Can We Elect Marianne Williamson to Congress?

by Vishnu on October 28, 2013

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson- our next Congresswoman?

“The world won’t step into its greatness until we step into ours.” Marianne Williamson

Quick – Can spiritual people get elected to political office?

 That’s a question I’d like to ask you to answer after you’re done reading this post.

But first, last week was an exciting day for the spirituality and consciousness community.

For me, it wasn’t just because I had a chance to meet Marianne Williamson at the ARC theater in Los Angeles, but like many of us, I heard the refreshing news that she’s running for Congress in California’s 33rd district.

If you’re not familiar with Williamson, she is an international spiritual author, writer and speaker who has written 10 best-selling books, including the New York Times Bestseller, a Return to Love.

It felt like there was  a standing ovation in the heavens when Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy.

The spiritual and consciousness communities around the United States have enthusiastically embraced her candidacy for all that Marianne stands for.

Soul sister, Heather Waxman, applauded Marianne’s ability to set the trend for a change in consciousness in the political sphere and urged us to get involved.

Mastin Kipp declared her victory. “When Marianne wins, it will inspire other seekers to run for office. And one after the other, we will begin to transform the political arena just like we are transforming every other part of life,” he wrote last week on the Daily Love.

Now that Marianne’s in this race, she’s intent on winning this election so she can be an independent voice who represents everyday people – not the moneyed interests or the special interests who run this country.

Having worked in campaign politics myself for the past 10 years, I know that there are many challenges that Marianne faces in winning a race like this, including the fact she’s running against a 36-year incumbent of Congress, a gerrymandered political district that favors the incumbent and heaps of special interest money.

Seven Practical Political Strategies to Win this Race.

If I were advising Marianne Williamson, like this were a traditional political campaign, here are seven campaign strategies on how to win this election:

1) Tell her life story to voters and relate how her personal story and life’s work is in stark contrast to others in the race who have made a career out of politics.

2) Distinguish herself on issues that matter to constituents in her district, specifically her views on the recent government shutdown and her take on the debt ceiling debate. Also, her own platform on jobs, education, the military, the prison system and the environment.

3) Informing voters how she can make her vision a reality. What are practical things she will do if elected today? Letting voters know the specifics of her platform and candidacy.

4) Listening to her constituents. Begin a series of town halls and house parties in her district where she can listen to the concerns of voters in her district.

5) Recruit, organize and inspire her constituents, supporters and readers in the district to reach out and talk to voters in the district. Start a conversation with voters about what issues matter to them and introduce voters to Marianne’s background and vision for a new kind politics, a politics that transcends party and money.

6) Pledge against taking money from lobbyists and large special interest political action committees. And challenge the other candidates to do the same. Also, shed light on exactly how much special interest money her opponent takes from the very industries he’s supposed to be regulating (especially energy and pharmaceutical companies).

Continue to mobilize the spiritual and consciousness community around the country to donate to the campaign and raise funds from smaller individual donors. (I just donated by the way and encourage you to as well by visiting: www.marianneforcongress.com)

7) Have days of action in the district where the community can join Marianne to volunteer, clean up and start taking direct action to improve the lives of regular people in the 33rd Congressional district.

Now, back to the question I had for you.

Many spiritual leaders, including Martin Luther King and Gandhi, had to launch movements outside of elected office. They used their moral authority to change the social and political structures.

What will it take to have someone who is spiritually-minded win an election?

Is it possible for spirit-filled and consciousness-based leaders to win in the rough and tumble world of money and power ingrained in our political system? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

{ 35 comments }

Keith October 28, 2013 at 1:29 am

Hi Vishnu,

This is indeed inspiring to hear. I would like to see someone with a fresh perspective anywhere in the world be able to make a change. I will be honest and say I stopped following politics some time ago because there eventually became very little difference between candidates and everything was about getting votes rather than establishing real change. So I have become a bit cynical in the political arena, for now.

It really will be about how well Marianne gets her message across and connects with people. People that are looking at things likes taxes and benefits, just focusing on the immediate needs in front of them (levels one and two on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) will want to know what she is going to do to help and how. Then she will have to deal with the power of the corporate machine in opposition. Her strength to persevere will be key, and any public compromise on the values she espouses in order to gain votes could undo her very quickly. She has a big challenge

It is time for a change, and I am all in favour of someone that genuinely tries to do it. I will watch her progress with interest and I am sure you will keep me updated :)
Keith recently posted..15 Steps To Moving On After LossMy Profile

Vishnu November 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Hi Keith – I think a lot of us stopped watching politics or getting involved because it seems like it doesn’t really matter who wins because they all kind of do the same thing at the end of the day.

As an author, Marianne has done a great job in delivering her message to readers – can that also be applied in the political realm? We will all have to wait and see how voters respond. Yes, I will gladly keep you posted on this race and how she runs against the corporate interests who try to stop or slow her campaign down.

I’m sure all the political pundits and news media will be keeping a close eye on this one as well.

richmiraclefiles October 28, 2013 at 4:22 am

Hi Vishnu
This announcement certainly comes as a breath of fresh air for lots of seekers over the world.Especially,more than any other political compulsion,it also heralds the beginning of a new consciousness entering governance.
Certainly it’s a baby step forward,but then all baby steps count.
I endorse your bullet no.5 where Marianne would do good to recruit folks in alignment with a positive oreintation. That’s fantastic
Thanks for the informative post
Mona
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Vishnu November 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Glad you enjoyed the post, Mona. Ultimately, her running in this race will be of symbolic importance (at the very least) to others. She will be a voice of consciousness & will help inspire others to get involved in politics.

Razwana October 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

The difficulty is getting over the cynicism of the voters. Are we in an age where spiritual leaders will be taken seriously?

Spiritual or not, candidates that address the issues of the public, and connect with them, will get the vote. But I have a feeling my opinion is far too simplistic…. What do you think, Vishnu?
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Vishnu November 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I think Marianne’s case will be a test run, Razwana.

Typically, yes, the candidate who connects with voters win. But the media environment, unlimited moneyed interests and the 2 party system in the U.S. are challenging factors for any new political candidates on the scene.

We’ll have to see if people are so fed up with the current Congress that they’ll vote for any and every alternative candidate – including spiritual leaders.

Martha Orlando October 28, 2013 at 5:46 am

I love the advice you would give this candidate! This country desperately needs people like Marianne to run for office and win. Day after day, we see the disaster of a government run by those without faith or conscience. I hope Marianne will win!
Blessings, Vishnu!
Martha Orlando recently posted..Give Me a Break!My Profile

Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm

hi Martha, not only Marianne, but I think we need more folks with a spiritual conscience in public office. She’s a trail-blazer and someone who will re-frame and change the political discourse in this country. Looking forward to seeing how she runs this race and how voters in her district respond.

Thanks for your comment and support, Martha.

Amita October 28, 2013 at 6:07 am

This is a fantastic post on such wonderful news! As she is an inspirational speaker, I am confident that sharing her story and opinions through a spiritual lens will help her constituents to shift their perspective on their lives and politics as a whole. I trust that she will reframe the issues while still being accessible. After all, debating education and telling people to choose love would not be serving as directly as she could. I trust that she will incorporate her message while addressing issues directly. Thanks for this post. I donated and hope she wins!
Amita

Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for contributing Amita and your comment here.

I think having her candidacy can change the debate and dialogue, as you point out. I think she’ll be incorporating her message in talking about civic issues. I’m hoping for clear plans, practical solutions and how her philosophy will work for people in her district.

Her challenge will be to articulate that to voters and I’m sure she will do that.

Glad you liked the post.

Tim Brownson October 28, 2013 at 6:57 am

In The Shadow Effect, Marianne Williamson claimed to know how God thinks.

Isn’t that rather an unfair advantage over other candidates?
Tim Brownson recently posted..6 Reasons Einstein Was A Self Development GuruMy Profile

Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Lol. I think we’re going to need God on our side to win this race, Tim :) It can’t hurt to have God rooting for you.

Tim Brownson November 4, 2013 at 6:12 am

My problem with God is he’s so fickle. He seems to support a different football team every year, flip flops back and forth on his political affiliations and can’t even decide which is his favorite country.

And all that’s true because I have heard people claim it with total and utter certainty.

Having said that, I’m just grateful we have somebody entering politics who knows how God thinks because usually politicians are just too damn humble.

Chances of her winning?

Probably as close to zero as you can get. People who already love her will vote for he, but they aren’t enough. The chances of her persuading people who don’t know her are remote once the dirty tricks advertising rolls into full effect.

Then again she knows God, so as I said, that does giver he a slight edge. Presuming that is he’s not at some random sports event on the day of the election.
Tim Brownson recently posted..How To Beat Your Negativity BiasMy Profile

Vishnu November 10, 2013 at 8:34 am

Well, I have no response to people knowing how God thinks. I’ll have to check in myself with the Big Guy to get His views on this race, Tim :)

There is a small chance of winning but if there’s a deep desire to make a fundamental shift in US politics, she has a shot! And if people are angry enough with the other candidates and Congress, she has an even better opportunity. And if she hires me to run her campaign, she might win. (kidding!)

Maybe winning is ultimately just being in the race and bringing her voice and what she stands for into the conversation :)

Alexandria Simpson October 28, 2013 at 7:22 am

How exciting to see a spiritual leader like Marianne Williamson run for Congress! I think your advice is perfect! She should definitely get out into the community and act! I think people are tired of hearing promises from politicians. The “days of action” are key! Voters will take notice when they see her making a difference.
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

hey Alex, thanks for your visit and comment :) It is exciting and she will have to see how much she can change the political debate and discussion in our country. I hope there’s days of action in her district – I would plan on attending if there was.

Balroop Singh October 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Hi Vishnu
I don’t know much about politics and eligible persons for elections but one thing is very clear in my mind…spiritual leaders [if they are really serious about their niche] should stay away from such tasks. keeping your feet on too many boats often proves disastrous! She cannot be both or do you think representing people as an elected candidate doesn’t have any serious work to do? And that is the main reason I feel she is not the right candidate.

Gandhi never opted for any political posts and that is why he was so successful! Politicians are after all politicians at the end of the day and those who don’t accept to be typical politicians are often failures.
Balroop Singh recently posted..PEOPLE ARE LIKE AN OCEANMy Profile

Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for your comment here, Balroop.

You raise a good point – should spiritual leaders be primarily involved in their niche of spirituality or can they move into other realms, like the political one?

From what I’ve read and heard in Marianne’s instance, she makes the case that as a person of spiritual influence and being guided by God, she simply couldn’t sit back and do nothing. She believed it’s her moral duty to get involved and that citizens must get engaged in politics if the present system is not working.

Before we can see how good she’ll do in politics, she’ll have to see if she can get elected first. Will voters be open to someone with a spiritual background? We’ll have to wait how this election progresses.

Hiten October 30, 2013 at 7:22 am

Hi Vishnu,

For me personally, I usually need to just see one case in order to actually believe that something is possible. Therefore, it’s great to hear about Marianne’s story as it shows that leaders who are spirituality centric can rise in the world of politics.

There are many aspects of politics that can indeed have a spiritual undertone. I hope that Marianne continues to make strides in this instance and that the number of people voting for her continues to increase.

Thank you.
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm

hi Hiten – well, she’s definitely in the race and we’ll all be able to see how well she is able to do in a few months time. While there is plenty of room for spirituality and spiritual leaders in politics, there have not been many spiritual leaders yet to be elected into the American political system.

Hoping that Marianne will be the first. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

Steve October 30, 2013 at 9:08 am

So the big question is if spiritual people can get elected to political office. Hmm, my first instinct is to say yes, I think they can. Although they might have more difficulty. It might depend on how the spirituality is presented to the public. Or maybe the opposition would use misleading quotes from some books she’s written? I don’t live in Los Angeles so I don’t know what the situation going on there is.

Sometimes elections can surprise you. When I lived in Minneapolis, we surprised Congress by electing a Muslim representative. It’s not a majority Muslim area either.
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hey Steve, I too think it can be done but the way elections are bought and paid for in the U.S. and the party politics of our current system makes it challenging for third party candidates to win. But you’re right – anything is possible with elections.

I’m looking forward to keeping up and staying involved with Marianne’s race. It is one of the more interesting areas she is running to represent- Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and other nearby areas in the district.

Cathy Taughinbaugh October 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Great news Vishnu. Marianne in politics, that is definitely something to be grateful for. I would think she would be a refreshing change, a bright light to lead us into a new direction. Wonderful picture of the two of you and wonderful that you were able to meet her.
Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted..Prevention Makes a Difference: Meet Chris Kelly, Part TwoMy Profile

Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hey Cathy – yes, it was great to meet her and hear her speak. I went to her lecture on spirituality, not politics, but looking forward to more of her political events. Her candidacy is a welcoming and refreshing change.

Wendy Irene November 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I’m so excited that Marianne Williamson is running for congress! I’ll be sending all my positive vibes. And I am very excited for you that you got to meet her. Awesome picture!!
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hey, Wendy, I’m excited too and was really a miracle that I ended up in the part of town she was speaking it.

She stayed until everyone who wanted to meet her had a chance to.

Dave Arnold November 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Good thoughts. I think faith-based people should be in politics. We need solid, moral people.
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for your feedback Dave. I’m with you!

Vidya Sury November 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

How interesting, Vishnu.

To answer your question – why not? It would be a wonderful way to heal the world.

I loved what you wrote: “It felt like there was a standing ovation in the heavens when Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy.” Sweet!
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Vishnu November 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thanks Vidya – it would be wonderful to get someone like Marianne elected! She would be far different than most of our elected officials in D.C. now.

Li-ling November 7, 2013 at 6:25 am

Hi Vishnu, How great that you got to meet Marianne in person.

While part of me feels that joining politics, seems a bit like succumbing (e.g. if you can’t beat them join them idea), it will certainly be an interesting election to watch, but more than anything it makes a refreshing change from the ‘talk’ of change.

Not being a fan of Russell Brand anyway, his recent Call for Revolution, certainly brought to mind how different approaches to creating change can be.

I certainly hope Marianne does manage to make a difference in this election, and that even if she does not win, she will continue to work towards creating the change that she believes in.
Li-ling recently posted..Learning to Let Go, Learning to TrustMy Profile

Vishnu November 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

Hey Li-ling – yes, I think just the conversation that Marianne brings, the new ideas that she will put on the political platform and her commitment to creating positive change in the world is by itself victory. Thanks for adding your thoughts here.

Galen Pearl November 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

For me, I suppose the question is whether you can run for office or operate in office in our current system without creating separation between “us” and “them.” Our system is based on the concept of majority rule. That necessarily creates a minority. Also, one candidate wins, which means others lose.

Same holds true for a spiritually focused person. It’s a fine line to walk when bringing “spirituality” into politics without blurring the separation of church and state. There are, after all, many tea party folks who would agree that we need to bring faith back into politics.

I certainly don’t have the answers to these questions, and I admire anyone who makes the effort to walk their talk. I wish her the best.
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Vishnu November 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Galen, yes, I’ve thought about that too. How do you operate in a winner takes all system? And in a majority wins system?

And your second point brings a very insightful question. Yes, indeed – what will happen if every religious person tries to bring their faith into the political process? Is there a blurring the lines of of church-state and how will legislation be crafted then?

I’m quite certain I would not want religious beliefs being used in legislative buildings to create our laws. But I would be open to someone bringing their perspective of consciousness, love and truth with them to the decision-making process. Not only for the laws being made but to change the way politics gets done.

Thanks Galen for this comment!

Kevin Cole November 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Having a spiritual leader in congress would be absolutely amazing. So much true change would occur. I would even start paying attention to politics again :)

Regardless of what happens in this election, this is the first step. Maybe she doesn’t win but another spiritual leader takes note of her action and decides to run.

The revolution is bound to happen with the proper support.

Thanks for spreading awareness on this man!
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