Williamson, an author and celebrity spiritual adviser, was dismissed by many as a fringe candidate when she announced her bid for the White House. But in the second round of the primary debates, she dazzled voters with a zinger-filled performance that diverged from the usual Democratic talking points.
She dominated Google searches following the debate, becoming the most-searched candidate in 49 out of 50 states. (She was not able to surpass searches for Gov. Steve Bullock in his home state of Montana.) Before the debate began, Williamson was the top searched candidate in only two states.
Her comments about the worrying state of America’s social and political climate were particularly well received.
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” she declared, responding to a question from a Michigan voter asking how she’d prevent an event like the Flint water crisis from repeating itself.
Her debate performance received wide praise on Twitter, with many apparently warming up to the idea that Williamson should be treated as a serious candidate.
“She was the only candidate who had the balls to call it out for what it really is,” an admirer on Reddit noted.
George Bush talked about “voodoo economics” without getting laughed off the campaign trail, another pointed out.
Others agreed with her about the dark psychic forces but insisted they were possessing the Democratic Party, not Trump.
But plenty of Americans were not ready for dark-forces talk just yet.
Others, realizing the time had come to take her seriously, began addressing her arguments.
“Any attempt to implement mandatory reparations in any amount is going to unleash more dark psychic forces than you can shake a stick at,” one commenter warned.
Williamson waited until after the debate to elaborate on what exactly she meant by “dark psychic forces,” and the reality was relatively pedestrian: “racism, bigotry, antisemitism, homophobia, islamophobia, the same elements that make up collectivized hatred pretty much anywhere in history,” she told reporters.
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