vision 2020

Marianne Williamson Gives a Loving Lift to Fellow Peacemonger Mike Gravel

Marianne and Mike wage peace. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images; Gravel 2020

Marianne Williamson just gave a real-life demonstration of the values behind her rather unusual campaign for president, which according to her recently published manifesto, revolves around “a politics of love.” She cast a piteous look at a candidate struggling much more than she is with mainstream media acceptance and gave him a lift, as The Hill reports:

Author and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s campaign used a fundraising email sent out Sunday to help one of her primary opponents garner enough donors to qualify for the next round of debates.

Williamson’s campaign email Sunday asked recipients to support former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), who is roughly 10,000 individual donors short of the threshold to qualify for the next round of Democratic debates, slated to be held at the end of July.

That’s right: A presidential candidate expended resources and time to raise money for another presidential candidate. Williamson’s inspiration has always been the New Agey crypto-gospel A Course in Miracles. Rattling the cup for a campaign rival in this vicious era of politics is miraculous indeed.

Now to be sure, Gravel qualifying for the debate in Detroit later this month is no direct threat to Williamson’s spot on the stage. She has met both the fundraising and the polling thresholds for participation, and at this point Gravel has just one of the three required qualifying polls. Since poll standings trump grassroots fundraising as a tiebreaker among candidates who have only met one threshold, the Alaskan is probably still a long way from getting over the line, unless other would-be presidents start dropping like flies.

Still, Williamson’s pitch for Gravel is an interesting if probably not very consequential example of how she intends to, as she put it in the first debate, “harness love” to win the nomination and beat Trump. But it wasn’t an accident she chose the eccentric 89-year-old Gravel for this beneficence. She cited him as an example of the “diverse and provocative voices” the campaign needs. If you aren’t familiar with Williamson or with Gravel, you should understand that when it comes to foreign policy (Gravel’s signature issue and the entire rationale for his teenager-driven sorta-campaign) these two candidates make Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren look like neocon warmongers.

Williamson, a longtime proponent (along with her friend Dennis Kucinich) of a cabinet-level Department of Peace, is for deep and permanent defense-spending cuts and a complete reorientation of international relations to focus on conflict prevention. For Gravel, opposition to military interventions has been the one consistent strand of his long and winding political career, dating back to his publication of the antiwar classic Pentagon Papers in a version edited by lefty icons Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. I don’t know how Gravel feels about some of Williamson’s more ethereal preoccupations, but they are in fact natural allies, if only in the challenge they pose to mainstream views of America’s role in the world.

Gravel (or at least those running his Twitter account) seems to appreciate the hand-up from Williamson:

Maybe if he doesn’t make the stage in Detroit and drops out, he’ll give her an endorsement, and some reciprocal love from a fellow peacemonger.

Marianne Williamson Gives Loving Lift to Rival Mike Gravel