1981- James Carville Home
Future Clinton Campaign Advisor
Around the time Bill Clinton came on the national scene I noticed James Carville on national TV defending Bill and eventually realized that I had also had an encounter with him. It was at the State LP convention in Orlando around 1981. 1 had brought my little brother Rick to introduce him to the libertarian philosophy. On Saturday we listened to speeches all day and Rick went back home while I stayed for the next day's activities and the voting of officers.
The LP had factions just like any other political party. The hard line libertarian philosophy was for a very limited government in both the social and economic areas, much like the federal government which existed before the war of northern aggression. So it was difficult for the LP to have a left wing, however the LP attracted some right wing conservatives who felt the Republican party had swung too far to the left on economic freedom issues, but they were not very enthusiastic about allowing personal freedoms that went against their religious beliefs, particularly the LPs' belief in legalizing drugs and prostitution.
They became known as the Libertarian right and, although misnamed, the hard line LPers became known as the Libertarian left. Before the main LP business meeting to elect officers I was standing around talking to a couple of hard line LPers when I yelled to one of the right wing LPers some 20' away about us having a meeting of the LP left.
I started lamenting how the party needed to get it's message out to a wider audience and asking the other two Lpers how we could do that. As we were talking I noticed a man standing some five feet behind us who appeared to be interested in our conversation and seemed to be straining to hear what we were saying. Finally he became so frustrated he jumped into the conversation and exclaimed in a loud excited voice - "YOU'VE GOT TO EDUCATE THE MASSES - YOU'VE GOT TO EDUCATE THE MASSES."
I was so taken back by his boldness that I was a little intimidated. I wanted to ask him to join our conversation but something told me not to get involved with that man so I didn't say anything. Neither did the other two people in the conversation and he eventually drifted off and I didn't see him again - until I saw him defending Clinton in 92 on national TV.
Yes, it was James Carville. What he was doing at an LP meeting in 81 I don't know. I don't think he was involved with the Democrat Party yet, but I have to wonder if he wasn't monitoring the LP convention for some government agency. Reading his bio I notice he had recently left the marines. It wouldn't be the first time a military agency paid former soldiers to do intelligence work outside the military. That's how Hitler got involved in politics. He was doing intelligence work for the Army when he infiltrated the “German Workers Party” and later became the leader of the party that was the precursor to the Nazi Party.
Later in the late 90s I called into a local radio talk show to talk to Mary Matalin after she had married Carville. I didn't tell her of my encounter with her future husband. I just told her I didn't understand how she could have married someone with such different political beliefs. I told her I had trouble imagining them sitting down to dinner. I had an image of Carville screaming at her over the table. She laughed and said that he was really very sweet. I'm still struggling with that description.
As for his suggestion of educating the masses I now believe that it takes a bit of arrogance to believe that anyone knows what would be good for “the masses” and it would be especially dangerous for someone who thought he or she knew what was good for the masses to achieve political power. In fact in a Constitutional Republic it would be the masses (the ones paying the bills and salaries of the political establishment) that educate the politicians and political parties. You have to realize that the politicians are your employees and you are the employer who has the right to fire them. If they were of any use to the economy they wouldn't be in government. Most of em (Ron Paul excepted) are only there either because they are arrogant enough to think they know what's best for everybody or because they want to be able to steal from the employers and not go to jail as they would if they robbed a 7-11 or bank. I have more respect for non-violent drug dealers than I do most politicians. At least the drug dealers provide a product that the consumer wants.
No James – you don't have to educate the masses. They need to educate you.