Criticizing the president for pardoning a race-war spouting killer wouldn’t exactly qualify as a hot take for the author of “A Politics of Love” — except that it never happened. In fact, since the murderous cult leader, who died in 2017, was convicted of California state criminal charges, Trump couldn’t issue him a pardon even if he wanted to.
Williamson later posted a follow-up tweet apologizing and noting that she was “Glad To have been wrong.” But she soon deleted both the original tweet and the apology.
The author and onetime spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey made a splash over the summer with her performances in the Democratic debates. After a July debate in Detroit, she even become the top-searched candidate on Google after offering memorable lines about “toxicity” and “emotional turbulence.”
But she’s failed to meet the more stringent requirements for poll numbers and donors to make the stage in more recent debates, although she vowed in October to continue her campaign despite the difficulty in breaking into nationally televised contests.
“I think the process of democracy demands, and the American people deserve, something far more real,” she wrote in an op-ed critical of the Democratic Party’s rules for the debates. “We will not defeat outrageous lies with tepid, corporatized, compromised truths. We will not defeat a political cult leader with the same old tried but clearly no longer true.”
Last week, another late-night social media post earlier by Williamson sparked intense criticism from vaccination advocates, after she suggested on Facebook that vaccines could contain “neurons-toxins” and demanded an “independent commission” to review vaccine safety. Earlier this summer, she’d drawn fire for calling vaccines “Orwellian,” before later clarifying she didn’t intend to “question the validity of lifesaving vaccines.”
It’s unclear why she apparently believed Trump had pardoned Manson, whose followers tortured and stabbed to death seven victims, including actress Sharon Tate, in a late 1960s rampage. But some online noted that the liberal blog Daily Kos recently republished a satirical article from another site headlined “Trump Pardons Charles Manson."
Williamson’s campaign did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post.