With bank bailouts, wars and health care on everyone’s mind, political consultant James Carville said people cannot complain about the current political climate without participating in the polls.
Carville, who is a best-selling author and CNN producer, talk-show host and contributor, presented his points at 7:30 p.m. yesterday on the eve of election night in Emerson Suites at Ithaca College. With his background as an influential political pundit, Carville said despite corrupt dealings within government, he values his work in politics, and that the American public should care too.
“I’m 66 years old, and after everything I’ve done, I’m proud to have worked in politics,” Carville said. “Because you can say all you want about politics and it may be true — they may be crooks, they may just say things to get elected, they may run negative ads, they may, in fact, market to interest groups — to some extent, but one thing you can’t say is what they do is unimportant.”
He stressed the importance of involvement, saying that people will not have control over government decisions without first controlling the ballot.
“The ability to communicate is the ability to influence,” he said. “The ability to influence is the ability to have an impact on the direction of the country.”
By impacting the direction of one’s country, one affects whether a country goes to war. One decides whether one will pay for a banking system that ruins the economy. By engaging in politics, he said the American people are making a choice.
“If you want to make the wars that you don’t have any say by people that you don’t know, that is your choice. But I don’t think that that’s the choice that you want to make,” Carville said.
Carville preaches that students should play an active voice in politics.
“I tell my students that there are two ways you can go through life: you can make rain or you can get rained on,” he said. “And I think it’s just an unthrilling way to go through life with an umbrella on your head.”
While the founder of the independent nonprofit polling organization Democracy Corps admitted that the Democrats may be the first to lose the elections tonight, the New Orleans, La., resident said votes are needed to stabilize the left-winged agenda, or to even support the right-winged platform.
“If you’re a Democrat, there’s a hurricane coming tomorrow, and the best you can hope for is somehow it decreases its intensity to a category four — which is bad, but at least you will still have some construction left standing,” Carville said.
Ultimately, Carville leaves the fate of the polls in to the people’s hands.
“Don’t get rained on,” he said. “Make your rain. Be involved. If you don’t like the course, change the course. It’s up to you.”