Media credit: Sophia Kerr | Photographer
Williamson said in an interview with The Hatchet that she enjoys speaking at colleges and universities like GW because students have new ideas for solving current political and social issues.
Former US presidential candidate Marianne Williamson spoke about how the younger generation can change the current political climate in the United States during a town hall meeting at the University Student Center amphitheater on Tuesday.
Williamson spoke about the role of spirituality in American politics, how to shape the next generation of political leaders, and some of his key lessons from his presidential campaign, which drew about 50 attendees. The GW chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America hosted the Eventmoderated by Junior Carly Shaffer, YDSA Chapter President.
In an interview with The Hatchet ahead of the event, Williamson said she decided to visit campus and connect with students because the United States is in a “very critical moment” with issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and young people can offer a new perspective for elected officials to break with 20th century thinking.
“It’s about how we all come out of COVID, and new conversations are in the air,” she said in the interview. “Obviously I respect a school like GW. I mean, I respect it for obvious reasons. especially people at a time like this.
She said the United States needs a political ‘revolution’ so that policy focuses more narrowly on people’s ’emotional’ and ‘spiritual’ well-being instead of protecting business or property rights. . She said the Republican and Democratic parties are failing to come up with real solutions to reform America’s economic and health care systems.
“My personal view on this politically is that the Republican Party represents total downfall and the Democratic Party represents managed decline,” she said. “But both are based on altering a world that is essentially and fundamentally unachievable – a paradigm that is essentially unachievable.”
After campaigning for the presidency in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, she now sees the Democratic Party as “corrupt” and divided between “corporatists” like President Joe Biden and “progressives” like herself or the former presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. But she said young progressives shouldn’t abandon centrist Democrats, citing Biden’s recent Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who would become the first black woman associated with the Supreme Court if confirmed.
“The majority of Americans want Medicare for All,” she said at the event. “The majority of Americans want to raise the minimum wage. The majority of Americans want to forgive college loan debt — at least to some extent they do. The majority of Americans want free college. And yet, progressives are routinely treated like stray kids who just don’t get it.
Williamson said more students majoring in political science and the humanities should run for office after graduating. She said left-leaning leaders and political parties do not sufficiently encourage young people to run for political office, favoring older or more experienced figures instead.
“I meet a lot of people who study political science but don’t make the quick leap to ‘and then I’m going to run for office,'” she said. “And part of that is the problem on the left that we haven’t prepared people for this.”
Williamson said she enjoys speaking at colleges and universities like GW because the students have new ideas for solving current political and social issues. She said the political establishment tries to push forward policies that are outdated and will not apply well to the modern world or economy.
“One of the reasons I find talking to students so interesting is because they are not 20th century people – even those who were born in the 20th century were just born at the end,” she said in an interview with The Hatchet. in front the town hall. “And people in the 21st century shouldn’t be affected by bad ideas left over from an earlier era.”
Williamson spoke at GW in the fall of 2019 during her presidential campaign, where she outlined many of her policies, including the promise of reparations for slavery and the cancellation of federal student debt. She said she enjoys speaking at GW and in the District because she can see the contrast between the social and political issues in the federal government and the young students who will eventually run for political office.
“This city is the global headquarters for some of the worst things happening on this planet and some of the best things happening on this planet,” she said.
Jarrod Wardwell contributed reporting.