Trevor Noah interviewed Marianne Williamson on The Daily Show on August 11, 2019. With no comedic stance being offered, Noah and Williamson talked very seriously about the state of our country and explored many of the things Marianne proposed to do if she won the presidential nomination. Lacking the support she needed, she dropped out of the race in January 2020, but I find most of her in-depth conversations last year are still of the utmost importance on today’s stage. The pandemic, and the chaos it has spun all around the world, provides us with a great opportunity to make changes to our lifestyles and, hopefully, to our political systems. Just as I shared in my previous post about Marianne, in her interview with Trevor Noah, she again offers us the benefit of some wise and thought provoking conversations that, I think, will help lead us in a good direction as we try to emerge from this place of confusion and uncertainty.
Once again, I want to elaborate a bit on Marianne’s conversations about “the soul of America.” Right off the bat, Noah asks about her reference to a “higher power” in some of her previous interviews. Marianne explains that, today, our society has the largest wealth inequality in almost 100 years; 1% of the population owns more wealth than 90% of the population. Our country has made our economic principles more important than our sense of morality. She points out, “War and peace is a moral issue. 13 million hungry children in America is a moral issue. The rich getting richer and making it harder for everyone else to make a livable wage is a moral issue.” She tells us that when our elementary schools don’t have enough resources to teach their students to read proficiently, the chance these students will graduate from high school is greatly diminished. And further, when a child does not graduate from high school, their chance of being incarcerated early in life increases. I offer this: are not the “angels of our better nature” (as discussed in Part One of Interviews with Marianne Williamson) integral characteristics of our morality and of our higher power? Don’t all citizens of a democratic republic need to shoulder the responsibilities of making sure our children are raised with as many advantages as we can give them? Aren’t these responsibilities yoked to our morality?
In their conversation, Trevor and Marianne also take a good look at Marianne’s thoughts about healthcare in America. One of her most famous lines is that “we are not dealing with a health care system, we are dealing with a sick care system. The conversation (everyone) is having is how to treat people once they are sick. We have to talk about why there’s so much chronic disease in America.” Trevor asks, “Why is that?” Marianne answers, “Because of our chemical policies, our agriculture policies, our food policies, our environmental policies, even our economic policies given that our economic policies cause so much stress on a daily basis and (it has been proven that) stress causes illness.” Marianne supports a public option in addition to Obamacare, with the government giving subsidies to anyone falling through the cracks until the new system is in place for everyone.
Marianne was called a lot of not-so-nice things during her campaign for the presidency. To me, one of the most ludicrous things she was called was “dangerous.” I wonder how a person can seriously be called dangerous when she (or he) is advocating for clean water supplies to remain clean, or healthy food supplies to remain poison and pesticide free. I think Marianne says it well this way. “Clearly the FAA was too cozy with Boeing or we wouldn’t have had the Boeing MAX disasters. Clearly the EPA has been too cozy with Dow Chemical or we wouldn’t be selling these (harmful) pesticides. Clearly (we can see) the FDA has been too cozy with big pharma in the fact that we have an opioid crisis. This is not dangerous to discuss. People say I am crazy and dangerous. I think what is dangerous, and a little bit crazy, is that we are not discussing this.”
What do you think are some of the more important issues in this presidential election – health care, 13 million hungry children, clean water, global warming, nuclear war? How is our country going to get on top of these issues, especially after the setbacks we all have incurred from the COVID-19 pandemic? Will our state and federal governments handle any of these issues well without we, the people, putting our two cents into the equation? In my opinion, it is our moral responsibility to get involved. How can we best bring about the change we want to see in our country and on this planet if we don’t add ourselves into the equation? I believe that the more we participate in conversations that matter the most to each and every one of us, the more possible it will be for us to change the very scary trajectory our country and world are on.