Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author whose “A Return to Love” spent 39 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1992, announced Sunday that she is running as an independent for the US House of Representatives in California’s 33rd District, a seat currently held by 74-year old Democrat Henry Waxman, one of the most powerful members of Congress.
Williamson, who made her candidacy official Sunday afternoon at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, has written extensively about the moral and spiritual underpinnings of US politics in many of her books, including “Healing the Soul of America,” a 2000 best-seller that focuses on transforming spiritual activism into social activism.
The theme of Williamson’s campaign is “Create Anew.”
Williamson writes on her campaign website that Waxman has been a good representative for 38 years and that she does not consider him an opponent. Rather, she sees them both as simply different candidates for the same position. In seeking to encourage “a new consciousness regarding our political discourse,” Williamson hopes to stem the trend toward corporatism that has been so prevalent in recent decades.
“American government has lost its ethical center and its deep commitment to democracy, drifting ever more consistently in a corporatist direction,” Williamson writes. “And no one specific legislative initiative can fix that. I believe that a wave of independent candidates, all committed to a huge course-correction, is necessary to turn our ship around. I feel my campaign, and most importantly my win, can help inspire such a movement.”
In addition to her career as a writer, Williamson works in several other capacities. She is the emeritus chair for The Peace Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting a culture of peace; facilitator of Sister Giant seminars, designed to promote “a higher level of contribution among those of us who want to increase our efficacy as activist and/or candidate, in order to uplift the tenor of American politics and in so doing help heal the world”; and a teacher of A Course in Miracles, a course of study that assists people in relinquishing a thought system based on fear and embracing one based on love.
Williamson is contesting a seat held by one of the longest-serving members of Congress. Waxman is the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and served as committee chairman in 2009-10. In 2012, Waxman won a closer-than-usual re-election to his 20th term in the House, 53 to 47 percent, over Bill Bloomfield, an independent and co-founder of the “No Labels” movement. Bloomfield, a successful businessman, spent nearly $6 million of his own money in unsuccessfully challenging Waxman, Bloomberg.com reported in late 2012.
It remains to be seen if Williamson’s name recognition will help her fundraising efforts and just how much money it will take to pose a serious challenge to Waxman, but given her track record of success in other endeavors, the campaign in California’s 33rd District could be one of the more interesting House races in 2014.
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Additional sources and resources:
“Marianne Williamson: Women and a call for a new kind of politics,” Forbes.com, Oct. 24, 2012
Marianne Williamson on Twitter
Marianne Williamson’s Facebook page