Marianne Williamson discusses “How Independents Can Challenge the Two-Party System”
On Saturday, March 28th, I attended many of the events of Sister Giant , an event put on by Marianne Williamson in Los Angeles. This was the third year of the Sister Giant series, which invited men this year. This is what is listed on the site which marketed the event:
Please join me for the next SISTER GIANT Conference on March 28-29, in Los Angeles and/or via livestream. (This one is for all of us — women and men too!) We’re going to have a deep conversation that weekend about conscious citizenship and political change. From getting the money out of politics to racial justice and mass incarceration, from the corruption of our food supply to how to build a more peaceful world, from spiritual enlightenment to political transformation, we’re going to spend a weekend digging deep and flying high…in our minds, in our hearts, and hopefully in our country.
Marianne Williamson is a best-selling writer and media personality. Wikipedia describes Sister Giant as “a series of seminars and teaching sessions that provides women with the information and tools needed to be political candidates. Through these seminars, she encourages women to run for office and align their politics with their spiritual values.” Ms. Williamson herself ran for Congress in 2014, and came in fourth in the primary, thereby eliminating her for the primary election because of CA’s Top-Two law.
The first guest to speak was Dennis Kucinich. I had never heard him speak, and found him to be very comfortable and amiable in his manner. He said things many of us in the liberty community might agree with, including that the “level of deception from Congress is beyond anything I’ve seen before”. He told us “America has lost its way”, and questioned why we have so many military bases around the world. He said there’s no reason why we’ve allowed the NSA and Federal Reserve to get so out of hand. He got a laugh and applause from the audience when he said that there is an “incubator of Dr. Strangeloves in Congress”. He encouraged us to stay aware of what’s really going on.
The next speaker was Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Her group primarily lobbies for peace, and most of what she spoke about was lobbying, why we should do it, and how we should do it. In my view, this fit well into the weekend’s goal of teaching how to become politically involved.
Mrs. Randall invited us all to attend “National Lobbying Day for Peace” in Washington DC on November 13th of this year.
The next speaker was Eileen Borris , who is an expert on International Conflict Resolution. She has written about forgiveness, has a group called “Forgiveness International” and runs a website on the topic. I found this woman to be fascinating, but didn’t get any understanding of how this topic can help those interested in running for office. She spoke to us at length about how a country should forgive another country, and she used key words like “atone” and “reparations”. I was frustrated that she didn’t seem to give us any clear directions as to how we can use her group in a practical, useable manner.
There were three speakers after lunch, well, four, actually. We started the afternoon session with some yoga exercises from Seane Corn, who I understand is a celebrity of sorts in the yoga world. At this point, I amused myself by picturing a bunch of Libertarians doing this at one of our conventions! Stretching and breathing deeply was a curious, although certainly not bad, experience for me.
A young woman named Lynne Lymon next spoke from the Drug Policy Alliance. I will admit that this session left me highly disturbed. She gave horrifying and unsurprising (to me) statistics of the racial inequality of the drug war. She spoke at length about the lives ruined. NOT ONCE did she EVER say that we should abolish drug prohibition! I honestly think the crux of her talk was that we needed to arrest more white people for drugs to make things more fair.
(I have been to the website for the Drug Policy Alliance, and it does touch on repealing some drug laws. I don’t know whether Ms Lyman just never happened to mention that as a possibility, or if she purposely left it out because of her audience.)
The next speaker was a civil rights attorney named Lisa Bloom. She gave us shocking statistics on incarceration in the US, and some information on racial inequality. I learned that the LAPD has the worst record in the entire country, averagina about one shooting a week. This was interesting and horrifying to hear, although not surprising to me. I don’t know how her talk helped with the goal of running for office, however, except to possibly make people in the audience mad enough that they would do something about it.
I did not stay for Thom Hartman’s talk that afternoon, nor did I wait for Bernie Sanders’ keynote speech. I did want to hear the latter, but was nervous about where I had parked and didn’t feel that I wanted to walk alone to the car after dark. I have looked for a video of his speech, but as I write this on Friday afternoon, April 2, I can’t find one. I don’t believe he announced that he was running for President, as I see no reference to it online. Ms Williamson speaks about that in the video above.
There were some themes that Ms Williamson kept referring to, such as running for office as Independents. She instructed us to have the “same Chutzpah as Conservatives”, which was well received by the audience. She said several times that the greatest moral challenge of our time is to “get money out of politics”. Her rhetoric was often to start “conversations” about the topics she introduced, yet I admit that I expected more hands-on instructions. Perhaps some of this was covered on Sunday, which I didn’t attend, but I wish there had been how-to steps about how to get on ballots, and how to run a campaign. As she talks about in the video above, she believes the reason she didn’t do well as a candidate is that she didn’t know how to run a campaign. She didn’t give many specifics about what her mistakes were, however. She is defintely a good public speaker and is quite charismatic. Her ideals, however, were a bit broad and non-specific.
There was quite a “feel-good” attitude in the room, and lots of warm-and-fuzzy talk about how we should do good for the country. Of this, I certainly agree. As to how to get there, the speakers I heard were short on exactly HOW to do that. I considered it a well-spent day, but don’t think I would have been able to sit through another day of it.