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Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson appeared as a spunky sparring partner for Bill Maher during her visit Friday on HBO’s Real Time.
The host started with Williamson’s 2019 book, A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution, and the book she taught from for years, Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles, jokingly suggesting the latter’s concepts sound “like Scientology,” referencing a recent tweet from Williamson asserting that she did not support Scientology.
“How can you even say that?” Williamson shot back, arguing that the book is “based on universal spiritual themes” and has “no dogma, no doctrine.” When Maher reminded her that Schucman had claimed she received dictation from Jesus, Williamson expressed that the book does not force any view on religion, but instead “it tries to get us to believe in each other.”
Maher took a softer approach when he discussed the presidential candidate’s views on American healthcare, which she has said must treat an overall culture of sickness, not just individual symptoms. “You and I are sympatico on health. What you say is what I’ve said,” he said.
“Our current political establishment, what I call ‘yada yada yada politics,’ is basically 20th century thinking. This is now the 21st century,” Williamson responded. “There are underlying forces and dynamics in one’s lives … those same factors must be addressed if we’re going to fix the country.”
Maher then addressed Williamson’s comments on mental health, which have recently come under fire. The candidate as of Thursday apologized during an interview with Anderson Cooper for calling clinical depression “a scam.”
“Absolutely, there is a normal spectrum of human despair. … You had a divorce or a financial failure. These are not a mental illness,” Williamson told Maher. “There are all sorts of severe disappointments in life, but they’re not mental illness.” She then expressed skepticism about the amount of antidepressant prescriptions in America, given recent reporting on the overprescription of painkillers.
Williamson’s becoming the most-searched-for candidate on Google after the second Democratic debate also came up, as did her plans for reparations.
Running her platform on “healing the soul of America,” Williamson’s reparations plan includes her calculation of a $200 billion to $500 billion “payment of debt that is owed.” During the debate, the candidate stated, “We need some deep truth-telling … we don’t need another commission to look at evidence.”
That plan became a subject of controversy among Maher’s panel: Conservative radio host Buck Sexton told her, “If you do get elected, you’ll never pass it,” noting Democrats had more popular ideas, while Life, Right & Center host Josh Barro added, “It does no good for anyone.”
When Sexton questioned how Williamson would get that money, she responded, “Germany has paid $89 billion to Jewish organizations since the Holocaust.”
Williamson clapped back at Sexton when the conversation turned to President Donald Trump’s recently announced two-year budget deal and the radio host mentioned “out-of-control” spending. Williamson noted that the two-year budget could put 500,000 free school lunches at risk. “I’ll tell you what’s out of control, we have no heart,” she retorted.
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