Before reading Mr. Douthat’s appraisal of the Williams’ candidacy, the reader should first go to this YouTube video, by New Progressive Voice ,that analyses in depth how the women of ‘The View’, treated Marianne Williamson.
Mr. Douthat commentary on Williamson, is just a bit more sophisticated than the ‘View’ coterie, and their open contempt of Williamson, but not by much:
Certainly in the eternal pundit’s quest to figure out what a “Donald Trump of the left” would look like, a figure like Williamson is an interesting contender. If Trumpism spoke to an underground, often-conspiratorial populism unacknowledged by the official G.O.P., Williamson speaks to a low-on-data, long-on-feelings spirit that simmers just below the We Are on the Side of Science and Reason surface of the contemporary liberal project. As Alex Pareene wrotefor The New Republic after her weird but weirdly compelling debate performance:
If the superficial version of “Democratic Trump” resembles him aesthetically, the proper version would be closer to his opposite: Not just female but powerfully and unabashedly feminine, aiming her message not at the raging car dealer dad but the anxious Wellness Mom. …
And while it is fun to scoff at her hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides, it is easy to forget that hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides are extremely powerful and popular among a massive subset of Americans, many of whom represent the exact sort of voters who decide Democratic primaries.
The post-debate polling, however, shows no Williamson surge — and my sense is that the path to a New Age answer to Trump would require a candidate who crosses racial boundaries more easily than Williamson (meaning, basically, Oprah), and a Democratic rank-and-file more alienated from their party leaders than today’s Democratic voters seem to be. Trump arose in the aftermath of both a failed establishment-Republican presidency and then the failed Tea Party insurgency; by comparison the Democratic Party still regards its last president fondly and regards itself as the country’s natural governing coalition, requiring no gambles on the power of Pure Love.
‘ “Donald Trump of the left” ‘ is nothing more than a libel against Williamson! She, masquerading as a ‘contender’ in a contest, whose rhetorical life exists in the political desperation of well paid scribblers, with nothing to say, except to declare their own moral/political vacuity.
But the concluding two paragraphs of the Douthat essay provide ample proof, that Douthat is steeped in the belief that women are lesser beings, in constant need of male tutelage, in order to function as complete beings. In sum, Williamson is ‘weird’, a kind of political spectacle, as object lesson, that proves her status as inferior being, un-moored from the essentialism of male tutelage.
But pending that synthesis, Democrats as well as curious onlookers should be glad to have Williamson onstage for at least one more round of weirdness. Even if most mystically inclined liberals aren’t going to vote for her, she speaks for a larger constituency than many of her rivals, and her warnings of spiritual crisis are at least as relevant to an America beset by addiction, suicide and atomization as any of Elizabeth Warren’s white papers.
It would take the entire course in miracles to put Williamson in the White House, but she’s right about one big thing: There’s more to heaven and earth, and even to national politics, than is dreamed of in the liberal technocrat’s philosophy.