Marianne Williamson: author, spiritual healer, and Oprah Winfrey’s friend. She’s probably the least serious of all the Democrat’s presidential-primary candidates. Yet she’s made it onto the debate stage twice, despite the Democratic National Convention putting some barriers in place to ensure only “serious” candidates make it.
And Williamson has done a pretty good job of giving us memorable performances. In the first debate she previewed her first call as president to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. And in the second debate this past week, she informed voters about “dark psychic forces.” It might all seem odd and eccentric, much like Williamson herself, but at least people actually remember her now.
In the debate Tuesday night, Williamson also made a memorable reference (at least to me) about agriculture. When addressing a question about healthcare, Williamson provided this response:
“When we’re talking about health care, we need to talk about more than just the health care plan. We need to realize we have a sickness care, rather than a health care system. We need to be the party talking about why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environmental policies and even our economic policies are leading to people getting sick to begin with.”
Let me translate that for you: United States agricultural policy is making people sick. A closer look at Williamson’s position on food clears up her confusing answer. Williamson blames a lack of human vitality on processed foods and “the residue of poisons from chemical farming.” And GMOs, and naturally Roundup, are basically the devil incarnate. (Oddly, Williamson advocates for GMO labeling even though mandatory labeling was already passed and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The USDA is currently working on implementing those regulations.)
Williamson’s other grave concerns about agriculture include “excessive” pesticide and fertilizer use, animal abuse, and “Big Ag.”
Marianne Williamson isn’t funny; she’s downright scary!
Yeah, I know: Williamson is loony. She’s a successful snake-oil salesman. No one takes her seriously. And we’re not even sure she believes all this garbage herself (how could she?!). So there’s no need to worry about her!
Yet she’s on the stage debating policy with the person who will become the presidential nominee for a major political party. Twenty years ago, few people would’ve bought into Williamson’s rantings. Today the DNC is literally giving her a national platform. And people are buying into it — just check out social media.
It isn’t just Williamson though. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii wants to ban Roundup. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee boasted about his positive rating by Greenpeace. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted so-called meatless Mondays in all public schools.
Now I’m not just unloading on Democratic candidates, because not all of them harbor radical or misinformed ideas. Most notably, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the party should stop blaming rural Americans for all our environmental woes (a premise that is mind boggling itself). And President Donald Trump is far from an angel on all agriculture-related issues (those with a good memory will remember his comments on vaccines in 2016). But my point is that these ideas are becoming more and more mainstream. And they’ve now found themselves in the race for president.
Here’s the reality: Williamson’s comment shouldn’t have gone unchallenged. I understand agriculture rarely comes up during presidential debates. Candidates are usually asked questions on topics relatable to most Americans, like healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy. And farmers are only 2 percent of the population, so candidates looking for wider appeal don’t usually focus on such a small and unique subset.
But someone, anyone, on that stage could’ve spoke up. Trump could’ve jumped on Twitter. Other political leaders could’ve called her out. Something.
“Hey Marianne, our farmers are actually doing a great job producing one of the safest, most abundant food supplies in all of human history. We have problems, but farmers poisoning eaters isn’t it.”
Unfortunately, it seems like Williamson’s comments didn’t seem so crazy to anyone.
Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.