This election is nothing if not interesting. One of the biggest surprises for me was the response to Marianne Williamson, the spiritual adviser to Oprah and self-help author. I considered her performance at the debate to be truly cringe-worthy but her polling numbers have risen and a columnist has declared that “Marianne Williamson is just what the Democratic Party needs.”
Williamson left many of us squirming in our seats with a new age pitch to unleash the power of love:
I watched the debate with my family from Argentina and we thought this was such a bizarre moment that we spent days recounting it. In delivery and content, it reminded me of the wedding scene from Princess Bride:
Republicans love Williamson so much that they are encouraging donations to keep her in the race. They view Williamson as the personification of shallow and slightly wacky views from the left.
Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg News columnist, sang Williamson’s praises and wrote that people should ignore her “eccentric manner” but instead focus “on her values.” He added that her “performance suggests that Democrats need to take a broader, deeper set of values into account: sometimes love and New Agey spiritual values, other times historical values.”
I do not view Williamson as an improvement of any kind. Rather, she represents how American politics has been reduced to the level of a spiritualist self-help book.