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Marianne Williamson Reacts to Midterms

Episode 98 with Marianne Williamson

We’re joined this week by the incomparable Marianne Williamson to make sense of what Tuesday’s election results showed us. Before the results came in, centrist pundits claimed Democrats would be thrashed because Biden had allegedly gone too far left. If voters broke for Republican candidates, you likely heard if you plugged into mainstream news, it was further proof that the current communism we’re living in (thanks to President Biden) isn’t working for practical (and therefore conservative) Americans across the country.

It’s a story so appealing to moderates that some are still clinging to it. But it just didn’t bear out on Tuesday.

In a great recent piece for Jacobin, David Sirota and other writers at the Lever and In These Times lay out exactly what the data shows about American voters’ views on economic populism (it resonates with swing-state voters), key issues that candidates should rally around, and progressivism. They describe what we saw pretty much across the board, from the election of John Fetterman in PA to the Massachusetts approval of a surtax on the superwealthy: voters like it not just when you get things done in office, but when you get things done that improve quality of life for working-class people.

Marianne shares her own analysis of the big night earlier this week, saying we have new proof that the Democratic Party shouldn’t be afraid to put its foot on the accelerator and go for the bold legislation and robust social programs that Americans clearly have an appetite for. Instead of sizing up Tuesday’s electoral offerings as the very limit of what voters will break for — assuming that this is as far left as they will go — she argues, “Think what will happen if we go all the way in the direction of progressive policies that we know American people will support.”

Look at the field: people had plenty of opportunities to get behind watered-down, moderate versions of the progressive candidates and policies they cast their votes for. Instead, they validated the idea that the options American voters have in this country aren’t left enough. Maybe we can’t say exactly how far people are willing to go. But we know for sure that what’s on the table right now isn’t enough. How the Democrats understand and make use of this clear message in their next few years of control will tell us everything about who they really represent.

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