The Dispatch: There’s Something About Marianne Williamson

Recently I did a video in my Road Reflections series addressing how Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson pointed out how corrupt and propagandistic the corporate media is. Marianne Williamson speaks a lot about a spiritual revolution that is needed in this country and was Oprah’s spiritual adviser. In the video, I did call Marianne ‘cooky’ which led to a lot of her supporters comin’ at me.

One commenter said: “You don’t look or sound old enough to drive a car. Then you open your mouth, and it is clear you aren’t old enough to think yet. Is driving and talking like an airhead on youtube, asking for followers, fulfilling YOUR purpose in life? Someone had high hopes for you when they named you Ramakrishnan. Sad; maybe you should rename yourself Snooky for now; it fits you. “Kooky” Marianne Williamson has more intelligence, compassion, erudition, and purpose in her fingernail than you will likely ever have.  Before you go on screen again, try reading about her life of deep activism.  That is, if you know how to read anything that isn’t online. Then ask yourself what you have ever done that matters. Like, chew on that, Snooky, the Airhead.”

My response is that I’m not asking for followers commenter, and neither is that my purpose in my life. Also attacking my parents for naming me Ramakrishnan seems low for someone so enlightened by the words of a celebrity advisor. For someone claiming to be a follower of a better person than me, how come you’re acting worse than me? The sheer notion of your comment is filled with the hypocrisy of your beliefs and worship of Marianne Williamson. If you talk to the people around me I’m sure they’d leave a snarky comment about how you aren’t doing anything that matters and round and round we’d go slinging insults at each other, accomplishing nothing. The only of value in that comment was to look into her life and policies.

Now my critique of Marianne was not just about her cookiness, which let’s be honest is a positive statement. Words like cooky, weird, odd, have been highjacked by the mainstream as insults but really they’re signs that you might have something interesting or different to present to the table. And do you really think Oprah isn’t going have a Spiritual Advisor who’s not a little cooky. Do you want Oprah to have a drab, milk-toast boring spiritual advisor that’s just going to read some stock lines from a fucking fortune cookie? My critique of Marianne Williamson was also that she was a little scatterbrained in her presentations. I do stand by these critiques, but I admit that it’s unfair to pass further judgment without learning more about her. So I did.

And before I go into that I gotta say that the insulting comment I read was not reason that I decided I’d look into Marianne Williamson earlier than I wanted to. I actually wanted to talk about Yang and his Gang this week. That comment from earlier made me think that Marianne’s followers were no better than any other hyper zealous religious know it all who thinks they’re better than someone for being a worshiper of a specific person. But there are a lot of other comments that suggested that I was missing something. The kinder dialogue encouraged me to check myself over the shame based vitriol that YouTube’s comment section is known for.

I am going to talk about some, not all of her policies. A bunch of them fall in line with what most progressives believe in. What I want to discuss things that stand out. That’s what I do with Bernie, Tulsi, Yang and if Kamala Harris and Corey Booker had personalities that weren’t crafted by the DNC elites then I’d talk about them more too. Marianne stands by the Green New Deal as a way to create sustain sources of energy and introduce a wave of new jobs for people. This is not a way to say “learn to code” but rather that your life is worth more than making an oil executive richer. She also calls out the wars for oil as the pretense for “defending our freedoms”. Which is true. Basically everyone from the Bush Administration is made up of that pretense.

In terms of Criminal Justice, she addresses the need to break apart the Prison Industrial Complex and use the prison system as a way to rehabilitate prisoners rather than punish them. We saw a movement arise last year where we though a series of Prison strikes, prisoners were able to ask and receive better prison conditions and be treated like a human being. Countries like Brazil have a progressive Prisoner run Prison systems that help rehabilitate people back into society. The American prison system is based on recidivism and profit and much like the YouTube comment section leads to a cycle of unending pain and bullshit.

She addresses a lot about racial inequalities in her platform. At this point I think a lot of us know that there are racial inequalities within our criminal justice & economic systems. The only person that’s denying that at this point is Kamala Harris who was part of creating inequalities in the criminal justice program. And Kamala’s only real scapegoat about it is to say “Hey look it’s Joe Biden!” as she runs away in a puff of smoke to put more parents of truant kids in prison and destabilize low income neighborhoods!

The major thing that sets her apart from all other Candidates in terms of race is her plans for Race Reconciliation or her reparations plan! Her idea is to have $200-$500 billion spread out throughout black communities via black leaders for educational and economic projects. Though I understand the idea of financial reparations for the smudge of slavery on America’s history, I do think it’s going to take a lot more than that to heal the divide of racism. For one, it’s very hard for a poor white person, who has been forgotten, to get over racial discrimination when the black communities can come out of poverty but their white community cannot. The same systems that created that poor black community created that poor white community and blinded each other to the true cause of it.

Ever since the end of slavery, the black communities of America had to face racial hardships. After the abolition of slavery, white people looked at the black people and were like “Wait, y’all still here? I thought you’d head up to Canada or some shit!” Well the black slaves did help build this country I feel like they’re good to stay here. Jim Crow Laws were basically black version of “Go back to where you came from!” The struggle is all the same, just dressed differently.

Now this is not me denying financial reparations, but it is questioning its effectiveness in decreasing racism. What’s to say that politicians and supremacists that have been emboldened by the Trump administration wouldn’t come out and say “See! See what’s happening! They don’t care about you! They’re all trying to take your money and invoke the spirit of satan!“ and stoke the flames of classist divides with race baiting. The odd aspect of this that a spiritual guru is claiming that money will heal deep historic wounds. I guess even Spiritualism has its dollar value.

The true question is how do you undo a history of discrimination and imperialism embedded into the heart of a nation. America is like Baskin Robins. Classism is our ice cream and racism is one of the 31 flavors we are forced to pick. Even though most of us don’t even want Ice Cream we’re forced choke it down! Nobody cares if you’re lactose intolerant. It’s the ultimate version of “pick your poison”.

But tearing down the classist structure of the American Economic game is one of those things that Marianne Williamson shares with the rest of true Progressives of the Democratic Party. Her plans to reinstate Glass Steagall, increase the minimum wage, closing big corporate loopholes, protecting the consumer, and taxing Wall St. are some of the things that are standard for progressives. She does believe in giving Americans a Universal Basic Income much like Andrew Yang and even recommends his book. And a standout is to create an economic system based on caring.

Ok, some of you just vomitted a rainbow at the sheer thought of that. But what she’s talking about here is a better system for child care, maternity and paternity leave and sick leave. If we have an economy that takes into consideration that families have shit to deal with and that’s ok, we’d create a better work force doing things that matter more. When you have a screaming child at home and your spouse is physically worn out, that excel spreadsheet doesn’t seem like it’s all too important. Babies are a miracle. It’s a miracle that they have so much energy all the time. I wonder if this why adults are so excited about napping. We use so much of our energy in our adolescence that by the time we’re adults we have nothing left by 2pm everyday.

She’d also cut excessive military spending. In 2015 there was an article that stated that in order to run the American military as is, it would cost $300 billion. That’s under half the budget. Do you know what you could do with over $300 billion? You don’t because most Americans can’t even imagine what’d they do with the extra $1000 they’d get from Yang’s UBI plan! Look if this is what we’re doing with our budget it’s very clear that America isn’t responsible enough to have an economy. Put it back in the closet and go back trading things. You’ll get your capitalist economic structure when you learn how to share properly.

She’s also for removing tax cuts for the rich and the big businesses. People like to blame Trump for this, but we’ve seen corporations and the rich get big breaks for last 2 or 3 decades of Presidencies. Back when Trump was still learning what it truly means to be both financially and morally bankrupt.

Another stand out of her plans include a lot of ideas about changing the way we look at Child Care and the Youth of America. Marianne Williamson has a plan for the US Department of Children and Youth. Now I know this sounds like it’s going to a department where a bunch of toddlers dressed in suits pretend to do important work, but we already have that. It’s called most of Congress. What this department is for is particularly to ensure that health and well being of children in America is taken care of.

This department would take care of children’s physical & mental health, by ensuring there are trauma services available since every week we can see #MassShootingMonday in America. There will also be healthier options for food for kids in cafeterias. Increase training and budgets for foster care. Create an environmental plan to remove harmful toxins from food and air so kids have struggle less with that sort of stuff. This would also include education reform from introducing religion as history in schools as well as mindfulness and mediation. So schools would be place where you learn about the world around you and learn about mental & physical systems. This is building a department on the “it takes a village” platform.

This department would also go so far as to grant amnesty for college debt. Look if there’s people out there sayin’ “Well those kids knew what they were doing! They should pay their loans back and contribute to society properly!”, I’d say let’s explore this thought. First of all, no they didn’t know what they were doing! I didn’t! 18 year olds don’t understand the American Economic system. Most 50 year olds don’t! And they’d be able to contribute to society if they were able to have this debt abolished and pursue something of value to them and the world through innovation and creativity and not a McDonald’s fryer. And if the kids have to pay their loans back, how about Wall St. pay back the American people for rigging the system against them constantly. There’s some reparations I think we can all go for.  Reparations from unfettered capitalism which is just transformed what slavery is to things like unpaid internships and all of Jeff Bezos warehouse. If you’re a CEO making over 400 times that of your employees then you’re just greed driven slave master calling yourself a job creator.

This department will also help elderly folks go back to school at an affordable rate. She also wants to create an infrastructure for school busses that would go beyond just needing them for school kids. Between the hours of 8 and 3 these busses don’t do much. They live in a parking lot existential dread. We could use these busses for public transport for the 6 hours they are not being utilized and the weekends! She would also reduce the stress behind testing. Which is great, because tests at this point don’t teach critical thinking and they only help you game the BuzzFeed quizzes to lie to yourself.

She also says this goes beyond the issues. So let’s take look at what she says about these issues.

“Life is made up of two dimensions: things on the outside and things on the inside. As people, we not only think, we also feel: we care not only about what is happening to our bodies but also what is happening to our souls.”

Well I’d humans are more than these 2 dimensions. There’s the mind, the body, the soul, the spirit. There’s more than just 2 dimensions making up humanity. Let’s not polarize what makes a human here!

“America is not just having problems with what is happening to our economy, our environment, our educational system and so forth.  We have a problem with the psychological fabric of our country, as a low level emotional civil war has begun in too many ways to rip us apart.

In order to deal with that, we must address it on the level of our internal being. We don’t normally associate politics with a deep level of our internal existence, but this is the 21st Century now and all of that needs to change.”

I do agree that politics doesn’t address the emotional crisis that we face in our country. But that’s because most politicians have willed their tear ducts closed in order to accept cash bribes from their lobbyist pimps. It’s hard to accept money to fuck over the American people with your feelings and tears getting in the way! There is a portion of the emotional crisis that has been created and emboldened by the systems that in place, but some of them come from the way we treat each other on the ground level. If this is going beyond politics then we should be able to help each through the systemic emotional crisis rather make them worse by adding our personal ones to the table.

“People think politics is ugly — and it is true that some of it is.  But there is something else to politics too, when we allow it to unfold – something noble and good.  Our task in the 21st Century is to transform our experience of politics, that we might help transform our country.

We should participate in politics with the same level of consciousness as that which we bring to all of our most important and meaningful pursuits. We should bring all of ourselves to it. We should bring our hearts and minds and deepest dedication to something bigger than ourselves. “

Part of the reason we don’t participate in politics is because that’s how it’s set up. It’s expensive and daunting. The country is huge and the profit margins are small. People have forgotten that it’s ok to disagree with each other and learn about what makes our differences incredible. When we don’t, we leave nonsense YouTube comment that just make people want to set houses on fire.

“Politics is very, very serious business in a country as big and powerful as ours. When we get it right, it can be beautiful; but when we get it wrong it can be a terrible thing. We are all responsible for that. With every election, with every campaign, we are deciding something extremely important. We are deciding what is possibly the fate of millions, the fate of the earth, even perhaps the fate of humanity. And if that is not a sacred charge, I cannot imagine what is.

This is a new time, and we must bring forth something new within ourselves in order to deal with it.  In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” “

New is great, but it’s also scary. A lot of people look at new and think it means they’ll be left behind. And this is my concern with Marianne Williamson. As fiery as she is, will she speak to the conservatives who don’t look at the spiritual side of things. I think she’s got a pretty good platform and if the winner of the Democratic Rat Race is smart they’d pull Marianne over their campaign and make her in-charge of the Department of Youth & Children!

How do take the intangibility of spirituality and make it real for folks? If I’m being honest, I have no idea. On her interview on the Daily Show, she mentioned that the left has gotten too secular. I think that secularism and ties to logic & rationale is what we need to pull some of these conservatives to the side that is fighting for them. To pull us away from the constant battles against our identities, and realize that we’re in a systemic struggle to better each other’s lives. The next 4 years will be a battle to get us ready for change not the change itself. It takes time for humanity to get over it’s own ego and be ready to do something that matters.