VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson On Her Foreign Policy Goals, Department Of Peace
Marianne Williamson, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and spiritual self-help author, spoke to uPolitics exclusively about what she would hope to accomplish regarding foreign policy should she be elected president. The 67-year-old first-time presidential candidate said she believes what American foreign policy is most missing is a clearly laid out set of long-term objectives to achieve global peace 25 or 50 years from now, something she said is due to an increasing emphasis on corporate profits as opposed to “humanitarian, noble or moral goals.” Williamson said her solution to fundamentally transforming the U.S.’s foreign policy agenda would include the creation of a Department of Peace.
“Our current foreign policy today has nothing to do with a proactive effort to wage peace,” said Williamson. “Just as no person should think only of themselves, no generation should think only of itself.”
The self-help guru went on to lament how the U.S. under President Donald Trump is no longer viewed by the rest of the world as a “champion of democracy.”
Williamson also nostalgically recalled her childhood days, when politicians vowed to address international affairs in a humanitarian way, as opposed to modern-day elected officials who often lean towards resolving foreign policy issues with solutions that advocate for short-term corporate profits.
“I used to always hear politicians talk about how American foreign policy would protect our vital national interests,” she said. “I was so silly, I thought they meant democracy!”
Who exactly is profiting from American national security decisions and other foreign policy platforms? According to Williamson, defense contractors are reaping the majority of the benefits. She noted that the U.S. has a $750 billion defense budget but only $40 billion is allocated to the State Department for development, diplomacy and mediation.
Williamson also referenced a comment made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — a hawkish former member of the George W. Bush administration who famously played a role in spurring U.S. involvement in the Iraq War — about the importance of learning how to wage peace. She also noted that Trump’s first defense secretary, former Marine Corps General Jim Mattis said that he felt he would be forced to purchase more ammunition and other defense materials if the State Department was not properly funded. Williamson also stressed the need for greater spending on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Within the State Department, we spend $17 billion on the USAID, which is humanitarian efforts, and less than $1 billion in the budget,” said Williamson.
Williamson also suggested expanding national and global health initiatives as part of her Department of Peace proposal.
“You cannot just take medicine, you have to cultivate health,” Williamson said. “Sickness is the absence of health, [but] health isn’t the absence of sickness.”
“War is the absence of peace, [but] peace isn’t just the absence of war. We’re not just going to back ourselves into peace somehow through this endless, perpetual preparation for war,” she added.
Williamson also noted that her opposition to foreign policy decisions that exacerbate war and forgo peace-building initiatives does not mean she is against military efforts.
The self-help author also revealed “four factors” whose presence she believes “statistically indicate” the greater likelihood of peace and lower probability of conflict: expanding economic opportunities for women, creating new educational programs for children, reducing violence against women and limiting “unnecessary human suffering whenever possible.”
Williamson also tied foreign policy to immigration, saying that as president she would hope that “desperate” and “vulnerable” migrants who illegally cross the southern border after traveling large distances through the desert would not be viewed as a “national security risk.”
“For me, in both domestic and international policy — if there would be a Williamson doctrine — it will be that the world will understand that from this point forward, America’s greatest ally is humanity itself,” said Williamson. “In all public policy — domestic and international — the core guidance is what will help people thrive. That is how to build prosperity, and that is how to build peace.”
Williamson is currently polling at around 0.5% in the 2020 race for 14th place.
Stay tuned for more videos from uPolitics’ series of exclusive interview with 2020 presidential candidates!