In this Stand to Reason blog post titled “We Need Ambassadors,” Amy Hall mentions and links to an article in The Atlantic about Frank Luntz, the political consultant who is known for having his finger on the pulse of the American people.
The 500-word Stand to Reason post is fine but what really intrigued me was the 3,000-word article in The Atlantic by Molly Ball. Therein she tells how Frank Luntz thinks that Americans have changed in the last few years…and not for the better.
Luntz’s work has always been predicated on a sort of populism—the idea that politicians must figure out what voters want to hear, and speak to them in language that comports with it. He proudly claims that his famous catchphrases, like branding healthcare reform a “government takeover” in 2010, are not his coinages but the organic product of his focus groups. The disheveled appearance, the sardonic wit, all add up to a sort of tilting against the establishment, an insistence that it listen to the Real People.
But what if the Real People are wrong? That is the possibility Luntz now grapples with. What if the things people want to hear from their leaders are ideas that would lead the country down a dangerous road?
“You should not expect a handout,” he tells me. “You should not even expect a safety net. When my house burns down, I should not go to the government to rebuild it. I should have the savings, and if I don’t, my neighbors should pitch in for me, because I would do that for them.” The entitlement he now hears from the focus groups he convenes amounts, in his view, to a permanent poisoning of the electorate—one that cannot be undone. “We have now created a sense of dependency and a sense of entitlement that is so great that you had, on the day that he was elected, women thinking that Obama was going to pay their mortgage payment, and that’s why they voted for him,” he says. “And that, to me, is the end of what made this country so great.”
Of course, this is a just another sign of the spiritual downturn of our society – albeit one that that seems particularly noteworthy. If the future of the country is to improve, then those of us who call on the name of Christ must renew our devotion to Him and purify ourselves of all that is sinful. Christians cannot expect the broader society to improve its morals until Christians first improve their own. Let’s get the log out of our own eye. There’s no time to waste.
Here’s a related article on the state of America: Should the Church Prepare for the Fall of America?
We should not overreact. Nor should we become fearful of such warnings. Rather, we should be sobered by them. Being sobered, we should repent and live the kind of lives that will make the Lord proud of us. If we trust in the Lord and do good, we can survive any hardship. And we can help others through those hardships.