When I think of Marianne Williamson's campaign to represent California's 33rd Congressional District, I'm reminded of a story.
A few years ago, the Writers Guild of America held a contest: say what is best about being a writer in only three words. Writers submitted entries like "No Shaving Necessary," "Make New Worlds," and "Earn Money Sometimes." But the winner of the contest was this entry:
"There are no rules."
Well, the same can be said about politics. An independent candidate for Congress in California's storied 33rd District shouldn't be getting so much attention and press. But, Marianne is. A woman who started up an organization calling for a Department of Peace shouldn't be attracting voters from every spectrum of politics, even the far Right. But, she is. A best-selling author of ten books who hasn't held office before shouldn't be out-raising the other sixteen candidates running for the same seat. But, she is.
And Marianne Williamson, regardless of the fact that she's written words that have been inscribed into the great lexicon of American thought, regardless of the fact that she's dedicated her life to fostering personal and political change, shouldn't be the candidate with all the momentum in this race, shouldn't be going from unmentioned to top-tier status in a matter of weeks, shouldn't be poised to make history.
But, she is.
And, as former Counsel to Senators Wellstone and Kennedy, I love it. I love what it says about the voters in my adopted home of Los Angeles. I love what it says about politics. I love what it says about America.
It says that we are finally ready for the kind of conversation only Marianne Williamson can lead. A conversation about hope -- and hope not in the sense of a city in Arkansas or the title of a book. Hope -- that we can talk about the actual problems that face us using the same language as the actual solutions. Hope -- that we can heal the deep racial and environmental and regional and political hatreds that have paralyzed this great nation. Hope that our future can be better than our past.
Hope that campaign finance reform can go from theory to practice. Hope that God can be talked about on the House floor in a discussion that expands, instead of seeks to contract, human rights. Hope that the higher consciousness that we need to achieve can elevate everything we do collectively, as a government and a responsible citizenry.
One of my favorite quotes of Marianne's is when she quotes Einstein. That we can't solve the problems we've created with the same mindset that created those problems. We need a gamechanger in the 33rd. We need a gamechanger in the US House of Representatives. We need a gamechanger in American politics.
We need Marianne Williamson.
And I think we are going to get what we need. Less than two weeks ago, a group of people, including me, were disturbed by attacks on Marianne by Wendy Gruel, challenging whether Marianne was pro-Choice. What upset us most about the attacks (other than the fact that they were false -- Marianne is pro-Choice), was that a female candidate was attacking another female candidate in an attempt to win over female voters. So, we decided to put together a campaign ad in support of Marianne by women, for women.
That discussion happened Friday night, May 23rd. Marcia Cross came up with a rallying cry/refrain, and she and Frances Fisher provided much of the rhetoric, with input from Nancy Moonves and Jamie Adler. I turned that into a script. We raised the money for it on Sunday the 24th, found a location to shoot it, a DP, an editor, crew. We shot the ad on May 25th, Memorial day, over the span of four hours. I was the director in name, but accomplished Director John Wynn showed up to help, Obama's cinematographer Mark Wolf showed up simply to run the teleprompter, Frances Fisher herself served as First AD, and Moby generously contributed the music. A director himself, Stephen Lentini, edited it the following day, and by May 28th the ad was running across the city.
You can watch it at the link, here. It stars Marcia, Frances, Francesca Eastwood, and Shohreh Agdhashloo. No one involved in this shoot has ever been part of a project that came together so quickly, so easily, and honestly -- so miraculously. There are no rules.
There is something big going on in California's 33rd District. Even Marianne, in many ways, is only a part of what is happening here. If you live there, or even if you don't, consider joining her. There is a movement building here that America needs, and this movement is poised to elevate Marianne, and all of us, to a new level.