Trump has a ‘dark psychic force’ says Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson

Conrad Duncan

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has warned that Donald Trump’s “dark psychic force” will not be defeated by detailed policy discussions.

The celebrity spiritual adviser, who was the most searched for candidate on Google during the second Democratic debate, had a surprisingly successful night for her long-shot 2020 campaign with a series of unconventional soundbites.

While her opponents battled over the details of healthcare and immigration policy, Ms Williamson deployed sweeping and at times bizarre language to share her message.

On the issue of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, she received one of the night’s biggest reactions from the studio audience.

“We have communities, particularly communities of colour and disadvantaged communities all over this country who are suffering from environmental injustice,” Ms Williamson said.

“I assure you, I lived in Grosse Pointe [a wealthy Michigan coastal area] – what happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe. This is part of the dark underbelly of American society.”

Then Ms Williamson turned to her fellow Democratic candidates.

“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivised hatred that this president is bringing up in this country then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” she told them.

Although Ms Williamson’s use of spiritual language in a presidential debate was unusual, the problem she raised – over whether Democrats should focus on policy or message to defeat Mr Trump – is a more widely-acknowledged issue.

The debate on Tuesday night highlighted a clear divide between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party, as liberal candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders clashed with candidates, such as John Delaney, who are attempting to beat Mr Trump from the centre ground.

In a fiery exchange, Ms Warren took on Mr Delaney, when the former congressman suggested that her policies were unrealistic.

“I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for,” Ms Warren replied.

However, despite a largely successful debate performance, Ms Williamson is unlikely to become a serious candidate in the Democratic race.

All polls have shown her campaign way behind the Democratic frontrunners (polling at 1 per cent at best, compared to Joe Biden at about 33 per cent), even though she has occasionally polled ahead of more established candidates, such as Bill De Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand and Mr Delaney.

Ms Williamson has also faced criticism as her campaign has received more attention and scrutiny.

In June, she was criticised for calling vaccine mandates too “draconian” and “Orwellian” – although she later denied that she was anti-vaccination.

More generally, she has been accused of encouraging unfounded New Age philosophy in her self-help books, which promote love, peace and positive thinking as solutions to the world’s ills.

When asked after Tuesday’s debate how successful her performance was, Ms Williamson reportedly told CNN journalist Sarah Mucha: “I’ll tell you later when I see the memes.”

The second Democratic debate, which will feature Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, will take place on Wednesday 31 July.