan Russell, a 39-year-old production assistant from Ohio, said she thinks Williamson could even win over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,” Vox reported.
“It’s going to be really hard to be combative with her because it’s really hard to fight with somebody who’s not interested in your version of reality,” Russell said in the Vox report.
“She probably has higher intelligence than anyone else on the planet, because she’s got body, mind, and soul, all three cylinders, fired up at the same time,” Barbara Tavres, a community relations manager at a book store where Williamson has sold and signed books for years, said.
Vox reported that Williamson’s fans said if she drops out of the race, they are considering other Democrats, including Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Tulsi Gabbard.
One Williamson fan, Charles Raffaele, said he supported Sanders in 2016 but has volunteered for Williamson’s campaign. “He doesn’t need my support right now in order for him to be one of the main candidates,” Raffaele said.
This is not Williamson’s first time on the campaign trail. She ran an unsuccessful bid for a House seat representing California in 2014.
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