Marianne Williamson – Running for President on a Morality-Driven Platform | The Daily Show
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Marianne Williamson – Running for President on a Morality-Driven Platform | The Daily Show

-Welcome to the show. -Thank you
so much for having me on. It is an absolute pleasure
to have you on, especially considering
your journey in this race. When your name
was first announced, uh, it was
“Oprah’s spiritual advisor,” and I remember being like,
“I’m sorry, what?” Um, and then, you know,
when the debates came around you’re standing on the stage… And you are a spiritual person, you are somebody who speaks,
you know, in larger ideas that just what is happening. It seemed like
you were out of your depth. After the second debate, though, you were the most Googled name
in, I think, 49 states, and all of a sudden,
people went from “Marianne Williamson the joke”
to “Huh, maybe, uh, she says a few things we like.
Maybe she’s got a plan.” Why do you think you’re
connecting with so many people who first thought
that you were a joke? Well, first of all, even if you
look at the first debate, the substance of my words
were as serious as any substance
on that debate stage. It’s the way I delivered
my words was a little funny in a couple of places, but the
things I actually talked about -were as substantial as what I
talked about this time. -Right. I’m not saying anything
everybody I know isn’t saying. People have
a deeper conversation than the establishment,
conventional, political, uh, dialogue presents. And so I’m simply
talking about things -the way I believe people
talk these days. -Right. People understand
that more is going on than just externalities,
and people understand that if you want
to transform your life you’re going to have to
addr-address things on a deeper level than just
the fixes on the outside. You-you… Well, you do speak
about levels, consistently. Uh, levels or-or higher powers. For instance, that’s what
you said at one of the debates. You said, “This needs help
from a higher power.” Now, when I heard that
I was like, “But you’re running “for president
of the United States, so… is that the second-highest
power? What is…” This is a genuine question.
I would want to know, like, what-what do you believe
that means? Well, it’s interesting, because
Abraham Lincoln spoke that way. And this is… We’re living
in an aberrational time that the left has become
so over-secularized in its conversation.
When I was growing up, people like Martin Luther King,
people like Bobby Kennedy… Bobby Kennedy talked about
the soul of America -and a contest for the soul
of America. -Right. It’s only been in the last few
decades that the left has become so over-secularized
in its language. Traditionally, on the right,
there has been a focus -on issues of private morality.
-Right. But, traditionally, on the left,
there was a focus on issues of public morality. War and peace is a moral issue. But to our… W…
How we tax the rich and make it so much easier
for rich people to make… get richer and harder for
everybody else to even make it– that’s a moral issue. The fact that we have millions
of American children who go to school every day,
chronically traumatized, in schools that don’t even have
the adequate school supplies with which
to teach a child to read, and if that child cannot re…
learn to read by the age of eight, the chances
of high school graduation are drastically diminished and
the chances of incarceration are drastically increased–
in the richest country -in the world–
that’s a moral issue. -Mm-hmm. The fact that we have
13 million children who are hungry in America
is a moral issue. So, to me, issues of politics
should-should take as much moral consideration
and reflection as anything else. And the fact that we have
a society where we have made economic principle…
not an economic principle that has led us
to anything other than the largest wealth inequality
in-in almost a hundred years, one percent of Americans owning
more wealth than the bottom 90%, 40% of all Americans
struggling on a daily basis– what are we doing? -It’s interesting that you…
-What are we doing? Right, but you-you
have the numbers, clearly. And it feels like
you have intentionally geared your message
towards larger issues and-and a larger idea. I think,
in one of the first debates, you even said,
you specifically said, “It’s one thing
to go into the nitty-gritty, “but we’re not speaking
to the larger issues. “Donald Trump didn’t win by
talking about the nitty-gritty, he spoke about
the idea of America.” Is that what you think
people need to hear– is-is the idea of America
versus just the numbers? It’s the idea of leadership. It’s what I believe we need
in a president. Franklin Roosevelt said that
the, uh, administrative aspect of the presidency,
he said, is secondary. He said the primary role of the
presidency is moral leadership. It’s not what I believe
people need to hear, but it’s the conversation
I believe we need to have in order to navigate
the times in which we live. Right. Do you think, then, Donald Trump has as much
responsibility as a leader to be morally responsible
as he is in what he’s doing? Because people, many people
on the right will say, “Well, look, I mean, he says
some things and, you know, “yeah, I wish he wouldn’t tweet “and I wish
he wouldn’t say that, but at the end of the day,
he’s getting results.” Do you think America
should just be results-driven, or do you think there’s another
aspect of being president? Well, first of all,
look at the results. I don’t know what television
shows they’re watching, I don’t know what newspapers
they’re reading– this is an administration that
has gutted the Clean Air Act, it’s gutted the Clean Water Act, it has given permission
for chemical companies to sell pesticides that we know
are harmful to a child’s health. This is a… a…
an administration that, for the sake of $350 billion
in arms sales to Saudi Arabia is willing
to give aerial support to a genocidal war where
tens of thousands of people have died of starvation,
many of which are children, in a way that would make
our grandparents roll over in their graves–
these are the results. So when people say
he’s gotten results, yeah, he’s gotten results
so that a few of his friends can get even richer. These are the results
that we want? -This is…
-Let me ask you this, then. Let me ask you this. If I were to agree with you
on that point and say: Okay, you’re right,
these are moral arguments that people should be having. We’ve seen that Donald Trump
is willing and able to find people to write laws
that will support how he feels. -That is correct. -So what laws
would you then come in with on day one, what laws
would you try and enact that would comp…
you know what I mean, that would complement
how you feel? Because we know how you feel
about the issues, But what laws do you think,
concrete laws, -need to match that feeling?
-Well… absolutely. Bad laws got us here; good laws
will get us out of here. -Right. -First of all,
we need to pass a law, and not only legislation but probably also
constitutional amendment, for public funding
of federal campaigns. -Because right now we have a…
-(applause, cheering) (clears throat) Because the undue influence
of money, particularly corporate money,
on our governmental policy is the cancer underlying
all these other cancers. So that’s number one. -That’s what we’ve got
to deal with. -Mm-hmm. Then we need a massive infusion
of economic hope and opportunity into the life
of the average American. We’re going to get there
by repealing the 2017 tax cut, $2 trillion tax cut, that gave
83 cents of every dollar to the very richest individuals
and corporations. You put back in
the middle class tax cut. Notice that that’s not
an economic stimulus, that bill. Then you close those subsidies,
you stop those subsidies. Like, why did we pay $26 billion to the fossil fuel companies
alone last year in subsidies? Martin Luther King said:
“If they give it to rich people, “they call it a subsidy.
If they give it to poor people, they call it a handout.” Then you realize that our
government actually advocated and-and passed a law against the interests
of the American people, making it, because of all
the lobbying done by Big Pharma, that the United States
government cannot… cannot actually negotiate
for drug prices with big
pharmaceutical companies. Then I agree with Senator Warren
that we should have a three percent tax
on billionaires. We have a two percent… we
should have a two percent tax on people, $50 million or more. You do all that stuff, Trevor,
we’ve got some cash on hand. And then we start doing
what we should be doing. We take care of the…
(clears throat) -(cheering, whistling, applause)
-Mm! At the debates… one of your lines has become
iconic, and that is, uh, “We are not dealing
with a health care system, we are dealing
with a sick care system.” What does that mean? What it means is that
the conversation we’re having is how to treat people
once they’re sick. We also have to talk about why there’s so much more
chronic disease in America. -And why is that? -Well, because
of our chemical policies, our agricultural policies,
our food policies, our-our environmental policies,
and even our economic policies, given that our economic policies cause so much economic stress and anxiety on a daily basis. And stress causes illness. But so many times we’re not
talking about those things because in order to talk
about those things, we’d have to talk about policies
with chemical companies, and agricultural companies
and oil and gas and so forth. You-You seem to be somebody who is constantly trying
to find the balance between the spiritual
and the physical, you know. The ideas of what we do in the world,
and then what we feel, and what is changing
who we are as human beings. You have come under fire,
though, for some of those views
and how they’ve come across. For instance, people have said
Marianne Williamson is against vaccines, because,
I think, at one point, you compared forcing people
to get vaccines to Orwellian or Draconian ideas. What are your views on vaccines? Well, I’ve never said anything
bad about vaccines. I am pro vaccines. Infectious disease
is a very serious issue. And any time that there’s
a medical intervention, there’s both benefit and risk, and the government must always come down on the side
of the public good. There has been a conversation
over the last few years about mandatories,
and about exemptions, -religious exemptions,
personal exemptions. -Right. And when I made the comment
“that sounds Orwellian or Draconian,” uh,
I shouldn’t have said that. And I’m sorry about saying that. It was a glib way to talk
about that conversation. But I think
with all of these things, you know, I’m not anti vax. I’m-I’m the last– I’m the least
anti-science person, I’m the least anti-medicine
person you’ll ever meet. I’ve never told anyone
to get off their meds. I’ve never told anyone
not to take medication. Um… Right. People said that
specifically in and around, -for instance, depression.
-Yeah. People– You know,
you’ve spoken at length about how you feel people should
be dealing with depression. And some people felt like
you were saying, you know, “Get off your meds.
You don’t need them if you are depressed
as a person.” Well, no one felt that
who read what I said. That’s the problem
we have today. -But people, people don’t read,
though. -People don’t read. -But I-I found it…
-(laughter) I found it very disappointing, even on the left,
given that I am a progressive, that so much has been–
that has been repeated about me related to those things
come from websites, tweets, that are no different
than the, than the Enquirer. -Right.
-And I think that, you know, I think when you’re running
for office, if people disagree with you,
that’s democracy, but when people disagree
with you based on a false picture of you, a mischaracterization of you, that’s damaging
to our democracy. So what do you think people who struggle with depression
should do? Well, I think the issue
is what’s depression? There is, uh, deep depression. First of all,
I have never, um– Psychotherapeutic drugs
clearly have a, have a place
in some people’s lives. And I’ve never had any,
and never wandered into a lane having to do
with serious mental illness. What I’m talking about
is a spectrum of normal human despair. And with that spectrum
of normal human despair, I have 35 years of experience working very up close
and personal with people within that spectrum
of normal human despair. People who have been divorced,
whose lovers left, their spouse left,
someone they love died, uh, they had
a professional failure, uh, they went bankrupt,
their child is on drugs– there are all kinds of serious
stresses in people’s lives that are not a mental illness. So you feel that the U.S.
overprescribes? -Do you think that’s what it is?
-I, uh, you know, there’s this– People talk these days,
“mental health experts,” there are as many
“mental health experts” who are sounding the cry
with a concern about the over-prescription -of antidepressants now,
-That’s true. as there are talking about
the under-prescription. And, excuse me,
but what are we…? We are now living at a time where attorney generals
all over this country– it’s, I think,
something like 47 states– are now indicting
pharmaceutical executives for their known role
in the opioid crises. So, clearly, the government,
somewhere along the line, the fact that we now know that these
pharmaceutical executives overprescribed,
over-manufactured and over-marketed
painkillers. It’s not that painkillers
don’t have a place. Painkillers certainly
have a place, but we know that the greed led to predatory practices
on Big Pharma. Clearly, the government– somebody wasn’t regulating
correctly. All I’m saying
is that on everything we should, uh, should know that the American people
should feel safe. Clearly,
the FAA was too cozy -with-with Boeing,
-Boeing. or we wouldn’t have
the Boeing MAX disasters. Clearly, the EPA is-is-is
too cozy with Dow Chemical
or we wouldn’t be selling these pesticides
that we know harm a developing child’s brain. And, clearly, the FDA has been
too close with Big Pharma in the fact that we have
this opioid crises. This is not dangerous
to discuss. People are saying I’m crazy
and dangerous. I think what’s dangerous
and a little bit crazy is that we’re not discussing it. -And the fact…
-(cheering and applause) Let’s-let’s discuss… Let’s discuss, then,
one of the bigger issues that has really resonated
with many people from the debate, -and that is the issue
in and around reparations. -Yes. Where Marianne Williamson
at one point in the debate seemed like you were talking
about, you know, feelings and-and our stresses
as human beings and how to evolve
and how to find that center, when it came to reparations,
you came with the numbers. You were like, “Here’s
what black people are owed. “Here’s how much they’re owed. “Here’s how much black people
should be paid by America. “This is not a favor. This is repaying a debt.” Why have you been so adamant
about this issue? Because you’ve been in it
from the beginning. This has been one
of your core issues. Why? I’ve been talking about this
since my book Healing the Soul of America
came out in 1997. When you said earlier I seem to be balancing spiritual
and material, it’s not about balancing. It’s about applying
the spiritual to the material. -Hmm. -It’s about applying
spiritual principle in a practical way. One of those
spiritual principles is you can’t have
the future you want if you’re not willing
to clean up the past. Now, when Catholics go
to confession or when Jews,
on the holiest day of the year, the day of Yom Kippur, the days the Jew
confesses the sin, has a day of atonement… In Alcoholics Anonymous,
you’re told that you have to take
a fearless moral inventory and admit the exact nature
of your character defects. This is as true of a nation
as it is of an individual because all that a nation is
is a group of people. So the same psychological and
emotional processes are at play. America will not have
the future that we want if we’re not willing to clean up this original character defect
of racism. Now, I do not believe… It’s not my belief
or my experience that the average American
is a racist. It’s not. But I do think
that the average American is woefully undereducated
about the history of race in the United States. -So I find…
-(cheering and applause) So I find– and I find this in
the whitest states in America– that when you actually… I become a little
American history teacher for a few minutes,
and I talk about the fact that the first slaves
were brought over in six… -enslaved persons brought over
in 1619. -Mm-hmm. Slavery not abolished till 1865. That’s 250 years, followed by another 100 years of institutionalized violence
against black people. That’s 350 years
of institutionalized violence. That’s longer than this country
has been in existence. I tell people
about Tecumseh Sherman at the end of the Civil War promising to every
former slave family of four 40 acres and a mule. Because think about it. You’ve been a slave,
and now you’re free, but as Martin Luther King said
100 years later, they were freed,
but what were they freed to? So, I’m not minimizing
the sacrifices or struggles or successes of any of our ancestors,
black or white, but the issue
of economic restitution, that gap that existed
at the end of the Civil War has simply not been addressed. It has not been achieved,
and it’s time. So, Germany has given
$89 billion in reparations to Jewish organizations
since the end of World War II. Doesn’t mean
the Holocaust didn’t happen, but those reparations
have gone far towards establishing
reconciliation between Germany
and the Jews of Europe. And in 1988, Ronald Reagan signed
the American Civil Liberties Act where we gave
to every surviving prisoner of the Japanese internment camps
in World War II between $20,000 and $22,000. So the idea of a people
that has wronged another people giving financial restitution in acknowledgment of that wrong, in acknowledgment
of a debt to be paid and a willingness to pay it
is not a fringe idea and should not be treated
as such. -MAN: Preach!
-(cheering and applause) I’ll-I’ll tell…
I’ll tell you this. You sound a lot more sane when you have more than a minute
to speak. Marianne Williamson, everybody.


  • Hoss97

    She speaks of uneducated people and yep proves she is dumber than a box of rocks… Slavery started in America in 1654 when a BLACK man started it by claiming ownership of another person. There were also white/brown/Asian slaves, yet her white guilt uneducated ass doesn't mention that. Now who ended slavery again? Oh yeah whites. So attention to the black people that don't already know this. You are owed NOTHING! You are NOT victims! There is no such thing as white privilege! There is no such thing as institutionalized racism! You CAN be racist if you're a person of color! Racism does NOT mean owning more or not benefiting from or what ever else your stupid minds fathom up. It means You think your race is superior and there are A LOT of racist black people. I know the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but no matter how much you yell and cry falsehoods it wont make them true. Ignorance…

  • Brian Foster

    People call her crazy, which proves how stupid the American people are. She takes no corporate money and is much more honest than most of the other candidates.

  • Tim Shannon, ND

    Clearly what politics aught to be in a sane culture – talking about the truth, having integrity, looking to truly solve issues. Marianne continues to be the most open and for real of all the candidates in unveiling the deepest roots of the issues. Love Bernie, Warren too to some degree. Tulsi too somewhat. And Yang of course – awesome.
    But Marianne is the one that I would vote first. Yes, I like some of Bernie's ideas more, and some of the others. But on the whole, Marianne just gets it. If you listen to her in enough vids, you can see she just gets better and better.
    Problem is, polls often don't even include her – which means she CAN'T and most likely won't make it to the next debate – barring some sort of miracle. But given so many polls don't even include her, I think we'll be seeing less and less of her in the coming months. I hope I"m wrong.
    I have to admit, I'm jaded. Having good/great candidates is simply NOT enough. We need to be able to actually vote for them. Bernie was ripped off last time, which clearly means it can happen again. I hope we don't end up with Biden or Harris, but again, unless the DNC/Media stop meddling, that's what we'll get. We might beat Trump with those folks, but sort of a major letdown if we do. I fear it would drive so many even deeper into despair/hopelessness if we had another ho-hum corporate dem.
    Anyway, she's the bomb but I'm jaded that the truly visionary or folks with integrity just don't even get a chance. I hope it's different this time – who knows?

  • Kind Current

    SHE IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF MENTALITY GOVERNMENT NEEDS! She is not only educated on everything every other political figure knows, but has a broader more profound education of the universe from having ALSO chosen to take a spiritual journey! (That's an extremely personally tough, intimate life trajectory to attempt; bc it's an infinite process. I'm personally referring to a non-religious spiritual lifestyle/journey. Evolve, try it.) SHE'S ATTEMPTING TO HEAL THE DISCONNECT. She is tending to the whole, unveiling the illness of those in power and how that hurts us.

    She has had to deal with ignorant ridicule and edit her language to be understood and worse, respected? You don't have to like or understand someone to treat them with dignity. People have been fighting something unfamiliar, which ironically is what they need, rather than being curious to something they don't understand and doing some research. In the thick of the backlash due to the general level of education on government and spirituality, she is incredibly brave to persevere, she genuinely cares. I'm surprised and saddened that he was condescending. She's ahead of the game being treated as though she's an idiot. Presidents aren't the highest in awareness, intelligence or power, I didn't understand that question from him, etc.

  • Molly Spurgeon

    I've said this from when I first her talked — I would be totally down to be friends with her and I think she's a cool person to know. But no I do not think she should be president.

    PS I think she's right about pretty much all of what she said I just don't think she's any more capable than Donald Trump was for his opposing Utopia.

  • Dab Science

    This woman seems like she would a decent fit somewhere in the government but not as president. And she doesn't have the inkling of a chance, lets be real here.

  • J Z

    I‘m a Chinese living in Europe, so from completely 3rd party point of view: it‘ll be a Bless to America if this Lady is elected!! Full respect to her! Sooo sober and right to the point!

  • Lucy Alvarez

    I was never a die hard Daily Show fan until I saw this interview. Trevor, thank you for giving Marianne the space to tell her story and her views. Trevor is the only one I've seen so far treat her with respect to have her finish her thoughts without interrupting her. I'm a Trevor Noah fan now!



  • NEO G YO

    I really think she's got the best mind for the presidency. Not sure America is ready for her yet, but maybe …? btw – check her out on the Breakfast Club if you want to go deeper!, she's really got a competent understanding of the world. Her father, an immigration lawyer had a profound influence on her.

  • Joshua A. Kennedy

    I was worryed about having a scarlet running for office. But I think she on the right path but I feel she needs to dig deeper into some of her policy.

  • Perception

    Hey guys she got her required donations ! Good job to all.. Now if e could just come to gether to give her that 2% Boost in the polls !

  • David Kerley

    I've followed Marianne Williamson since the 1980s when I lived in Los Angeles and she spoke weekly on issues of spirituality based on her understanding of A Course in Miracles. I've always admired her. That said, I think her run for president is slightly misplaced. Maybe she's seeking a larger audience to spread a message I happen to believe in strongly. I feel she'd be better in a national role as advisor to the president on a number of national issues. She's still one of my heroes.

  • SheStuckItToTheMan

    WE NEED HER! I am terrified that Biden is going to get the primary vote. He is more of the same that we've seen- unapologetic/ sexually assaulting the women he's around. She is able to be humble, creative and compassionate. Turn out to vote in the primaries!!! Vote for her!!!

  • Cynthia Daniel

    Imagine Marianne Williamson and Bill DeBlasio together as a team. One with the vision for change and drawn path to it and the other with knowledge on how to apply it and capacity to make it come alive. So much synergy

  • Parijat Desai Dance Productions

    My friends and family scoffed when I expressed interest and excitement when MW announced her candidacy. But I am truly glad for it, and for how she is expressing my views! We are so lucky that so many brave and strong women have been running, and speaking their/our truths so brilliantly. Trevor thank you for conducting a respectful and fruitful interview. Yes to spirituality + the Left. It's about time.

  • Sharaya Smith

    . . . because of the ADOS movement, Antonio Moore and Yvette Carnell. Reparations is where we should start the conversation.

  • Rainbow Gal

    I hope she also begins to speak about acknowledging the invasion and genocide of native beings for over 500 years that is still occurring…human, buffalo, all life on turtle island. This land was lush and alive, now it's filled with malls and concrete and deadly chemicals. We are dying. She can help us, if we help her.

  • K cain

    Yoooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I had to pause the video. 9:21. I was enjoy this conversation already and then, this woman SAID SORRY about a mistake she made? Good God Almighty. CHECK OUT ALL THE CANDIDATES. VOTE 2020!!!!!!!!!!!

  • S. Raheem Blount

    She's like the John Cena of the Democratic Nominees. I'm supporting her no matter what the opposition may throw her way.

  • Michael Nattoo

    Wait a damn minute… I thought this woman was crazy, but it now feels like I was being crazy for thinking that she was crazy. Am I the only one? Lol. She just made a supporter out of me.

  • Joanna Wagner

    I would love to see her in charge of domestic policy and Tulsi Gabbard in charge of foreign policy. This country might be sane for once.

  • Eileen Powers

    Go Marrianne!! I have been listening to you for years. Found you through Hay House publishing. You trying to make happen all that I believe. Keep up the great conversations and talks with those that will get your word out there. Trevor, your the best!!

  • Marne O

    Trevor's interviews are the best place to get to know the democratic candidates. By the end of each interview I feel I have a good sense of the candidate's position and strengths.

  • Filipe Almeida

    Honest question: about reparations for slavery, how exactly do we go about identifying, with a satisfactory degree of precision, who should be receiving payments?

  • simpleplanfan011

    That’s why they didn’t want her to speak for very long. She’s incredibly sane and knowledgeable. They don’t want her to have a chance so making her look crazy is their best bet.

  • Otis Thelonius

    13:49 Folks don't want to hear this truth tho.
    15:50 Folks don't want to hear this truth tho.
    But yet #RedLining is a figment of our imagination
    All we ever wanted was opportunity on an equal playing field. But No… "Tighten Up Your Boot Straps" they said; "Just Work Hard" they said;
    Kinda easy to say when the work was done for you and you can just pass down to generations while shutting out those that bled and died for an existence they were forced to live.

  • organic Bunny June

    I absolutely love her I hope that she actually gets a place in our government she is amazing she says everything that is real everything that is true she is my new hero

  • KenMix

    I don't see Joe Biden or Kamala Harris or any of those hacks getting on talk shows and podcasts and appearing genuine to the American People

  • Karen Aenlle

    I don’t know about you people but I don’t want to be forced to take any medications by the state, whether it be antidepressants or vaccines, it is something I should decide to do with my doctor. Not coerced into. Just a thought:)

  • Shirley Blackwell

    Maryanne speaks absolute truth.
    Morality ethics and principles, this is what true leadership looks and feels like.
    My dream team would be TulsiMaryanne2020

  • jobokidd

    Marianne is lovely, but I prefer Andrew Yang's policies, he's so freaking smart!! He would make this country amazing!

  • Netra Stocker

    her opinions make her an easy target for major news outlets. every station talks about this woman as though she's on hard drugs meanwhile she's SUCH a sweet endearing person.. I hope this video spreads like wild fire and she gains more supporters. it would def be a change of pace for the Whitehouse for sure.

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