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Missouri Boys State 2012 (June 16, 2012)

Attorney General Chris Koster at Missouri Boys State 2012 – Q and A (June 17, 2012)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Kansas City Mayor Sly James at Missouri Boys State 2012 (June 18, 2012)

Kansas City Mayor Sly James at Missouri Boys State 2012 (June 18, 2012)

James Carville at Missouri Boys State 2012 – photos (June 19, 2012)

James Carville spoke at Missouri Boys State in Hendricks Hall on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on Monday night and was honored with the 24th Annual George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair.

James Carville spoke at Missouri Boys State on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg on Monday evening.

The transcript of excerpts from the question and answer session:


Question: [….] As a man who’s been on television for years and is heavily involved in media how do feel about the large amount of bias that range from CNN to Fox News and the need many reporters feel to add their opinions in on every story instead of simply sticking to the facts. [voice: “Yeah.”][applause]

James Carville: That’s a, that’s a question that I think a lot about. And I, uh, let me, let me back up a little bit here. You gotta, news is like anything else. It can be used for good, it can be used for whatever. And you gotta distinguish between news and opinion. When I went to LSU and, and some of the older people here, there aren’t very many, would, but we got one paper. We got the Baton Rouge paper. I suspect somebody went to Central Missouri when I, in the early sixties, you got the Kansas City Star, that was it. And if you wanted to read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal you had to go in the library and it’d come four days late on a stick. [laughter] And they had like two or three like nightly news shows, that was it.  I do not think that we knew any less than young people today. And, and you gotta be careful how you use it. ‘Cause see, you, you could be in, in, in, that was all the news you got. Now, now, how much news you have, how many cable shows there, how many web sites they have? Millions. Literally, if, if you’re liberal you never have to read a conservative thing. Or, if you’re a conservative you never have to read a liberal thing. And so you use, people use this information like a drunk uses a lamp post, for support, not illumination. [laughter][applause] People, and so you ask yourself, are you using things to validate what you already think? All right. That’s not, that’s not, you can do that and you have the perfect right to do that, but you’re not gonna be enlightened, you’re not gonna learn anything if you’re watching somebody to say, you know, I knew I was right the whole time. So, and there’s plenty of places you can get things. You can discern your own opinion. And you can read opinions, but you gotta understand there’s a difference between opinion and the news. That’s all I’m telling you. And it, and, and you have to sort of discern it. It, you know, certain things after a while you develop, if you develop an opinion you can argue your opinion. It’s developed, it’s nuanced, it, it’s rooted in at least your version of the facts, that’s fine. And not, none of us, this idea that there’s somebody out there that is totally neutral is pretty hard, pretty hard for me to accept. People grow up, they have prejudices, they have biases, they have a point of view. They can’t simply remove them. It’s just, it’s just human nature. That, that, hardest thing, judges, anybody, some people are better able to do that than others, but, but it’s a difficult thing to do.


Question: [….] Recently you’ve said on various media sources that if President Obama wants, do, reelected for a second term his, uh, campaign committee needs to focus more on, uh, addressing economic policies he wants to do. What specific economic policies would you like to see the President talk more about?

James Carville: Oh, great, great question. I, I think that the, from, I was, I was the oldest of eight children and my dad was postmaster and ran a kind of like a country store. My mother sold encyclopedias. And, and the one thing that we always knew growing up is that an education was the way to do things. That you always knew that the value of an education far outstripped its costs.  And we had a, a, a growing, vibrant middle class in this country. We have sort of lost that for any number of reasons [inaudible]. What I would like for the President, and I think he’s done many good things, I think he’s had any number of things that he’s had to sort of concentrate on, uh, but I think that the emphasis in his second term, I hope he does this in the campaign, is how do we get this middle class growing again.  How are people able to, to cope with this, how are people able, how can we make the, the costs of an education line up with the value of an education or even have the value of an education exceed the cost? How are people not one health care bill away from being financially decimated? How is it that we can figure out how there are things we can make and how do we become producers again as opposed to consumers? And I think if the President does that kind of stuff and talks about the kinds of things that we need to do as a country that make investments in rebuilding the middle class I think he’s gonna be a lot more successful. And that’s what I’d more like to see him talk about. And that’s what I meant when I talk about the economy I’m talking about a broad based economy. That benefits people across the board. Now you’re always gonna have some people as, as, as would happen in, in any, in any economy some people by virtue of their drive by, by virtue of their willingness to take risk, by their work, their, their willingness to accept failure then succeed, well, we should have that.

One of the really distressing things that’s happened in this country, and it’s happened in my lifetime, and, and it, it really saddens me, is more and more the predictor of a person’s success is determined by the success of their parents. And I don’t like that. I don’t like the fact that the greatest predictor of somebody, how far somebody go in life is how far their parents went. That [applause], I don’t think that’s a good way. And, and, and we need to, and we need to think about that as a country. And you need to, this, you need to think about that as a young person.  And, I want a, I want a country where the thing that’s gonna determine how far you go, the biggest thing that’s gonna determine how far you go is not what your parents did, but what you do. And that’s becoming less and less, and that bothers me greatly. It really does. [applause]