Democratic political analyst James Carville had a message for the audience Monday night at Miami Book Fair: You should be scared of a Trump presidency.
“How many people are scared?” he asked the packed (and highly partisan) crowd. Then: “How many people are very scared?”
Even after an enthusiastic response, he wasn’t convinced. “You’re not scared enough,” he said. “It’s a disaster.”
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Carville was in town to talk about his latest book, “We’re Still Right, They’re Still Wrong: The Democrats’ Case for 2016.’’
The Democrats, of course, did not win the White House, and so a riled-up Carville, dressed in jeans, sneakers and a golf shirt with a crawdad on it, was there to fire people up.
Not surprisingly, the CNN contributor had nothing positive to say about President-Elect Donald Trump, whom he called “an affront.”
“People come up to me and say, ‘Tell me something good,’ “ he said. “I can’t.
“This man does not come with a list of policies — he comes with a list of grievances.”
To no one’s surprise, Carville isn’t willing to shut up and help America come together as a nation.
“Why do they get to complain? Am I being a sore loser or am I telling the truth?”
His plan to fight back is simple: Expose and educate (he led the crowd in chanting those words more than once).
“This is gonna be one giant civics lesson,” he said.
Actor Alan Cumming, who appeared after Carville to talk about his new photo essay book, “You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams,” was significantly more upbeat, charming the audience with stories from a career that has spanned Broadway, film and television.
Interviewed by Miami Film Festival executive director Jaie LaPlante, Cumming discussed his roles (the crowd favorite seemed to be Eli from “The Good Wife”), read a funny excerpt from his book about meeting Elizabeth Taylor at a party and answered enthusiastic questions from the crowd.
As for playing the Emcee in “Cabaret” — and winning a Tony Award for it — he is philosophical about being remembered for it.
“In 10 years, someone will redefine it again,” he said.
Asked about the election, though, the Scottish-born actor admitted to feeling a lot like Carville.
“I became a citizen of America so that I could vote,” he said. “It’s really a terrifying time. I’m frightened of what’s going to happen to us.”
The subject of politics will continue Tuesday at the fair with the 8 p.m. appearance of columnist Maureen Dowd, who will talk about her book “The Year of Voting Dangerously.” At 6 p.m., novelist Geraldine Brooks (“The Secret Chord”) appears.
The fair kicked off Sunday with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who spoke with local attorney Bob Weisberg about his book “Born a Crime.” Noah spoke about racism and growing up in South Africa under apartheid.
If You Go
What: Miami Book Fair
When: Through Nov. 20
Where: Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., downtown Miami
Tickets and information: www.miamibookfair.com
Schedule of events this week
Tuesday: Geraldine Brooks, 6 p.m.; Maureen Dowd, 8 p.m.; $15
Wednesday: Tavis Smiley, 8 p.m.; $15
Thursday: Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf, 6 p.m.; Jeffrey Toobin, 8 p.m.; $15
Friday: An Evening with the National Book Awards Winners and Finalists, 6 p.m.; $15
Street fair: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $8 for adults; $5 for 13-18 and over 62; 12 and under free. Bernie Sanders will speak at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chapman Auditorium. Tickets are sold out for the free event. Those interested in attending can try to get tickets at the standby tickets line at the auditorium.