Marianne Williamson on Climate Change, Impeachment, and Immigrants in the United States
"People talk about how our current president had no experience, but that's not the biggest problem," she tells People CHICA. "The biggest problem is he has no ethics."
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson talked to People en Español digital executive editor Shirley Velasquez about her road to the White House, discussing topics like climate change and immigration. The New York Times best-selling author, spiritual leader, activist and politician recalled experiences in her childhood. "I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and my father was an immigration lawyer. The plight of the immigrant was very central to the stories of my family, and I was raised going to the ceremonies where people would be becoming citizens," she says. "My own grandparents had come from Ellis Island and my parents wanted us to see the world. They had a very strong sense of the need of Americans to know more of the world than just this country. So my parents were world travelers. We went all over the world during the summers."
Williamson says her parents brought her up "to be aware of those who lived in poverty," and to help those in need. "A lot needs fixing," she says of the country today. "We have lost our sense of connectedness to each other to a dangerous degree. Too many of us have lost sight of the fact that politics is our collective behavior."
She emphasized that we must pay attention to issues affecting our country and the world, such as immigrant children in detention centers at the U.S. border and the U.S. giving military support to Saudi Arabia. "Too many of us have checked out when it comes to recognizing our own personal human responsibility as citizens to weigh in on what our collective behavior is," she says. "I'm running for president with a strong sense that we need a season of moral repair and that the most important role of the next president will be to articulate what that vision is for moral repair."
Williamson addressed the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, and argues "his behavior could be a danger to the world." "People talk about how our current president had no experience, but that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is he has no ethics," she says. "I support the inquiry, I support the committees going ahead with their work."
She also criticized Trump's treatment of immigrants. "When you separate a child from their parents, that's called kidnapping where I come from," she says. "The fact that the government did it as a policy doesn't make it not kidnapping. That's state-sponsored crime - for me that right there was an impeachable offense. Whether or not the president has committed impeachable offenses I believe is certainly a reasonable question." Separation of immigrant families at the border is wrong and unacceptable, Williamson stressed. "These things are cruel," she adds. "You don't put cruelty at the center of public policy in a country like the United States."
She wants to improve the quality of life of Americans by canceling student loan debt, making health care universal, and making tuition at state colleges and universities free. "We have the largest income inequality that we've had in almost 100 years. One percent of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, which is both immoral and unsustainable, and you have millions of people living in chronic economic anxiety," she recognizes. "They are stressed, they are anxious, they don't know what's going to happen if they get sick. They don't know what's going to happen if their kids get sick. They don't know how to possibly send their kids to college. Many Americans who are employed don't know how to get out from under their college loans, so we need a massive infusion of economic hope and opportunity into the lives of the average American," she adds. "That's the first change that needs to happen so that people can relax more."
Caring for the environment is also at the top of her list. "We need a mass mobilization to reverse climate change," she recognizes. "The industries that have actually done industrial-scale harm to the earth are needed now to transition into industrial-scale repair of the earth."
Williamson concludes: "We need to declare peace, we need to wage peace. That's a vision very different than the president's, and I believe in the goodness and the decency of the American people. Give them that alternative, and I think they'll choose love."