Marianne Williamson: America is becoming an aristocracy
Editor's Note: "On Sunday April 14 at 6 p.m. ET, CNN will host a town hall with Marianne Williamson, a Democratic candidate for president in 2020. She is also a bestselling author, activist and spiritual lecturer. The views expressed in this commentary belong to the author. View more opinion at CNN."
(CNN) During my 35-year career working with individuals and groups going through traumatic experiences, I have helped people navigate the consequences of an irresponsible political establishment. As a result, I have strong ideas about some of the things that have gone wrong in America and how to help us heal.
While I have spent my career empowering people and turning them into leaders, Washington has been disempowering people and turning them into followers. The stress and anxiety that has become so endemic in American society, due to chronic economic and social despair, has fostered a population disconnected from civic engagement. Today, this chronic disempowerment represents a threat to our democracy.
Relatively few Americans have abused their rights at the expense of the many, turning the US government into their own personal playground. From tax cuts that benefit only the wealthiest among us, to corporate subsidies that aid industries (oil, big pharma, agribusiness, etc.) already profiting to the tune of billions, money has been sliding for decades away from expenditures that support the public good to expenditures that support the lucky few.
Though American politicians continues to say we are a democracy, we are sliding ever more dangerously into a veiled aristocratic system. The mindset of the new aristocracy has not only imbued our politics -- it has hijacked America's value system, leading us to swerve from our democratic and deep human values. We have forgotten that public morality even matters.
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CNN OpEd - Marianne Williamson