Marianne Williamson for President: Highlights from the CNN Town Hall
Williamson told the CNN audience this about her run for President, "The best advice I've gotten about this journey is to make it an extension of the journey I've been on for the last 35 years."
During her career she has worked with individuals and groups going through traumatic experiences, she has had to help people navigate the consequences of an irresponsible political establishment. As a result, she has strong ideas about some of the things that have gone wrong in America and how to help us heal.
In answer to the question what makes her fit to be President, Williamson responded, "You know, the -- the Latin root of the word "politeia" doesn't mean of the government. It means of the people. And I think our political establishment has gotten too far away from the people.
We have a political establishment that doesn't get to the heart of the matter, doesn't speak to what's really wrong. Politicians don't really get down and talk about what's really wrong, even though they know it. And because they don't talk about what's really wrong, they don't get to what can really be made really within us.
So in a way, for me, I challenge the idea that people whose careers have been entrenched in the same limitations that are endemic to the system that got us into this ditch are the only people we should possibly consider qualified to take us out of the ditch. I challenge that, and that's why I'm running."
When asked how can you assure Americans that you will be ready to act decisively to deter our enemies if and when it is necessary? Williamson answered, "Anybody who takes the oath of the presidency, part of that oath is to protect the people of the United States of America as well as the U.S. Constitution. And I would certainly do that.
But this is the issue. One of the reasons there are so many threats is because there has not been enough love. We should see large groups of desperate people as a national security risk. There are four factors which we know cause an increase in peace and a decrease in violence: expanding economic opportunities for women; expanding educational opportunities for children; decreasing violence against women; and addressing and ameliorating unnecessary human suffering wherever possible.
If the United States spent more of our resources waging peace in those ways, and those things that I just said are an extension of love, then these desperate people wouldn't become what in too many cases they have become, and that is vulnerable to ideological capture by genuinely psychotic forces.
So then we end up having to fight wars that perhaps might not have even occurred had we been more proactive in creating the kinds of situations with our foreign policy over the last few decades that create less toxic conditions that make these psychotic forces so able. They are like opportunistic infections."
The audience also asked Williamson about her feelings about President Trump. Williamson responded, "I think this president clearly has fascist leanings, and I think that all of us, conservatives as well as liberals, need to stop pretending that this isn't true."
Williamson was asked, In today's hostile political environment, can a presidential bid be supported by love? If so, do you think love can win the White House? She responded, "Well, first of all, I think it's the only thing that can win the White House. I think far more people in this country love than hate. Far more, and that's true in this world. The problem we have today is that those who hate, hate with conviction. And conviction is a force multiplier.
Those who hate today, those who fear, they are effective, they are organized, and they are convicted. Those of us who love now need to become convicted and organized and strategize. We need to do more than small random acts of kindness. We need huge, strategized acts of doing the right thing. Look at terrorism. We know that -- hey, how powerful it is when it is turned into a political force. But it's nothing compared to how powerful love is when it's turned into a political force. That's what I'm trying to do with my campaign. That's the message I'm giving.
What we need to do is the right thing. We need to rescue these children. We need to pay reparations. We need to wage peace. We need to purify the heart of a nation, just like we need to purify our own hearts. And then when we do that, when we're honest about the darkness we need to deal with, we will get to such incredible light, and we will have a new birth of freedom, as Abraham Lincoln said. There is nothing compared to what this country is going to do when we release the truth of who we are."
Finally, Williamson was asked about debating Donald Trump?
Williamson said, "Let's not pretend that he would debate me, Dana. He would insult me. He would bait me, but he would not debate me. You know, what do you do with a child? How do you treat a psychopath?
I would not go in expecting a reasonable conversation. I would be open to a reasonable conversation. I would not go in expecting one. My conversation is with the American people.
I think we're so exhausted. I don't think the American people need me to tell them who Donald Trump is or what Donald Trump is. I'm going to tell the American people what America could be and what it will be if they elect me president."
Below are selected video clips available on CNN.com:
Video Clip: Williamson explains her qualifications for President
Description: Spiritual book author and presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson describes why she thinks she is qualified for President during a CNN town hall.
Video Clip: Hear Williamson's answer on reparations
Description: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson shares her views on reparations during a CNN town hall with Dana Bash.
Video Clip: Williamson: Let's not pretend Trump would debate me
Description: Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson swiped at President Trump when CNN's Dana Bash asked her how she would handle a debate with him.
Campaign Video: Marianne Williamson for President 2020
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