James Carville Goes After “the Faculty Lounge”

Democratic strategist James Carville gave an interview to Vox recently that is so good it’s worth reading in its entirety. Here are some excerpts.

“You ever get the sense that people in faculty lounges in fancy colleges use a different language than ordinary people? They come up with a word like “Latinx” that no one else uses. Or they use a phrase like “communities of color.” I don’t know anyone who speaks like that. I don’t know anyone who lives in a “community of color.” I know lots of white and Black and brown people and they all live in … neighborhoods. 

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with these phrases. But this is not how people talk. This is not how voters talk. And doing it anyway is a signal that you’re talking one language and the people you want to vote for you are speaking another language. This stuff is harmless in one sense, but in another sense it’s not.

James Carville takes on the awful language of “the faculty lounge.”

“We have to talk about race. We should talk about racial injustice. What I’m saying is, we need to do it without using jargon-y language that’s unrecognizable to most people — including most Black people, by the way — because it signals that you’re trying to talk around them. This “too cool for school” shit doesn’t work, and we have to stop it.

“There may be a group within the Democratic Party that likes this, but it ain’t the majority. And beyond that, if Democrats want power, they have to win in a country where 18 percent of the population controls 52 percent of the Senate seats.That’s a fact. That’s not changing. That’s what this whole damn thing is about. 

“Wokeness is a problem and everyone knows it. It’s hard to talk to anybody today — and I talk to lots of people in the Democratic Party — who doesn’t say this. But they don’t want to say it out loud.. because they’ll get clobbered or canceled. And look, part of the problem is that lots of Democrats will say that we have to listen to everybody and we have to include every perspective, or that we don’t have to run a ruthless messaging campaign. Well, you kinda do. It really matters.

“We have to speak the way regular people speak, the way voters speak. It ain’t complicated. That’s how you connect and persuade. And we have to stop allowing ourselves to be defined from the outside.”

A few days before the Vox interview came out, I wrote about this very topic. But, let’s face it, YSDA is pretty small operation. Only highly-intelligent, good-looking and truly discerning people — like you, of course — read this site. But Barack Obama took on cancel culture a couple of years ago. And now, the fact that someone with the national firepower and influence that Carville has would challenge the language of Critical Race Theory gives me hope.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

4 thoughts on “James Carville Goes After “the Faculty Lounge”

  1. Carville is 76, lives in Louisiana and hasn’t been politically relevant in decades. That’s not stopping him from continuing to dine out on the 1996 election, but why should I care what he thinks? Because he lines up with your Clintonist worldview? Clintonism was rejected (hard) in 2016 on the left and the right.
    Black voters in Georgia are the reason Biden is president. You’re going to vote D no matter what, and so are all the people Carville talks to. The same is not true for young Black people living in Atlanta or Milwaukee. See the 2016 rejection of Clintonism.


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