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THE PERILS OF GROUPTHINK

Posted by · April 21, 2014

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi that Americans have in spades: a we-can-do-anything spirit that makes so many things possible for all of us. We’re rugged individualists, aspirational in nature, and we like to think for ourselves.

Who we are as individuals, however, is often quite different than who we are as a group.

Whether it’s because of television or the Internet or whatever other factor, we seem to have a Groupthink mentality these days. And that Groupthink is so easily manipulated by media images, those images seem to overwhelm the nonsense detector otherwise working for us in our private lives.

As individuals, for instance, we’re very clear that we don’t like to be controlled, manipulated, lied to, or treated unfairly. As a group, however, we’re acting as though we don’t mind.

National Defense Authorization Act, giving the government the ability to indefinitely detain US citizens?

Nah, we don’t mind.

Drones on their way, with the technological capacity to track everything from our sex life to our log-in information?

Nah, we don’t mind.

Multi-national industries having more influence over our government than we do?

Nah, we don’t mind.

The highest mass incarceration rate in the world, with huge numbers of inmates either non-violent drug offenders or mentally ill?

Nah, we don’t mind.

A permanent war machine, with the President handed year after year the authorization to do whatever he wants wherever he wants, as long as it even vaguely fits the “fighting terrorism” label?

Nah, we don’t mind.

And the list goes on. As individuals, we’re as spunky as ever. But as members of a larger society, we’ve become “Stepford citizens.” We just allow things we wouldn’t in a million years allow to happen in our personal lives. Lying to me, manipulating me and ripping me off isn’t okay if you’re doing it to me personally, but if you’re doing it to me as a member of a group that I’ll just magically figure it won’t have consequences in my life.

And there’s the rub. When it comes to politics today, the devils’ not in the details; the devil’s in the big picture, more often than not just hiding in plain sight. His minions are wearing a business suit and a smiley face. He is selling us ruin and calling it progress. He is selling us destruction and calling it security. He is dismantling our democracy and saying it’s just the way things are.

But the biggest problem is that we’re buying. 

We seem to think it’s not so bad, we don’t have to worry, it’s paranoia to be concerned, it’s just negative to mention anything unpleasant after all. But that is not the spirit of who we are as individuals, and it isn’t the spirit of who we should be as a group. A threat to our freedom is a threat to our freedom, whether from a terrorist or from a trade deal. I suggest we become as a nation who we are as individuals: not so easily fooled, alert to danger if danger appears, and ready to do the job necessary to respond to it and ward it off.

     

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Marianne's Statement on Tax Day

Posted by · April 15, 2014

“Today is the deadline for filing our tax returns.  In doing so, millions of Americans across the country are contributing to the infrastructure and well-being of our nation.  And most Americans are happy to pay their fair share for our bridges and highways, schools and roads, brave firefighters and emergency workers who stand at the ready,  teachers and storm drain workers, forest rangers who keep our water supplies safe, and the overseeing of our beautiful State and National Parks.  

But our tax system contains one of America's dirty little secrets, as well. Many corporations dodge their taxes, sending their profits offshore or finding loopholes to avoid their obligations.  Too many corporations - banks, big oil, big pharma, the list goes on - shirk their civic responsibility to our country.  Some, even after avoiding paying taxes, grab government subsidies that rob our public treasury. Why should taxpayers pay billions in subsidies to Big Oil, while they are already making trillions in profit?

 Today, on Tax Day 2014, let us join to end the climate of greed and pillage by which billionaires and huge corporations are able to buy political influence and use it to lower their own tax rates at the expense of the American people. My campaign is refusing all special interest, corporate PAC and Lobbyist money, and any candidate decrying the undue influence of money on the one hand while accepting special interest money with the other is simply perpetuating a system of political double-talk.  The movement for fairness starts on June 3rd at your voting booth. I hope you will join me in non-violent resistance to a system of economic injustice by which our tax system  is used as a give-away to America's richest citizens. Such unfairness is ethically wrong, it is undemocratic, it is unsustainable -- and I will do what I can to stop it.

Vote Marianne Williamson for Congress June 3rd California CD 33

Register Here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE McCUTCHEON DECISION: AS ROTTEN AS IT GETS

Posted by · April 02, 2014

April 2 was a dark day for America, as our Supreme Court put one more nail in the coffin of our democracy.

In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled in the McCutcheon case that caps on individual donations to PACS and political parties violates the First Amendment rights to free speech. This has basically put American democracy up for sale.

I have said from the beginning of my campaign that the undue influence of money on our politics is like a cancer eating our democracy. While the Citizens United decision in 2010 had already perverted our democratic process by allowing so much more money to flood our system, with the McCutcheon decision things got even worse. We’re now at place where the political system has failed us so profoundly that it’s time for the American people to intervene.

Our Founders did not intend for the Supreme Court to lord over us. We can still interrupt the pattern by which our democracy has been put up for sale: pass a Constitutional Amendment outlawing the undue influence of money on our government. It is not easy to amend the Constitution, and it shouldn’t be. But it took an Amendment to abolish slavery and it took an Amendment to give women the right to vote. I enthusiastically support – and will see my election to Congress as a mandate to magnify in any way possible -- the growing movement both inside and outside Congress to pass an Amendment to the Constitution that outlaws the undue influence of money on our government, establishing that corporations do not have the rights of personhood and casting special interest corporate lobbying into the dustbin of history where it belongs.

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Time to Take a Stand

Posted by · March 24, 2014

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Dear Friends,

It's time for all of us to take a stand now for infinite possibility. Our conviction that anything is possible will literally make it so.

Just as the Abolitionists took a stand to end slavery, the Suffragettes took a stand to give women the right to vote, and the Civil Rights movement took a stand to end legalized segregation, now it's our turn. We must take a stand to end the legalized system of bribery and corruption that has put the U.S. government up for sale. 

With nine weeks to go before our primary on June 3rd, my campaign lays out the case for a comprehensive reform of our political system. Here is my newest blog articulating the reasons why it's time to do that - right nowhttp://www.marianneforcongress.com/blog

Here's what you can do to help make this campaign successful:

COME TO THIS WEEK'S PUBLIC EVENTS,  AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

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COME TO HEADQUARTERS AND VOLUNTEER:

We're at 11645 Wilshire Blvd, #602, LA 90025 every day from 10-7. We need you to canvass neighborhoods, do data entry and help us phone bank. Make the campaign your own; enroll yourself not only intellectually or financially, but also emotionally and psychologically. We're creating something historic here.

Even if you can't come in, write us at volunteer@marianneforcongress.com and we'll send you a packet so you can work from home.

WE WILL WIN THIS CAMPAIGN WITH PEOPLE POWER. We have an opportunity now to create a new American possibility: a genuine political force that repudiates the undemocratic trend of shrinking civil liberties, expanding corporate influence and domestic surveillance. And remember: what we do in California, becomes a national trend within 5 years.

With love and thanks,

Marianne

 

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We Don’t Do the Same Old, Same Old Here

Posted by · March 22, 2014

Although a lifelong progressive Democrat, I registered as an Independent in my Congressional race. I didn’t do this to make war on the Democrats. If anything, I did it in hopes of contributing to the restoration of the principles I’ve always thought – and which many of us still believe – are the backbone of the Democratic Party. I don’t see how the party will get its progressive soul back, as long as progressives continue to co-dependently tow the line with the corporatist direction of either major party.

The Founders didn’t mention political parties when they wrote the Constitution, and George Washington in essence warned us against them in his Farewell Address. We need to disenthrall ourselves of the idea that the only way to attain meaningful change is through major political parties, as our history itself so powerfully proves. Abolition arose from the Abolitionist Party; Women’s Suffrage arose from the Suffragette Party; and the Civil Rights movement arose from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Major parties came into the process only after, not before, the drive toward fundamental change had emerged from the unfettered activism of the American people.

Major political parties have a role, but they are incapable of initiating fundamental change because they are fundamentally tied to the status quo. They are the status quo. And in today’s post-Citizen’s United world, the obsequious pandering of both political parties to the dictates of moneyed forces is hardly leadership or service to the American people. The only thing needed now is for the American people to realize this.

Many times in life, we say we want change but are then terrified when the opportunity for it arrives. What America needs – if we really want change -- is eighteen Independents in the House of Representatives, who like Bernie Sanders and Angus King in the Senate are capable of actions unfettered by party dictates. If we really want change, we will reach for this.

People don’t live in Los Angeles because we are tied to the same old, same old. We live in Los Angeles because of the intoxicating energy of new beginnings that permeate our city. This is the last place that should be towing the line with a continuing pattern of essentially aristocratic governance by which a “government of the people, by the people and for the people” has transitioned into a “government of a few of the people, by a few of the people, and for a few of the people.” We know better than that here, and as with so many instances where Los Angelenos say what is shockingly but beautifully true, we should say so. 

I’ve publicly announced that I am not taking money from special interest PACs or lobbyists. And I challenge my competitors to do the same. Any candidate who does receive such contributions is inherently tied to the system as it is. And someone so tied to the system cannot be reasonably expected to do anything other than perpetuate the system.

The Abolitionist, Suffragette and Civil Rights movements did not just make wimpy overtures toward incremental change; they boldly stood for that which was genuinely democratic. It is our turn to do that now. Our American ancestors did not just plead with their masters, “Please, can we sorta, maybe, almost do the right thing?” No, they remembered that they, the American people, were deemed by the Founders to be the masters of their own fate. Just as they refused to acquiesce to tyrannous, patriarchal and racist forces of their time, it’s time for us to similarly refuse to acquiesce to the hostile takeover of our democracy by corporate interests. We need to awaken from our denial and face the raw, uncomfortable truth: that we have in our country today a legalized system of bribery and corruption. We repudiated an aristocracy two hundred years ago, and it’s time to repudiate an aristocracy again.

We need to create a greater possibility for independent voices around the country to rise within the electoral ranks. We need more, not fewer people going to Washington with the express goal of standing for a new pro-democracy movement. We need more, not fewer voices both in and outside of government working towards comprehensive reform, up to and including a Constitutional Amendment that outlaws the undue influence of money on our government. We are the American people, and we need to remember who’s supposed to be boss here. We are. The Founders were clear about that; the only question is, are we?

June 3 primary. November 4 general election. We can rock this.

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Let's Put Boots on the Ground

Posted by · March 11, 2014

With three months to go, my candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives is in full gear. We’re staffed, organized and ready to go. What we need now is your participation in a massive volunteer field organization.

Help elect a candidate who is willing to say what so many of us feel -- that the legalized system of bribery and corruption now dominating Washington needs to end. The American people have woken up to the need for a politics of conscience and a new bottom line.

If your heart says yes to what my candidacy stands for, then I hope you will join me on this amazing journey. I need you to volunteer for the campaign.

PHONE BANKING!

If you're in Los Angeles, come by headquarters any day between 10AM and 7:30PM and help us phone bank! Join us at 11645 Wilshire Blvd. #602. 

No matter where you are, you can still help us! If you're not in LA (or you're in town but want to call from home), email Michael Gomez Daly at michael@marianneforcongress.com. He'll send you a packet so that you can call voters from wherever you are.

CANVASSING!

Come to headquarters this weekend - and every weekend until the primary election on June 3rd – to be part of our field organization.  Join us Saturdays and Sundays as we canvass neighborhoods, do phone banking, pass out flyers, talk to voters and do all the things that make a campaign victorious. Arrive at our new headquarters at 9:30AM for the training. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.

THURSDAY NIGHT VOLUNTEER MEETING!
Join us at The Source, 305 Rose Avenue in Venice Beach, at 7:30PM.
We have an historic opportunity here to really break the mold. We have less than three months to go and there is no time to waste.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart,

Marianne



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Yes, I Love Capitalism. Now Can We Get Back To the Topic at Hand?

Posted by · February 20, 2014

I heard someone say the other day that one of his friends doesn’t support my Congressional candidacy because I’m “anti-business.” I thought that was almost funny, given the fact that I’ve signed a few book contracts, published a few bestsellers, received a few royalties and put on a few seminars. I wouldn’t say I’ve avoided business.

I understand the high side of capitalism, which is fair and equal exchange. If I create value (say, a book) and you pay me a dollar for it, then both of us walk away with more abundance than before. That’s a good thing. I see it as aligned with the values of nature.

But in the words of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, “Free market capitalism cannot survive outside an ethical context.” I do appreciate capitalism; what I don’t appreciate is its predatory form (I do whatever it takes to squeeze as much money as possible out of you, while giving back the least amount of value) that has emerged so mightily over the last few decades. I don’t see the multinational corporate cancer now eating our civilization as a form of “business.” I see it as a perversion of business, because it is a perversion of human ethics.

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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE PRIMARY

Posted by · February 16, 2014

I am a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from California District 33. There are a little over fifteen weeks before California’s primary election on June 3, and a funny thing happened over the last couple of weeks. I became a footnote!

I mean, I campaign, attend house parties, reach out to voters; I do all the things that candidates do. And in terms of the usual indicators of electoral success – fundraising, numbers of volunteers and donors, digital reach and drawing of large crowds —I’m the frontrunner.

But according to the pundits, I’ve become an afterthought….the last paragraph at the bottom of the article, after those who pass muster with the political elite have been described as the fierce competitors, deemed the pre-ordained inheritors of the mantle of official permission to take part in the horse race. I’m the “Also running is the independent Marianne Williamson” person -- the “New Age guru” mentioned at the bottom of the page. You can almost see the soft sneer of officialdom when it dismisses you, the subtly implied, “Why don’t you just go away now?” As in, 
This is ours; didn’t you know?

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Marianne's statement on the retirement of Congressman Henry Waxman

Posted by · January 31, 2014

Dear friends,

The political world was atwitter January 30 over the retirement of Congressman Henry Waxman, who announced he will not run for reelection. Mr. Waxman has had a long and illustrious career as a Congressman, and I join with others in my sincere best wishes for the next phase of his life and career.

Almost as soon as Mr. Waxman’s announcement was made, a great wave of speculation began as to who else will run for his seat. New candidacies have already emerged. And all that is good. Democracy is at its best when a lot of us want to play.

I wish to make very clear where I stand politically in relation to Mr. Waxman’s surprising announcement.

What I spoke of two weeks before his announcement, and what I will speak of two weeks after it, will be the same. I wasn’t running against Henry Waxman, any more than I’m running against any of the specific candidates who will be joining the race now. I’m running against the system that produced them.

We will hear some say, “Oh, now the race has burst wide open!” – but do not be fooled. America’s traditional two-party system is not wide open. It is fundamentally narrow and constricted, at the effect of economic intimidation by forces that will only tolerate a little tweaking here and there.

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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by · January 20, 2014

Dear friends,

Today we honor as a nation the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a day when all of us have the opportunity to remember the extraordinary difference one life can make.

Around the country, there are those who are performing works of charity and national service to mark this day. But in truth, Dr. King was not simply about alleviating the pain and suffering of individuals; he worked to counter the huge political and economic forces that kept entire groups of people shackled by injustice.

If Dr. King were alive today, there is no doubt he would be a tireless soldier in the battle against income inequality. For the forces of oppression that he so eloquently called to account have not disappeared in the decades since his death. Today, it is up to us to continue the work of protecting and fostering justice in America.

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