New York Times bestselling author Marianne Williamson is expected to announce her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for president on March 4, making her the first and possibly the only serious challenger for President Joe Biden.
Williamson earned some celebrity during the 2020 presidential race, where some of her common-sense and idealistic remarks during a few initial presidential primary debates won her some acclaim.
However, her candidacy lasted one year, and she dropped out in January 2020, before endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders, who was then in a competitive race for the Democratic nomination with Biden.
“Whether it’s the military industrial complex, prison industrial complex, food industrial complex, gun industrial complex, insurance industrial complex, pharmaceutical industrial complex, agricultural industrial complex, fossil fuel industrial complex, banking industrial complex, transportation industrial complex, media industrial complex, or political industrial complex, it’s a hegemonic monopolistic sociopathic economic organism with tentacles that are squeezing the life force out of our society,” said Williamson in a message posted on social media. “Gotta fix that.”
“We need to begin a new chapter in American history, with enough of us willing to have a meaningful conversation about what we need to end now and what’s struggling to be born,” said Williamson. “What needs to end is an era of corruption brought about by our second Gilded Age, an era in which corporate profits were placed before the safety, health and well-being of people and planet.”
“What needs to be born is an era in which we push back against such institutional abuse, return our government to one ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people,’ and replace soulless economic values with humanitarian values that honor us all and the earth on which we live,” said Williamson. “Other generations before us have done it. Now it’s our turn.”
Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit that has delivered more than 14 million meals to ill and dying homebound patients since 1989. The group was created to help people suffering from the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
She has also worked throughout her career on poverty, anti-hunger, and racial reconciliation issues. In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance and proposed the creation of a U.S. Department of Peace.
She launched a campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and appeared in several Democratic presidential debates
Williamson has written 13 books. Seven have been on the New York Times bestseller list, with four reaching number one. In addition to being a successful author, in 2021 she launched MarianneWilliamson.Substack.com.
If she is successful in winning the White House, Williamson would be both the first Jewish president and the first woman to hold the office.
Williamson criticized Biden for changing the Democratic primary calendar to make South Carolina’s primary the first sanctioned contest in an apparent effort to rig the process in favor of the incumbent president, who in 2020 overwhelmingly won the Palmetto State’s primary.
Biden said South Carolina’s diverse electorate deserved a greater voice than the smaller, more white populations of Iowa and New Hampshire.
“I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time,” Williamson told the Medill News Service, which is produced by Northwestern University graduate journalism students in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
This time, though, other Democrats who aspire to the office have yet to announce any intentions to run, waiting to see President Biden’s moves. The president has indicated that he will run for reelection but hasn’t yet made a formal announcement. Several prominent Republicans have already announced their candidacy, including former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
In the interview, Williamson described the country as in the midst of a threat of authoritarianism, where corporate oligarchs, fossil fuel companies, gun manufacturers, and the military-industrial complex “suck the juice” out of democracy. She said lawmakers are not doing enough to curtail corporate power.
“People who run the government are divided into two categories, those who either don’t care to fix it, or do not have the spine to fix it. And neither category should be running this country,” she said.
Earlier this month, the Democratic Party voted to change the order of presidential primaries in the 2024 election, with South Carolina replacing Iowa as the first primary state. Williamson described the move as an effort to engineer the primary in favor of Biden.
“How can you claim to be a champion of democracy when your own process is so undemocratic?”
During her previous candidacy, Williamson said the media intentionally mischaracterized her work and mission.
“They tried to paint me as silly, they tried to paint me as unserious because they know I’m not,” she said.
Despite her frustrations with the state of politics, Williamson remained hopeful that Americans, specifically young people, will rise to the occasion of this moment.
“What we’re experiencing is the latest iteration of forces who put their property rights and their short-term economic gain before the health, safety and well-being of the majority of people. Other generations have pushed back against that. Now it’s our turn to do that.”
Williamson’s campaign announcement event will take place at 2 p.m. on March 4, and will be available via livestream on Williamson’s social media link.