James Carville: 'Wokeness Is a Problem" For Democrats "And We All Know It' James Carville attends the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Dec. 11, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 27 April 2021 10:38 AM
Longtime Democrat strategist James Carville told Vox on Tuesday that "wokeness is a problem" for the party "and we all know it."
Carville added that despite success in the 2020 elections, Democrats have a "messaging problem."
"If we’re just talking about [President Joe Biden] Biden, it’s very difficult to find something to complain about," Carville said. "And to me his biggest attribute is that he’s not into 'faculty lounge’ politics."
"You ever get the sense that people in faculty lounges in fancy colleges use a different language than ordinary people?," he said. "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."
Carville added, "We have to talk about race. We should talk about racial injustice,” but "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."
Later on, Carville added that the reason for this is "because large parts of the country view us as an urban, coastal, arrogant party, and a lot gets passed through that filter. That’s a real thing. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it — it’s a real phenomenon and it’s damaging to the party brand."
Carville said "wokeness" is a problem for Democrats.
"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," he said. "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."
According to Carville, "I always tell people that we’ve got to stop speaking Hebrew and start speaking Yiddish. 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."