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Marianne Williamson looking to make 2020 'do-over' election like 1980

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In voting for Donald Trump for president in 2016, many Americans wanted an outsider with no history in elective office. They wanted a businessperson, not a politician. They wanted somebody whom they recognized from the world of entertainment, not politics. They wanted somebody who spoke the tell-it-like-it is language they spoke, not political rhetoric.

In 2020, will they vote for somebody with those attributes for the second election in a row, but a different candidate than the one they voted for four years before?

Marianne Williamson is running for president because she is betting that they will. Outsider, businessperson, entertainer, and public speaker Williams may win her bet, as history is on her side. Because the 1980 election was simply a do-over of 1976, with Republican Ronald Reagan beating incumbent Jimmy Carter by adopting Carter's own outsider attributes and policies.

Carter in 1976 went after Southerners and white ethnics who didn't want integration, talking about "ethnic purity" and other issues that appealed to those electorates. Reagan in 1980 likewise went after Southerners and white ethnics, and a majority of both groups voted for him and against Carter.

In foreign policy, Carter campaigning in 1976 took a strident anti-Soviet Union stance, positioning himself as the antidote to the policy of de'tente advocated by Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Once in office, Carter began a buildup of the military. Reagan in 1980 was even more strident in opposing what he called the Soviet "Evil Empire," and promised (and delivered) an even bigger military buildup.

Born-again Christian Carter brought evangelicalsnever before an important voting blocinto politics in 1976 and turned them into a potent political force. Reagan grabbed those evangelicals from Carter in 1980 and made them a permanent part of the political landscape.

Carter ran in 1976 as a fiscal conservative, and governed as such. But Reagan grabbed that mantle in 1980 and out-conservatived Carter in his economic rhetoric as well.

When the public thirsts for an outsider to clean up the "mess in Washington," it is tough for the incumbent who was elected president as an outsider to try to keep that label. The public sees what promises the president failed to keep, the compromises he had to make both with the members of his party and with those of the other party, and the failures that are part and parcel of being president.

Sure, Trump's base will stay with him in 2020. Carter's base actually did, too, for the most part. In the Reagan "landslide" of 1980, the Gipper received only 50.7% of the popular vote. Carter garnered 40,831,881 popular votes in 1976 and 35,480,115 in 1980, so his 1980 total was 87% of his 1976 total. Not a bad retention rate. But the swing voters swung over to Reagan.

The swing voters of 2016 swung away from Trump quickly. Jan. 31, 2017only 11 days after Trump's inaugurationmarked the last time that more Americans approved of Trump than disapproved of him.

Swing voters who expected Trump to run the country like a sober businessman didn't get what they wanted. Those who expected Trump to behave more presidentially after taking office didn't either. Coal miners didn't see a return to coal, farmers ended up with a surprise trade war that decimated their economy, and the border wall is mired in political and court battles. Voters who wanted a tell-it-like it is president cannot ignore the perception that President Trump speaks with little concern for the truth.

The pundits will tell you that the way for the Democrats to defeat President Trump is to nominate an anti-Trumpa Washington insider, a candidate with a long political resume who speaks the language of Washington.

Historians familiar with the nuances of the 1976 and 1980 races, however, see that Trump in 2020 could end up like Carter in 1980, and 2020's Williamson could be 1980's Reagan.

Williamson is frequently described as an "outsider" by media outletslike Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016. Originally thought of as a fringe candidate by some, like Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016, Williamson is running a campaign that is getting more traction as time goes on. Williamson received the loudest cheers at the Democratic debates and the most Google searches afterwardsshowing a buzz that Washington pundits just don't understand. Just like they didn't understand Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016.

The Democratic Party establishment doesn't want Williamson as a presidential candidate, just like the Republican Party's establishment didn't want Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016. She does what she wants and doesn't play by the established political rules, just like Reagan in 1980 and Trump in 2016.

David Brooks in the New York Times wrote that "Marianne Williamson knows how to beat Trump." She sure does. She knows that Reagan rode a strategy of out-outsidering Carter directly into the White House, that 1980 was merely a do-over of 1976 with a different candidate achieving the same result.

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William S. Bike is Senior Vice President of ANB Communications, a communications consulting and political consulting firm based in Chicago. Bike has worked in journalism, public relations, and politics since 1979 and is the former Communications (more...)
 
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William Bike

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"Outsiders" in presidential races are a wild card that the pundits don't like, because they can't predict what is going to happen. Marianne Williamson is this 2020's outsider, and like Donald Trump in 2016, she could go all the way to the White House.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 at 2:00:28 PM

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Jill Herendeen

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Reply to William Bike:   New Content

....yeah, IF whoever pays the computer programmers figure they can use her to their benefit...

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 2:34:38 PM

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Betsy Whitfill

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A neat, if superficial, view.


I love Maryanne, and her expressions of the power of Love so needed in human relations today. Without transformation through Love, based on Justice, sharing and Freedom, we will not survive on this planet. I love her philosophy, based as it is on The Course in Miracles, which was given by the Master Jesus through a disciple on the inner planes, to the unconscious medium, Helen Scheuman and published as A Course In Miracles. It saved Williamson's life, and millions of others' too.


Would love to hear about practical qualifications, plans and ideas for her Presidency. I would love it if China's Ji, Putin, Kim would fall in love, with their governments, with Love. Wouldn't you?

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 at 3:54:43 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Betsy Whitfill:   New Content

Marianne Williamson seems to adopt "New Age" philsophy, is that correct?

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 11:47:33 AM

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Betsy Whitfill

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Reply to Robert Gormley:   New Content

Hi Robert. What does "New Age Philosophy" mean to you. It sounds like you don't like it.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 1:03:20 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Betsy Whitfill:   New Content

I don't. I was actually into it for awhile before I realized it was a deception.

The Bible clearly forbids the use of mediums, the spiritual source of which is

unknown ( most likely a dark source). New age philosophy also rejects the

message of salvation through Jesus.

The new age philosophy says a lot of true, spiritual things , but it is a cloak

to it's ulterior motive. The ulterior motive is to pave the way for the Anti-christ

and "New World Order". Be careful.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 2:20:27 PM

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Betsy Whitfill

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Reply to Robert Gormley:   New Content

Hmmm, interesting. But Jesus is the source in this case.


The antichrist has been and gone, through Hitler and the Axis Powers in WWII.


Jesus is back. Many people have seen Him, the miracles that He has provided. I have a self portrait of Him in my hallway, which appeared miraculously in 2003. He is here to cleanse the Christian churches and renew their original mission which is to teach and heal.


The New World Order is

the Kingdom of God...which as Luke 17:21 says is within (each person).


The dark source could be sowing seeds of fear within the hearts and minds of good Christians.



Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 4:52:37 PM

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Reply to Betsy Whitfill:   New Content

We shall see...

I keep an open mind, but I am very careful.

The world is full of lies and deceptions.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 6:24:57 PM

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William Bike

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Thanks for commenting!

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 at 4:11:08 PM

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This article makes good points about Reagan, Carter, and Trump, but isn't accurate about Williamson. The American electorate is changing in ways that are completely different from the past. Our political psychology is changing. Because of the internet's ability to educate, and also because of the courage of Bernie Sanders and his supporters, the American electorate is less and less a body of passive consumers and more and more a body of active, thoughtful citizens who are realizing that if we want things to get done, then we have to do it ourselves.

The author of this article assumes we are the same passive electorate of the past. This is not the case. I don't know if we are ready to take the bull by the horns yet, but I believe by 2024 we will.

The neoliberal side will be waiting as well. I think by 2024, the racists, xenophobic, nationalistic right wing will strengthen. How else will the neoliberals try to guarantee control of the country? Right wing hate and fear will continue to be the tool that both parties in Washington use to push the "fake center" to the right. Right wing hate will give the fake corporate Liberals something to push against, as they have been doing for 2 generations. The Liberals will continue to push corporate stooges like Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, and the conservatives will have to do as they have been doing since 1968 - move to the fake populist right.

It will be up to the "real left" to show a clear separation between themselves and the "fake Left" of the Democratic Party. Only if people see that the real left is not a tool of the corporate Democrats will we have a chance to overcome the almost certain right wing threat of 2024. I wonder if Marianne Williamson isn't backed somehow by corporate interests in the Democratic Party to weaken the Sanders campaign. I don't believe it will work. Too many of us want Medicare for all and all the rest that Bernie is fighting for. He is the proven outsider.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 at 5:23:25 PM

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"I wonder if Marianne Williamson isn't backed somehow by corporate interests in the Democratic Party to weaken the Sanders campaign." Nope. But I wonder if Sanders isn't somehow backed by MIC who positively love his campaign to tax the billionaires. MIC is running out of ways to increase its budget without new taxes. It's had a hard-on over all that potential tax money immured by the billionaires. Any brief reflection on how the imperialist nations of 18th Century Europe funded their armadas will show that the royals eventually went after the rest of the peerage when they had completely wrung dry the lower classes.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 at 7:34:12 PM

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2 picky points: 1) Reagan won in 1980 because a 3rd party candidate, Anderson, stole votes from Carter. It's NOT like a majority of voters WANTED Reagan. And 2), around 2000, electronic vote-flipping started being a thing, and even more of a thing after HAVA and very likely THE reason we can't vote the bums out. (IF we had the right to count the ballots ourselves, we could prove this; but this is illegal or impossible--due to lack of paper ballots--in most of the country. We don't even have a right to un-"adjusted" exit polls anymore!)


Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 1:55:18 PM

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William Bike

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Thanks Jill. I agree about your third party (John Anderson) point and about how elections have changed since then.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 2:42:00 PM

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