Marianne Williamson on Trump and the ‘Frankenstein’ Phenomenon: ‘The Media Did This’

The roster of media mavens, moguls and boldface names spotted today at Michael's.

DianeClehaneLunch_FeaturedI could hardly wait for this week’s ‘Lunch’ with Marianne Williamson to talk to her about her new book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment (HarperOne). When my good friend Dr. Robi Ludwig asked me if I’d like to meet her, I jumped at the chance. I have been reading her best-sellers for more years than I can remember and never miss her thought-provoking and inspiring PBS specials. Many years ago, when I was grieving the loss of my mother and was self-medicating with food, I picked up her current book—as an audiobook—at that time, A Woman’s Worth.  I was listening to it while driving out to Long Island to clean our family home and ready it for sale. Suffice to say I was not in a good place. Something she said resonated deeply with me and I still remember those words today. She was describing a despondent-looking woman at a convenience store she’d seen and said, “Standing in line holding her junk food and tabloid magazines, I could feel her pain.” At the time, I felt she was talking directly to me.

Diane Clehane and Marianne Williamson

Through the years her 10 (!) books have all seemed to have correlated with something that felt deeply personal to me from A Return to Love, which examines the application of love in the search of inner peace, to The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife.

Her insights and deep understanding of the human condition is what has drawn millions of fans to her work as a speaker, advisor and author in search of answers to the endless questions about the vagaries of our own behavior and the behavior of other people in our lives.

In reading Tears to Triumph, I was struck by two things. First, she’d done it again in addressing a very timely topic—the epidemic of depression and subsequent over-medication sweeping the country. In the book she writes, “Modern civilization has itself become a depressing phenomenon, predicated on principles that dissociate human beings from the feelings of connectedness and wholeness without which happiness cannot be found.”

Second, the topics in the book seemed tailor-made for this point in time, where a growing number of people have grown increasingly disheartened and downright frightened by the presidential election which has seeped into our collective consciousness in a major way. “I wanted to write a book seeing these times through a spiritual lens,” she told me.

“It’s appropriate to be upset about [the election.] Anyone who is not upset about what’s going on is clearly not paying attention,” said Marianne when I asked her what she thought about the presidential race and specifically about Donald Trump. “I don’t know how many blinking red lights we could have. Now is not the time to not notice.”

She called Trump’s rise and subsequent nomination ‘The Frankenstein Phenomenon” explaining, “The media did this. In the beginning his rallies were no bigger than those of Bernie Sanders.” Then the ratings for anything Trump-related went through the roof. “This is what happens when corporate greed overrides ethical consideration. [Now] they realize they created him and can’t un-create him. The self-congratulation among the mainstream media is unwarranted. I hope they do some soul searching.”

But, she noted, there is some light among the darkness. “This election has made us aware of how divided we are as a nation,” she said. “But I also think the opposite is also true. There is a unity in the consensus now forming that there are limits beyond which we should not go; basic human decency should characterize anyone serving in high office. I have been heartened by Republicans and Conservatives who have spoken up. The situation is fluid.”

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