Democratic Primary Exit Survey: Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson was never going to be president. Frankly, it’s a wonder her presidential aspirations lasted into 2020. But after laying off her entire campaign staff a week ago, Williamson finally ended her campaign on Friday.

Before projecting herself into national politics last year, Williamson was best known as an author and spiritual adviser to celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities.

In the Democratic primary, Williamson provided the first few debates with some color as she outlined her philosophy of a politics of love (coincidentally, the title of her book). Williamson believes America’s political system’s central flaws are caused by politicians’ disregard of emotional factors like anger and frustration. Like Bernie Sanders, she believes we need a nonviolent revolution to save our planet and country. But while the Democratic Socialist Vermont Senator’s call for political upheaval centers on working people, Williamson urges a complete reframing of politics through the lens of emotion and empathy.

Williamson’s spiritual approach to politics was refreshing in a field full of stale moderates like Michael Bennett and John Delaney. But when it’s delivered in a mid-Atlantic accent by a public figure haunted by her controversial views on vaccines and AIDS who wants to fight Donald Trump with love, it’s pretty easy to joke about.

Williamson never made headway in any major national polls, but she certainly raised her profile (at least amongst political nerds). Mainstream reporters might consider her a kook until the end of time, but it doesn’t really matter. She brought a fringe political philosophy to the fore, if only briefly. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

Still don’t count Williamson out. She’s become the Democratic Party’s witchy aunt and there’s nothing anybody could (or should) do about it.