You know America has begun a decline, but you are unsure why. I’ll tell you why. The problem is the politicians in Washington, Democrats and Republicans alike, along with our foreign policy approach of nation building, and our absurd tax code, class action suits and punitive damages, the Fed, and the Wall Street crooks. Frank Luntz is throwing in the towel. He knows all of the above is true, but has not figured out how to do anything about this tragedy. I believe a visit to the Cato Institute would go a long way in putting Mr. Luntz and most Americans back on track. Cato is having a policy conclave in Naples, Florida, on 5 February. Debbie and I will be there at the Ritz, and the atmosphere will be unlike any most Americans have witnessed in a long time. It is time for a full-scale rebellion of purpose in our country. Our entrenched politicians are screwing us one and all. It’s that simple. Just ask Frank Luntz.
It was what Luntz heard from the American people that scared him. They were contentious and argumentative. They didn’t listen to each other as they once had. They weren’t interested in hearing other points of view. They were divided one against the other, black vs. white, men vs. women, young vs. old, rich vs. poor. “They want to impose their opinions rather than express them,” is the way he describes what he saw. “And they’re picking up their leads from here in Washington.” Haven’t political disagreements always been contentious, I ask? “Not like this,” he says. “Not like this.”
Luntz knew that he, a maker of political messages and attacks and advertisements, had helped create this negativity, and it haunted him. But it was Obama he principally blamed. The people in his focus groups, he perceived, had absorbed the president’s message of class divisions, haves and have-nots, of redistribution. It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back. In reelecting Obama, the people had spoken. And the people, he believed, were wrong. Having spent his career telling politicians what the people wanted to hear, Luntz now believed the people had been corrupted and were beyond saving. Obama had ruined the electorate, set them at each other’s throats, and there was no way to turn back.