And yet, over the hour and a half I spend talking with him—the first time he has spoken publicly about his current state of mind—it\’s hard to grasp what the crisis is about. Luntz hasn\’t renounced his conservative worldview. His belief in unfettered capitalism and individual self-reliance appears stronger than ever. He hasn\’t become disillusioned with his very profitable career or his nomadic, solitary lifestyle. His complaints—that America is too divided, President Obama too partisan, and the country in the grip of an entitlement mentality that is out of control—seem pretty run-of-the-mill. But his anguish is too deeply felt not to be real. Frank Luntz is having some kind of crisis. I just can\’t quite get my head around it.
Single guy…sitting in one of his many homes….by himself…paid for by popularizing momentous lies…but can’t quite figure out why his derp isn’t working any more.
Maybe it’s because he keeps lying to himself.
Findings released Thursday by Pew showed that most Republicans think rich people are largely responsible for their socioeconomic status. They also feel the same way about poor people.
Fifty-seven percent of GOP voters said that a person is rich because “he or she worked harder than others,” while just 32 percent attribute it to advantages they enjoyed. The results are almost completely flipped among Democrats.
Overall, 51 percent of Americans said that people are wealthy due to advantages in life, while 38 percent said it had more to do with hard work.
Pew also found that 51 percent of Republicans believe that people are poor due to a lack of hard work, compared with just 32 percent who attribute it to circumstances beyond their control.
This is a deep and firmly-held belief by the liars. Pathological even.
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.”
Remember folks, when a rich guy gets tax cuts, that is a motivation for him to work harder. When it goes to someone who actually does need the extra money, it’s a handout that makes them stop trying…..according to rich guys.