Marianne Williamson’s most memorable moments
Author and activist Marianne Williamson had several memorable moments during the second Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night in Detroit.
During the first hours of the debate, Google searches for Williamson’s name spiked noticeably higher than those of her opponents. An hour and a half into the debate, Williamson had spoken fewer words than any of the other candidates onstage except former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Despite having little speaking time, Williamson was the most-Googled candidate in every single state except for Montana, where Governor Steve Bullock was the most-Googled candidate, according to Google Trends.
Williamson who drew plenty of attention in the first Democratic presidential debate after telling the crowd she’s “going to harness love for political purposes,” had several more unusual moments at tonight’s debate.
‘Dark psychic force’
When asked what she would do to prevent another water crisis like the one that rocked Flint, Mich., Williamson said Flint was “just the tip of the iceberg.” Williamson, who has made racial reconciliation a cornerstone of her campaign, called the environmental injustice plaguing disadvantaged communities and communities of color “the dark underbelly of American society.”
She said the problem in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe, an affluent, majority-white suburb of Detroit where Williamson raised her daughter.
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” she continued.
Key takeaways: Marianne Williamson on the ‘dark psychic force’, and other top moments of Tuesday’s Democratic debate
On slavery reparations
CNN moderator Don Lemon asked Williamson what makes Williamson “qualified” to determine how much is owed in reparations for descendants of slavery. Williams is calling for $200 billion to $500 billion to be paid over 20 years. Lemon called Williamson’s plan “up to $500 billion in financial assistance,” which Williams corrected him on.
“Well, first of all, it’s not $500 billion in ‘financial assistance,’ it’s $200 billion to $500 billion payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is.
Williamson said it’s time for some “truth-telling” and said there were 250 years of slavery in America followed by 100 years of “domestic terrorism.”
“It is time for us to simply realize that is country will not heal — all that country is a collection of people. People heal when there is some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with.”
Williamson said she’s done the math, which is what makes her qualified to propose the amount she has. She called the number “politically feasible.”
“If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 (million) to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, and they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four, if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult.”
‘I hope they’ll come back to me next time’: Marianne Williamson speaks up during the debate
Her ‘Seinfeld’ moment
When moderator Jake Tapper asked about the issue of gun safety, Williamson took aim at the National Rifle Association and other corporate donors for their ‘chokehold’ on politicians.
“None of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns,” Williamson said. “But for politicians including my fellow candidates who themselves have taken tens of thousands and in some cases of hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors to think that they now have the moral authority to now say we’re going to take them on I don’t think the Democratic party should be surprised that so many Americans believe ‘yada, yada, yada.'”
Many on Twitter were quick to point out the connection to an episode of the 90’s sitcom Seinfeld tilted ‘The Yada Yada.’
‘I almost wonder why you’re Democrats’
CNN’s Dana Bash asked Williamson about making colleges free for all students and if the government should also pay for college for children from wealthier families. Williamson said the eliminating student debt is the best way to stimulate the U.S. economy.
“If we get rid of this college debt, think of all the young people who will have the discretionary spending,” Williamson said. “They’ll be able to start their business. The best thing you can do stimulate the U.S. economy is to get rid of this debt. This is not just about a plan to do it, it’s about a philosophy of governing.”
To cheers and applause from the crowd, Williamson added, “I’ve heard some people here tonight – I almost wonder why you’re Democrats. You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace and that is how we will have prosperity.”
Contributing: Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
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