January 21, 2024: US Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson today took time out of her busy schedule ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primary election in New Hampshire to sign a pledge to abolish nuclear weapons.
The pledge states that, “if elected President, I will sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [TPNW, or Nuclear Ban Treaty]” and “work with the other nuclear-armed nations… to ensure the irreversible and verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons from all countries.” The pledge also commits her to redirecting all the trillions of taxpayer dollars currently earmarked for a massive nuclear weapons build-up to instead address the global climate emergency.
Monday, January 22nd, marks the third anniversary of the TPNW entering into force as law in 70 countries. Another 27 countries are in the process of ratifying this treaty, and others are still lining up to sign it. The treaty bans everything to do with nuclear weapons, including any form of assistance with their design, development, manufacture or deployment. The US and other nuclear-armed nations have so far refused to have anything to do with it.
Marianne Williamson is struggling to attain national recognition for her candidacy and has had to fight her way onto the primary ballots in a number of states. Along with Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, she is one of only two candidates challenging Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. A third, Cenk Uygur, was born in Turkey and is therefore unable to be President according to the US Constitution.
Although Marianne Williamson does not yet have the level of grassroots support that Bernie Sanders had in 2020, her policies and positions are very similar to his. She supports Medicare for All, tuition-free colleges, a living wage, and a “full-scale effort” to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035 that is, in all but name, Bernie’s Green New Deal.
On peace issues, Williamson is actually stronger than Bernie was or even is today. She talks in general about moving away from military approaches to more diplomatic ones, and wants to establish a US Department of Peace, first proposed by presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich back in 2001. And although she started out sympathizing with Israeli victims of the Hamas attack on October 7th, she is now unequivocally calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Bernie Sanders is still not fully on board with that.
When it comes to Ukraine, Marianne Williamson was also initially in sympathy with the Ukrainians fighting off the Russian invasion in February 2022. She supported US military aid going to Ukraine in those early days, but is now clear that “the only solution is a negotiated settlement” in Ukraine. “It’s time to talk,” she says.
“America should embark on a 10- to 20-year plan for turning a wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of our military-industrial complex in such a way as to leave us strong enough to deal with America’s legitimate needs for military preparedness, yet moving on to the urgent task of building a sustainable society and a sustainable world.”Marianne Williamson, 2024