Discover more from TRANSFORM with Marianne Williamson
JUSTICE, JUSTICE THY SHALL PURSUE
The monumental task of societal repair
As I ponder taking another step into what is indisputably a snakepit of presidential politics, I take these days before my announcement on March 4th to reflect on my journey here.
It amuses me when someone calls a candidacy like mine a “vanity project.” Never was there a greater affront to one’s vanity than running for president, I assure you. And a “grift,” that’s a good one too. I’d like to know what the grift is. Yet neither of those pithy insults can match the derision I’ve already seen and that I know lies up ahead. To even consider walking into that fire again, I figure there are only two options possible: either I’m a genuinely delusional woman, or something is calling me from deep within my soul and I can’t ignore it.
I’ll leave it up to others to decide which of those they estimate to be true; I can only look to my own heart to determine what is true for me. I have no illusions or naive assumptions, having walked this path before. But I look at politics like I look at writing books and giving lectures. Is there something that needs to be said? And do I think I can say it well? I have been guided throughout my career by the words of author Arnold Patent: “If you genuinely have something you need to say, then there’s someone out there who genuinely needs to hear it.”
There are things I feel need to be said in America. We’re like an alcoholic family system, with neither Mommy nor Daddy telling us the whole truth, a lot of gaslighting going on, the kids agitated in the presence of all the obvious lies. Sometimes someone just coming in and saying, “So this is what’s really going on. Can we all just admit it and face it, so we can get about the act of healing?” can be helpful. How can a system that is the problem be the source of its solution? How can those whose careers have been entrenched in a system that drove us into a ditch have the audacity to claim they’re the only ones qualified to lead us out of it?
I’m not trying to convince anyone here of anything; I have days left before I have to try to do that. But I do want to share something I find interesting about the U.S. Constitution. It has to do with the qualifications for the presidency. It says the president has to be 35 or over, born here, and have lived here for 14 years. What’s most interesting to me is what it does not say. It does not say the president has to have been a lawyer, a Congressman, a Senator or a Governor. That means the founders were leaving it to every generation to determine for itself the skill set they feel are most needed in a leader to face the challenges of their time.
I was amused at reading an article recently that referred to me as “inexperienced.” One thing I am not, my friends, is inexperienced. I have simply had another kind of experience than all those people who, you know, listen to corporate lobbyists all day and try to figure out out how to master the machine that has run this country into the ground. What they are qualified to do is to perpetuate a system; what I am qualified to do is to transform it. In my heart I feel I’ve had exactly the kinds of experiences one needs to have had in order to make sense of these times.
Whether we like it or not, change is in the air in America. It will be wise and responsibly directed change, or it will be chaotic and extremely destructive change. Those, to me, are our only two choices for what lies ahead. President Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” These are revolutionary times. We are either going to have a peaceful revolution or a violent one. We will either begin in earnest the work of national repair, or lose a truly immeasurable treasure. In Lincoln’s words, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”
We do not need more protectors of the status quo; we need a more enlightened kind of change-maker. I have long felt that those who are students and practitioners of spiritual and psychological wisdom are the last people who should be sitting out the great political and economic questions of our day. Why? Because if you have a clue how to change one heart, then you’re the one with a clue what would change the world.
Having grown older, I find I have grown more audacious. You start to say what you say not to get agreement from anyone, but from the satisfaction of having said it. That is the writer’s creed, and it how I see the journey that lies before me now. In A Course in Miracles, it says that an idea grows stronger when it is shared. I look forward to sharing some ideas that I believe need to be magnified, that an aberrational chapter of America’s history might close and a new one might soon begin.
According to President Franklin Roosevelt, the most important role of the president is moral leadership. America’s moral compass is deeply frayed, and the president we most need now will help repair it. For without that compass, we’ve become an unjust society. In the book of Isaiah it says “Justice, justice thy shall pursue.” Are we living in a land of justice now - criminal justice, economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice? Surely not. Yet that will not change until we change it. We must inwardly prepare ourselves for the monumental task at hand. We are living in a corrupt and corrupting age, and the only way to change that is through spiritual as well as political activism. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi when speaking about the principles of non-violent revolution, “Self-purification is necessary first.” The rest will unfold from there.