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Detroit — Best-selling author Marianne Williamson said the problems in the United States run much deeper than all the issues debated Tuesday, and that some of her competitors were part of the problem.

She said the country has lost its moral leadership, is controlled by corporations and a defense industry driven by profit, and that presidential candidates were silenced by their donations from them.

“The corruption is so deep, and until Democrats are ready to speak to the deeper corruption,” the problems won’t be fixed, she said during her closing statement.

The solution isn’t the “wonkism” doled out by the presidential candidates but a psychological salve that speaks to the heart and calls for people to love each other and future generations, she said.

Williamson said the country has never met the ideals of its founding fathers that anyone could thrive in the U.S.

But the country is at its best when it tries to meet those ideals, which are being threatened now, she said. The nation, like it did during abolitionism and the suffragette movement, needs to rise up.

"Conventional politics will not solve this problem because conventional politics is part of the problem,” she said. “We the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility."

Williamson criticized other candidates who took donations from corporations, then promised to take on those companies if they were elected.

She called for a constitutional amendment that would allow public funding of campaigns, which would take away the power of corporations with deep pockets.

“Until we do it, it's just the same old, same old," she said.

Williamson said the Flint water crisis was caused, in part, by racism.

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Marianne Williamson on the Flint Water Crisis: 'What happened in Flint would not happen in Grosse Pointe," calling it a racial injustice. The Detroit News

She said such a crisis never would have happened in Grosse Pointe, where she had lived 20 years ago. Such problems happen more often in places like Flint because the poor and people of color don’t have the money to fight back, she said.

“Flint was just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “It’s bigger than Flint.” 

Asked about her support for reparations for blacks, Williams said they should receive $200 to $500 billion.

She said the country would never heal its racial divide until it addresses what it did to blacks, first with slavery and then by what she described as “domestic terrorism.”

“We need deep truth-telling,” she said. “So many Americans realize there is an injustice.”

Besides the solutions to all the problems discussed Tuesday, the candidates need to discuss the causes, said Williamson.

“We need to be the party talking about why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environment policies and even our economic policies are leading to people sick to begin with," she said.

Williamson, 66, has written 13 books and was a spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey.

She lived in Metro Detroit from 1998 to 2006, serving as spiritual director of Renaissance Unity Church in Warren during the first four years. She now lives in Texas.

She has been criticized for her New Age language, such as saying she would "harness love for political purposes" to beat President Trump.

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