AP NEWS

Candidate says ‘fear harnessed for political purposes’

February 9, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said Friday in Florence that fear has taken root in politics.

Williamson, a Democrat, is the first confirmed 2020 presidential candidate to visit Florence. She attended a lunch event catered by J&J Right Touch Catering at the Kingdom Living Temple.

The visit kicked off a four-day tour of the Palmetto State for Williamson. She is scheduled to appear at several events in the Charleston area today and Sunday. Williamson also will appear Monday in the Upstate on Monday and Tuesday in Leesville near Columbia.

During her speech, Williamson touched on the issue of morality in America.

“Fear has been harnessed in this country for political purposes,” Williamson said. “Our job is to harness dignity, decency, democracy and love for political purposes.”

Williamson said the political process has been separated from the religion taught in white churches. She said that was never the intention of the founders of the Republic. She said they wanted religion to be a moral guide for political decisions.

She drew a distinction between the morals of the left and right. The right, she said, is more focused on individual morality while the left is focused on public morality.

“Mass incarceration is a moral issue,” Williamson said. “Desecrating the earth to make some more money for oil companies is a moral issue. Tax cuts that only help the rich and make it more difficult for people to make it in life is a moral issue. Immigration – separating children from their parents – is a moral issue.”

She said there is a moral and spiritual dysfunction affecting the United States government.

Williamson announced her candidacy on Jan. 28. She is the author of 13 books, including “A Return to Love,” which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and “Healing the Soul of America,” which was published in 1997. Williamson is also an advocate for those suffering from AIDS, those in poverty and pacifism.

She ran for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in California in 2014 as an independent. Williamson came in fourth in the primary and did not advance to the general election. The Golden State uses a primary system in which the top two vote-getters advance regardless of party. The seat Williamson ran for was won and is held by Democrat Ted Lieu.

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