You have probably never heard of her unless, like me, you remember her from Oprah’s show back in the day when Oprah was making stars out of people involved in whatever trend captured her interest at any given time. Like Dr. Phil and fitness trainer Bob Greene, Oprah introduced New Age guru Marianne Williamson to America. Williamson at the time was an author and Oprah helped her sell a lot of books. Her feel-good mumbo-jumbo ideas were all the rage among the elites in Hollywood and others seeking some kind of spiritual renewal.
Now Williamson is running for the 2020 Democrat nomination for president and to put it gently, she’s a long shot candidate. Real Clear Politics doesn’t even include her name in their poll averages on the list of other candidates running to be the DNC’s nominee. Her favorable/unfavorable rating is 8.0% favorable to 14.5% unfavorable. She qualified to be on the debate stage, though, so soon enough anyone interested in hearing from her will get a chance to do so. Hey, I wonder what Democrat voters will think when they learn that Marianne Williamson is a big ole anti-vaxxer. She’s sung the same song for more than 30 years but now that she’s seeking the highest political office in the land, her opinions are under an increased level of scrutiny.
Ms. Williamson was a guest on ABC’s The View Thursday morning. The interview took a turn when the show’s token conservative, Meghan McCain, asked her about her anti-vaccination stance. She made the point when pressed by the panel of hosts, that she “supports vaccines” just not mandatory vaccinations. She looks at the subject as one of personal freedom.
“I understand the issue of public safety must come first. But I also understand that we must have a balance between public safety and the issues of individual freedom,” she told the show’s hosts and said that she doesn’t trust the “propaganda on either side.”
2020 hopeful @marwilliamson on mandatory vaccinations: “I understand the issue of public safety must come first … [but] we must have a balance between public safety and the issues of individual freedom. I do not trust the propaganda on either side.” https://t.co/cywLWxHwNL pic.twitter.com/vhW1zxvQUd
— The View (@TheView) June 20, 2019
The discussion on The View came after a blunder the night before. Williamson told a reporter in New Hampshire that mandatory vaccinations are “draconian” and “Orwellian” and then she tossed a live grenade on those words. She conflated mandatory vaccinations with abortion rights. Yikes!
Williamson has been critical of vaccinations for years, attributing the rise of vaccination mandates to powerful pharmaceutical companies. On Wednesday night, the candidate reportedly called the concept of mandatory vaccinations “draconian” and “Orwellian” at a Manchester, New Hampshire event.
“To me, it’s no different than the abortion debate,” Williamson said at the event, according to a tweet by an NBC News reporter. “The U.S. government doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child.”
She soon apologized for that bone-headed move. Early the next morning she tweeted out the apology.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) June 20, 2019
So, the ladies of The View were ready for her later that morning, no one more so than Meghan McCain. Ms. Williamson laid her opinion at the feet of “Big Pharma”.
“You’re talking a lot about children of America, the children, how much you care about children, you also just came out as the anti-vaxxer candidate,” McCain said to Williamson on Thursday.
“What about the kids exposed to measles and all of that, and the people suffering because of the measles outbreak?” McCain continued “Why would you say that?”
Williamson immediately pushed back, insisting that she was not an anti-vaxxer and claiming that she misspoke. The candidate shared a similar message on Twitter, although continued to assert that people should be skeptical of “Big Pharma.”
By Friday’s show, as the women were previewing the upcoming debates, McCain said that some of the candidates are simply wasting everyone’s time and will never have hopes of being elected President of the United States. As she went off, she began with John Delaney and Jay Inslee. “It doesn’t take a political scientist… to know that some of these people ain’t never going to be president. You ain’t never going to be president now,” Meghan McCain said. Then she turned her criticism to Marianne Williamson.
“I’m not trying to be a hater… and like, literally with some of this stuff, I do think there are some of these people running for president, yes it’s admirable to run for president, but at a certain point, Marianne Williamson, you’re wasting our collective time and I’d like to see people who are extremely serious that can win.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin pushed back on that, suggesting that none of them thought then-candidate Donald Trump would become president when he first took the debate stage.
“You think Marianne Williamson’s going to blow it out for everybody, Sunny? Come on,” McCain said,” prompting audience laughter.
And, just like that, the Williamson campaign wants an apology from Ms. McCain.
“For the second day running, Meghan McCain has chosen to attack and misrepresent who Marianne Williamson is and her stance on the issues,” began a statement from Williamson’s campaign manager Maurice Daniel.
“Meghan McCain owes Marianne Williamson an apology,” Daniel added. “For addressing Williamson rudely, dismissively and with total disrespect, and for comparing her to Donald Trump which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“Meghan McCain’s words and deeds are what is wrong with American politics,” said Daniel concluding his statement. “The entitled and those entrenched in the establishment do not want to hear a different message. American voters do.”
I won’t hold my breath.