The two political rivals known as Mary Matalin and James Carville spoke at Westernâ€™s 15th annual Convocation on Critical Issues at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 30 in the Looney Complex.
One may think a relationship like theirs would never make it, but former Western alumni Dan Boulware believes otherwise.
“You might think they throw barbs in a mean-spirited way, but they donâ€™t,” Boulware said. “I think after you hear them today, youâ€™ll know why their relationship works.”
Matalin spoke first and told the audience how previous convocation speakers have praised Western.
“This [Convocation] is the favorite speaking event theyâ€™ve ever been to,” Matalin said.
Previous Convocation speakers have included Sam Donaldson,
She proceeded to share her opinions on the present election.
“The big picture is that the candidates have been three points apart throughout this whole race,” Matalin said.
The former host of CNNâ€™s debate show, Crossfire, stressed that no matter which views one follows, they should always keep an open mind.
She believes there are four things everyone should study, no matter what their major is.
The first one was history.
The next was our Constitution.
“It is used worldwide as a prototype,” Matalin said. “It is a document that holds for the ages.”
The third subject was journalism and the fourth was communications.
“It is imperative that you learn how to have clarity of thought,” Matalin said. “If you can learn to communicate, you will be our future.”
After Matalin shared a few closing thoughts, she introduced her husband and political rival, James Carville.
“He is my dearly beloved,” Matalin said. “Just because he thinks wrongly doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s not smart.”
Carville began by stressing that college was an important part of his life.
“The best four years of my life were spent as a sophomore,” Carville said.
He believes history is taking place right in front of us, considering the ethnicities and genders of our current political candidates.
“Do you want to watch history, or do you want to help make history?” Carville asked. “Do you want to lead our nation eating chips and wiping salsa off your mouth?”
This author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and restaurateur believes people need to get involved and be aware of what is going on around them in order for change to actually happen.
When it comes to Carvilleâ€™s marriage with Matalin, Carville has no problem getting along with someone who does not share his political views.
“Itâ€™s not so important that you be around people that think like you, but that you be around people that think,” Carville said.
Though they do have these opposing views, they were still able to co-write a book entitled Allâ€™s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks.
Both speakers answered questions that were pre-submitted by Western students and faculty.
When asked about the importance of voting, Carville shared a voting statistic.
“Normally, 12 out of 100 people vote [who] are 18-29,” Carville said.
Matalin believes parents should encourage their children at a young age to vote when the time comes.
“I take my kids to the voting booth,” Matalin said. “I get choked up; I donâ€™t take voting for granted.”
One submitted question asked how each of them would react to someone who believes one should vote for the lesser of two evils.
“Thatâ€™s why you have to participate,” Matalin said.
She said people do not trust the system.
“You canâ€™t bring trust back to the system overnight,” Matalin said.
Though they do not see eye-to-eye politically, neither Matalin nor Carville has influenced the otherâ€™s views.
“I made a pretty good choice when I was 16 years old and Iâ€™m gonna stick with the same one,” Carville said.
Freshman Rachel Jackson enjoyed this yearâ€™s convocation.
“I thought that the speakers were strong and lively, and I think that they focused well on their audience,” Jackson said.
Boulware believes Matalin and Carville bring a well-informed perspective from both sides of the political spectrum.
“They are passionate in their beliefs,” Boulware said. “They both want what is best for our country.”