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Courtney: The case for Marianne Williamson

The progressive alternative to President Joe Biden is worth a serious look.
Image by Maddy Fox
If a progressive has support in the 2024 democratic primary, they may be able to push Biden more to the left, even if they don’t win the primary.

President Biden is unpopular.

Recent polling shows only 32% of Americans think Biden deserves reelection, and a majority of Democrats want their party’s nominee to be someone other than Biden.

Only 32% of Americans think Biden “has the stamina and sharpness to serve effectively as president.” And, as for younger voters like me, only 26% of Americans ages 18–34 want Biden to serve another term.

So, are young leftists like me just SOL? Do we have no choice but to suck it up and vote for Joe lesser-of-two-evils Biden in 2024? Or is there a progressive alternative for us to consider in the Democratic primary?

Luckily, there is a good, progressive alternative to Biden. Her name is Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson, the self-help author turned presidential candidate, recently began her campaign for the 2024 democratic nomination for president. For progressives like me, a primary challenger to the left of Biden is good news.

Not only should Americans take Williamson’s campaign seriously, they should also take a serious look at voting for her in the 2024 primary election. Let me do my best to introduce Williamson and make the case for supporting her longshot primary bid against Biden.

Williamson has better policies

The first reason to support Williamson’s longshot bid for president is a simple one: she’s just better on policy than Biden.

Williamson supports universal, single payer health care – something that exists in some form in every other industrialized country in the world. Biden doesn’t.

Williamson supports tuition-free public colleges and universities for all. Biden doesn’t.

Williamson supports paring back our bloated defense budget. Biden – who recently requested a baffling $842 billion annual defense budget – doesn’t.

I could go on, but I think my point is clear: Williamson is bolder and better on the issues than Biden.

The Ross Perot effect

Before you rush to the comments, believe me: I understand that Williamson’s bid for the democratic nomination over an incumbent president is a longshot. But, a loss in the primary can’t always be how we as progressives define success.

Success can mean pushing the party and country’s Overton window to the left — something that Bernie Sanders’ campaigns in 2016 and 2020 certainly did. Despite primary losses, Sanders’ campaigns are undoubtedly the reason Biden’s first term has had some bright spots for progressives.

To continue pushing Biden and the Democratic Party leftward, we need a bold progressive in the primary to challenge Biden and, more generally, the Democratic establishment, on the issues. Why is it that Biden and co. oppose universal, single-payer health care? Why is it that Biden and co. oppose free tuition at public colleges and universities?

I like to call this the “Ross Perot effect.”

Perot was an independent candidate for president in 1992, running in a lane to the right of incumbent George H.W. Bush. Though Bill Clinton won the election, Perot’s success in the general election — garnering 19% of the popular vote as an independent candidate — certainly influenced Clinton to take a position in office to the right of what many progressives like me might’ve liked.

Even if she loses, a meaningful Williamson campaign could push a victorious Biden to the left.

So, if you’re a young progressive like me not looking forward to voting for 82-year-old Biden, look no further: Marianne Williamson is a great candidate to consider.

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