Marianne Williamson made a campaign stop in Detroit where she railed against the 1%. The media didn’t cover it.

The self-help author and former Detroit-area pastor is one of the only Democrats to challenge President Joe Biden in 2024 so far

Apr 25, 2023 at 11:02 am
Marianne Williamson campaigning in 2019. - Gage Skidmore, Flickr Creative Commons
Gage Skidmore, Flickr Creative Commons
Marianne Williamson campaigning in 2019.

In a small room in the New Center area on Monday, Marianne Williamson described her eight years living in Detroit as “a very deep experience for me on many levels” that showed her “there really are two Americas.”

Nothing will change, she says, “unless we who see such things have the levers of power.”

The political outsider known for her books on spirituality is seeking the Democratic nomination for president for the second time — but, just like in 2020, she has been so far mostly ignored or mischaracterized as a kooky fringe figure by the media. President Joe Biden officially announced his re-election campaign on Tuesday morning, and aside from Williamson, his only other challenger so far is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.

Raised Jewish, Williamson was pastor of the Unity Church of Today in Warren from 1998 to 2006. She then moved to Washington, D.C., and found out how far it was from here psychologically.

On Monday, she described Washington as a “walled city … in the grip of an economic mindset which is essentially un-American” because “it is a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations” and “does more to serve the bottom line of its corporate donors” than the interests of citizens.

A dynamic speaker, Williamson doesn’t mince words, characterizing an economy where the top 1% control 90% of the wealth: “This is not like a tumor you can simply remove; it’s more like a cancer that has already metastasized.”

The difference between the two parties, in her view? Republicans like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis “are leading a neo-fascist assault on our democracy,” while the Democrats employ “a neoliberal trickle-down theory eroding it from the inside.” One party promises “to give you the crumbs” while the other offers you “a cookie,” promising it’ll manage the decline.

Williamson employed some powerful facts to buttress her argument, noting that 39% of Americans tell pollsters they will miss a meal in order to pay their rent. This state of affairs is “not true in any other advanced democracy,” she pointed out, and what she’s proposing — universal health care, free child care, paid family and sick leave, common-sense gun safety, abortion and LGBTQ rights, a wealth tax, free state college and technical schools, canceling student loan debts, a green economy including a ban on new factory farms — would be considered quite moderate measures in those countries.

Since Michigan moves up earlier in the 2024 primary season, voting as the fifth state in line on Feb. 27, Williamson is pledging to return here often in the next 10 months — and notes that at least a 15% vote here would propel her from longshot status to a place on the televised debate stage. She promised to speak as boldly on national TV as she did in front of 50 people on Monday.

The session finished just as the feisty iconoclast was shifting into high gear as the clock passed noon. Her philosophy, she told the group Monday, is “Pray in the morning, kick ass in the afternoon!”

Coming soon: Metro Times Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting Detroit stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter