As far as I can tell Joe Biden has been a decent president. It’s hard to say, though, following Trump would make anybody look good. Unemployment is down, people are working, in record numbers. When war broke out in Eastern Europe, he navigated the difficult currents of NATO and the EU, building and maintaining an alliance against the Russian invaders. Of course, you have to credit the people of Ukraine, outnumbered, outgunned, but determined.
He does more virtual signaling than I had hoped. Though, that may be more to keep the Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders voters in for 2024 than any actual change in political beliefs. In all fairness, he really still has a long way to go. We still have the destructive tariffs on Chinese goods. The southern border is still in chaos, and the tired poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free are still in cages or waiting south in squalid hovels in Mexico.
It’s possible he might have accomplished more if it weren’t for the howling cries of the Freedom Caucus, obstructionist Governors, and the radical followers of Trump.
Sometimes it seems as though there is never any real progress. There is noise and indignation but no progress. In many ways it’s similar to watching a tug of war, you see the knot in the middle creep left, and then it crawls back right, never getting too far from the center. Maybe we should measure progress as stasis. It could be better, but hey, it could be worse.
It’s frustrating to think the best to hope for is the status quo. The status quo that fills cities with homeless, the same situation that has given us a medical system that leaves most people with two choices, bankruptcy or death, the circumstances that have driven people to challenge elections, storm the capitol building, and given us climate change and live shooter drills in elementary schools. There has to be something better.
This week Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy in the Democratic Primaries. Since she is the first one. Even the incumbent hasn’t officially declared, yet. I thought I would investigate what she has to say. It’s been painful reading Nikki Haley’s positions, Trump in high heels, Vivek Ramaswamy’s platform, Trump with parents from the sub-continent. The world seemed to be getting darker, more sinister.
Williamson ran in 2020. It was easy to overlook her with so many candidates. She was a self-help guru, who had achieved much of her fame from appearances on Oprah. Most of the things that got her ink were deemed less than presidential, her promise to call New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, and say “you’re so on girlfriend… America is the best place to raise a child.” Or her promise to harness love to combat the vitriol of Donald Trump. Both of which were wonderful political theatre. Rephrased and coming from an established political hack it would have drawn at least passing praise and begrudging admiration. Look at Michelle Obama’s slogan “if they go low, we go high.” Coming from an outsider, an author, it was derided as unrealistic, idealistic dreaming.
Ms. Williamson is a long shot, at best. However, anything besides the venom and scourge of the modern Republican party is welcome. Her visions are remarkable and refreshing.
Her plan for economic recovery is solid, and achievable. Built on a solid foundation of economic principles Ms. Williamson has a plan to restore the middle class directing the power of the federal government toward opportunity and education. It will be pilloried as creeping socialism by Fox News, which is a good omen, but it’s almost perfect in its simplicity.
In many ways Williamson is everything Trump claimed to be in 2016, an outsider with new ideas. It turned out his new ideas where just the same old, worn-out flags raised by every Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater. Sure, there was a fresh coat of anger, and an alarming level of hatred and bigotry disguised as patriotism, but nothing new.
Ms. Williamson has laid out solid steps to guide the nation through the turmoil. She has laid out plans for universal health care, controlling climate change, some of them seem radical, “The Department of Peace,” for example. It might be time for new ideas, things haven’t gone so well to date. Old ideas have become uncomfortable and restrictive. We are locked into patterns of predictable maneuvers, take a step in one direction, turn around and take a step the other way, and it grows tiring.
Yes, Marianne Williamson is a long shot, admittedly. I’m not sure America is ready to elect a woman, a self-help author, or someone who makes sense. Maybe her real value is pulling the democratic party back to the people, echoes of Johnson’s great society. I am thinking about voting for her, and if you read what she has to say I think you might consider it as well. It’s time for a change.
The views stated in this article are the author’s and do not imply endorsement by GMP
This Post is republished on Medium.
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