Williamson teases potential return to presidential race at Everybody Reads


It’s been a long and winding road for Marianne Williamson, a noted lecturer, self-help author, former spiritual director of a megachurch in Warren and two-time former presidential candidate. She also admits to hitting the road as a young woman in pursuit of happiness, which led her to “bad boys and good dope.”

Last Thursday (Feb. 22), the winding road led her to a podium at Everybody Reads on East Michigan Avenue. Her decades of addressing audiences have turned her into a dynamic speaker. She didn’t stumble like other political candidates, and she used no notes during her 45-minute talk in front of close to 50 avid fans.

She took the opportunity to roar through her political platform of abortion rights, reparations, renewable energy and other climate change responses, vaccinations and ending the war on drugs.

She also mentioned that she may rejoin the 2024 presidential race after suspending her campaign earlier this month. Whatever path she chooses, she can always fall back on her writing career, having published 15 books, four of which hit No. 1 on The New York Times’ best-sellers’ list, according to her campaign website.

During the talk, Williamson stepped into the audience after a young Black veteran told an emotional story of being terrified at a local park by another parkgoer who addressed him with his hand on his sidearm. Williamson provided counseling for the veteran while reinforcing his point of view. It was a moving moment and an unscripted jolt of humanity.

Williamson has a lot of experience in responding to moments like this, and she’s able to pull quotes of support from her books seemingly at will. Her first book, “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of ‘A Course in Miracles,’” set the tone for those that would follow, using simple religious and spiritual tracts to underline the use of love in establishing a saner worldview and a more peaceful relationship among citizens. Here are a few of those lines, which often find a place in her speeches:

“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”

“Only do what you feel called in your heart to do, and then give all of yourself to the task.”

“Love is the essential reality and our purpose on Earth. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”

“Our key to transforming anything lies in our ability to reframe it.”

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

These types of quotes resonate with her devoted readers, but they apparently haven’t been catchy enough to capture voters. Perhaps she needs to be more mean and less meaningful.

But last week, for a single day at a quiet bookstore in Lansing, a group of Williamson’s supporters cheered quietly as she talked about poverty, unfair incarceration, reparations and a host of other hot-button topics.

Even if Williamson does revive her run for the presidency, it appears she may be a voice crying in the wilderness of reality. But that doesn’t keep her from rattling the cages of the establishment, which she began doing about five minutes into her presentation at Everybody Reads when she took on the CEO of cereal company Kellogg’s for a comment he made about eating cereal for dinner.

“That’s insane. Hunger shouldn’t be someone else’s business model,” she said.

She further railed against modern capitalism, saying, “Short-term profits for corporations take precedence.”

She also said her two presidential campaigns faced “efforts to muzzle her candidacy” and that “only those with big money have a chance to win.”

She did acknowledge that despite suspending her campaign, she is still on the ballot in Michigan, and individuals could still “choose to vote for me if they feel moved to do that.”

“If I unsuspend my campaign, I could continue to get enough votes to get delegates and have a voice,” she said.

Despite the challenges of the campaign, she still believes that “you pray in the morning and kick ass in the afternoon.”


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