Marianne Williamson, a longtime American author, lecturer, and self-help guru, is a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Williamson is one of the more heterodox candidates in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential field, and has a long-time history as something of a Twitter sensation. Williamson has a decades-long history as a social activist: Among other ventures, she founded a food delivery program for AIDS patients (Project Angel Food), co-founded a pro-peace group called Peace Alliance, and has written four New York Times number one bestsellers. She has also dedicated large parts of her professional career to empowering women in both a personal and professional context.
Williamson, who was born in Houston, is Jewish and (along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)) would become the first Jewish nominee for a major American political party, if successfully nominated. She studied for two years at Pomona College, although she subsequently dropped out. She published her first book in 1992, and spent much of the 1990s and 2000s as a frequent television guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," among other popular programs.
According to recent 2020 Democratic presidential polling, Williamson polls at 0-3% support.
Electoral History: In 2014, Williamson ran as an independent in the election for California's 33rd congressional district — a heavily Democratic section of Los Angeles. In her race, she ran as a full-spectrum progressive, emphasizing civil liberty, humanitarian, environmental, and welfare state issues. Williamson eventually finished fourth out of 16 candidates, thus failing to qualify for a run-off in California's "jungle primary" system.
Williamson is now seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
On The Issues: Although unusual in her candidate profile and general aura, Williamson describes herself as a "pretty straight-line progressive Democrat." Although her far-left policy proposals closely mirror the proposals of many of her fellow candidates, her signature substantive issue is likely her call for a whopping $200 billion – $500 billion in slavery reparations. But perhaps above all else, what defines Williamson's candidacy is her tone and demeanor — which can best be described as truly emblematic of her motivational, self-help guru professional past.
Constitution: Williamson does not have much of a paper trail on legal and judicial issues. But a sampling of her public statements and a look at her 2020 campaign website indicate that Williamson supports the customary legal positions of a contemporary progressive leftist. Williamson claims to "vigorously resist any effort to restrict, limit, or diminish the reproductive rights and freedoms granted by Roe v. Wade," thus indicating a leftist belief in the textually dubious so-called "right to privacy" and "right to abortion." Williamson strongly opposes Citizens United v. F.E.C., the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2010 political speech-affirming ruling. She also supports many policies that would infringe upon Americans' Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Economy: Williamson opposes structural reforms to make Social Security financially solvent. More generally, she is a staunch economic leftist who criticizes purported corporate greed and lavishes praise upon greater government investment in eduation and infrastructure. Williamson places a big emphasis upon decreasing income inequality and wealth inequality. Like many of her 2020 Democratic rivals, she supports a $15 federal minimum wage — notwithstanding a recent Congressional Budget Office study that shows such a policy could destroy millions of jobs. Williamson supports socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) statist "Green New Deal." She also supports rigorous enforcement of the nation's antitrust laws.
Health Care: Williamson praises "Medicare for All," arguing that it would actually be cheaper than the health care status quo. In practice, "Medicare for All" would amount to a single-payer health insurance system that would amount to a governmental takeover of health insurance and imposition of socialized medicine in America. Williamson supports offering a public Medicare option on the pre-existing Obamacare health insurance exchanges. She supports decriminalizing various narcotics, which she views as a necessary step toward treating drug addiction as a mental health issue.
Immigration: Williamson supports a full pathway to citizenship for most of America's illegal alien populace, including so-called "DREAM-ers." Williamson opposes a border wall with Mexico, calling it "expensive, impractical, and unlikely to address any of the real challenges we face." Williamson supports expediting asylum processing for illegal aliens at our southern border, notwithstanding that the overwhelming majority of the present influx of Central Americans seeking asylum at our southern border have facially bogus legal claims. She supports offering government-run health insurance to illegal aliens.
Foreign Policy: Williamson has a thin record on foreign policy issues. She has asserted that the U.S. should be an "honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More generally, Williamson seems to take a staunchly non-interventionist approach to foreign policy. Much like fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Williamson seems to consistently oppose U.S. military engagements in the Middle East, and to consistently support bringing home troops from far-flung locales such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. As her campaign website says, "The only way to make peace with your neighbors is to make peace with your neighbors."
Abortion: Williamson is staunchly pro-abortion, an adamant supporter of Roe v. Wade, and supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which has historically proscribed taxpayer funding of abortion.
Guns: Williamson supports many policies that would infringe upon Americans' Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. She supports expanded background checks and limitations or bans on certain weapons and magazines that are currently in wide distribution. Williamson supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called "assault weapons" — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America.