Political pundit James Carville is warning progressive Democrats to back off on “woke language” in the current Washington spending debates if they want to appeal to voters in the 2022 midterms.
“The danger is that when you communicate to people in this woke language that they don’t use, they think you think you’re better than them. It reminds people you’re caught up in a coastal, urban, elite, self-important view of the world,” Mr. Carville told The Washington Times in an interview.
Mr. Carville said the burden of responsibility lies on progressives to back off of threats to “cancel” party moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, if they want to maintain a winning coalition in the next election cycle.
“I think it hurts politically,” he said.
In mid-September, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, responded to Mr. Manchin’s concerns about Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion social spending package by accusing him on Twitter of meeting weekly with oil lobbyists.
When Mr. Manchin denied the claim on CNN, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez followed up with a Sept. 12 tweet accusing him of “weird, patronizing behavior” for referring to her in the televised interview as “that young lady.”
Mr. Carville, a former adviser to President Clinton, said this sort of rhetoric from progressives could destabilize the party’s ability to maintain a coalition with a tenuous 50-50 majority in the U.S. Senate.
“They’re not tolerant of other views,” he said. “It’s possible to be so tolerant that you’re intolerant.”
He added that he believes left-wing Democrats currently represent only about 20% of the party’s voters, compared to the pro-Trump conservatives who he believes represent 70% of the Republican Party.
“I think there’s a lot of cancelling going on, and I’m not sure the majority of it is coming from progressive Democrats, but I don’t like that their answer is ‘I don’t want to work with you’ if you say something that comes out wrong,’” he said.
In an April 27 interview with Vox, Mr. Carville warned about the “cancel culture” that he believes had enveloped segments of both parties since President Biden’s inauguration. He said this week the situation has not improved on either side of the aisle.
“I don’t think anyone is communicating very well right now across the entire political spectrum, because there’s not a lot of good news in American politics today,” Mr. Carville said.