Debates 2020

Reluctant Anarchist Marianne Williamson: 'If Your Government Does It, That Doesn't Make It Less of a Crime'

The Democratic candidate absolutely destroyed the idea that violence is OK when the government does it.

|

You're not likely to hear a lot of libertarian zingers at tonight's second Democratic primary debate. Fortunately, California self-help author and chemical policy skeptic Marianne Williamson offered a slight respite from the statist rhetoric with a positively barn-burning condemnation of the Trump administration's immigration policy.

"If your government does it, that doesn't make it less of a crime," said Williamson during a heated round of questioning about immigration policy.

In doing so, Williamson picked up on a theme raised by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said the Trump administration's family separation policy would be considered kidnapping in Colorado.

Neither Hickenlooper nor any other candidates on stage tonight, however, managed to so effectively skewer the artificial distinction between the morality of actions taken by the government and those of private citizens as Williamson did.

Other candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), promised that they would not deport immigrants solely for being undocumented. Yet none dared try to question the moral authority of the state to incarcerate people for victimless crimes.

Libertarians have long recognized that force is force, regardless of who is wielding the coercive power, and it's refreshing to hear that point being made in tonight's debate. To be sure, Williamson is no libertarian. But if she ever followed her argument to its logical conclusion, libertarianism is where she'd end up.

NEXT: U.S. Asylum Officers Are Asking a Federal Court To Overturn Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Asylum Policy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dangerous for her to say. The next thing she might be forced to concede is that just because the majority endorses something, that doesn’t make it moral or right.

  2. It seems Marianne Williamson is something of a celebrity. Even I’ve heard her name before.

    I hadn’t known she’d founded AIDS hospices and similar charities. This promptly elevates her above the other candidates in terms of actual achievements.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson

    I’m not sure what arbitrary criteria make a bestselling author and top hippie spiritual guru less of a Serious Candidate than some Senator and/or ex-prosecutor.

    1. Of course she’s a celebrity who’s never held elective office, and who ever heard of such a person being elected?

      1. Oops, I just looked up her positions on “reproductive rights” and “gun safety.”

        Typical Democratic pabulum.

        On the plus side, I bet her chakras could beat Putin’s.

    2. she correctly pointed out that you aren’t going to beat Trump with a list of policy proposals (or Cruz or Paul would have been the Repub nominee last time), you need slogans and themes and feel good mantras. and she was mocked for it.

      1. You spelled ‘incorrectly’ wrong.

  3. “Other candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), promised that they would not deport immigrants solely for being undocumented.”

    See? In line with my prediction, Democrats are this close to coming right out and saying “We support open borders. The Koch Brothers are right on this issue.” By the 2020 election they’ll make it official.

    #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. Your parody is tired and you should move on.

      1. he’s just getting started. they still need to show that all 20+ Dems are out of touch with American voters.

  4. Still waiting for one of these clowns to explain why it’s not ok to do this to illegal children, but its perfectly fine when the CPS does it to regular citizens and has been for decades.

    If I got anything from these two debates, it would be that these maniacs don’t understand laws or democracy in the slightest, and a close second would be that they appear to care more for people in other countries than people in ours.

    1. Because illegals vote Democrat, while Americans who have children probably vote Republican.

      1. Or dont vote which is just as good, if more and more imported Socialists vote Democrat.

    2. Because they weren’t asked that question but I bet you had they been you would have heard sympathetic responses from many of them. Sometimes caring for other people can get you in trouble but most of the time empathy is a huge positive and empathy is the Democratic party motto in total contrast to the “I gots mine and fuck everyone else” mentality I see so often from rightwingers.

      1. They’re so empathetic they’re willing to sell out the poorest of Americans in favor of cheap, under the table wages to foreign workers.

        1. Total bullshit. The Democrats would give American citizen adults a $1000 a month American dividend so that no person would live without food or shelter. It would solve homelessness, income inequality, stimulate economic output and improve human health. It would pay for itself. Y’all need to wake up. You’re fucking yourself and our world by supporting these Republicans.

          1. No. The Democrats would confiscate, at the point of a gun, money from one group of citizens to give it to another. Quit being the typical moron who thinks trade-offs don’t exist.

          2. >>>It would solve …

            wow dude. no.

          3. It would solve homelessness

            How?

            It would solve income inequality

            How?

            stimulate economic output

            How?

            improve human health

            How?

            Also, its only Andrew Yang that’s proposing that. The democrats have yet to get on board with his extremely expensive wealth redistribution scheme.

          4. $1000 a month American dividend so that no person would live without food or shelter

            Or, live under a bridge, eat at a soup kitchen and buy $1000 in meth.

            I guess it might cut down on theft to support the habit.

      2. they would show sympathy and concern, then carry on the same authoritarian policies when they are in office.

      3. Stealing other people’s money to buy votes is not “empathy”, it’s vote-buying. What are you even doing here, slaver?

  5. I’ll take any scraps I can get with this bunch.

  6. I don’t know about Marianne Williamson, but ENB is beating Kamala Harris with a steel chair on Twitter tonight.

    1. Liz should go to the tights for an international object.

  7. Libertarians, the real ones anyways, will be waiting until the second coming or the heat death of the universe, (whichever comes second) before a plurality of Democrats ever come around to our mode of thinking. Libertarianism has as it’s root fundamental value differences with every known form of leftism. Just because a few leftists agree with us that the queers should be treated equally under the law, and that drugs should be legalized, and that no laws should be made for religious reasons, and that it’s probably a good idea to end foreign wars now, doesn’t mean that they are us. The reasons WHY we think these things are starkly different, and therefore will compel both different ways of ensuring these outcomes, and different goals if these outcomes are ever realized. We really have no common cause with leftists.

    Stop pining away for some libertarian-leftist bromance/alliance/circle jerk. It would lead to all of us blindfolded with our backs to a wall if it were to ever happen.

    1. > It would lead to all of us blindfolded with our backs to a wall if it were to ever happen.

      Exactly like what happened when we tried to get a libertarian-right alliance/circle-jerk. Trump happened.

      1. Exactly like what happened when we tried to get a libertarian-right alliance/circle-jerk.

        Are you on drugs?

        The only libertarians ever elected to statewide office have run as Republicans.

        The LP’s presidential nominee is, more often than not, a GOP also ran or a former Republican.

        And, as stupid as all might think him, Trump has gotten more libertarian to-do items passed than any president EVER.

      2. You’re still here, spouting off nonsense. So, no.

    2. But, what will all these Reason writers do with themselves?

    3. +10000

    4. You’re right, Williamson’s comment was a dig at Trump, not government in general. It wasn’t expressing a “common cause” with libertarians.

      Is government right to separate kids from parents when they arrest parents as they do in every state today for legal US citizens? They could just leave the kids to fend for themselves, or they could put the kids in the general prison population with the parents, neither of which would be right. If families want to immigrate, then they can apply for a visa, a green card, or citizenship from their country or at a port of entry, and they won’t be separated from their kids. Or if the Democrats want to change the law, they can work with Trump to do it, but they’ve refused to do so, and so endorse the law they disparage.
      I learned if you don’t like the law, change it. Democrats like the law, so they can blame Trump for the law they passed.

  8. Just because an absolute lunatic says something sensible amid her outpourings of crockpottery, doesn’t mean you should immediately praise her.

    It just makes you look dumber for championing a complete nut job.

    1. These nut cases will not only lose to Trump, it is helping to utterly destroy the Democrat Party.

      Its why I really dont want them to stop. Once the Party of slavery implodes and only the GOP is left, Libertarians can fill that void and challenge the GOP to be fiscally conservative and socially free.

      1. Libertarians can fill that void

        LOL, sure dude.

        1. Trump being Libertarian-ish is filling the void because RINOs and Democrats are mostly the same.

  9. Where did she destroy that idea?

  10. In doing so, Williamson picked up on a theme raised by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said the Trump administration’s family separation policy would be considered kidnapping in Colorado.

    If you really think putting criminals (including non-American kids who also broke the law) into detention centers pending a hearing then there really is no chance for you people. You live in a fantasy world that you wont try for and seek to undermine our Constitutional Democratic Republic.

    1. Someone you wish had been elected 30 years ago.

      1. Nope, can’t say that I do.

  11. The biggest crime the government commits against the American People is the fraud that is SS and Medicare. Both are far short of money needed to pay promised benefits. If it were private they would be shut down and those running it prosecuted. We expect a government legal system to protect us from such things, instead they force everyone into insurance fraud with no options allowed.

  12. […] Reluctant Anarchist Marianne Williamson: ‘If Your Government Does It, That Doesn’t Make … […]

  13. As a Democrat, does she thus believe it’s only a crime when Republicans are in charge? Or that a Democrat administration would bathed in the blood of Christ and thus unable to engage in a crime? Because you know damned well if she were elected should be be committing crime after crime after crime. Because that’s what it means to be running the government.

  14. ” Trump administration’s family separation policy would be considered kidnapping in Colorado.”

    The pants shitting hysteria over “separated families” is the most moronic bit of hypocritical faux outrage currently in fashion.

    Thousands of US families are separated daily by the criminal justice system.

    We don’t put children in detention facilities with grownups. Duh.

Please to post comments