Pollster Frank Luntz understands. In a recent column for The New York Daily News, Luntz reports on his interview survey of 6,400 people, the results of which appear in his new book "What Americans Really Want ... Really." Luntz discovered that people are angry with the government because of the lack of accountability by our leaders and a lack of progress on anything meaningful in Washington.
The "absence of accountability," he writes, "ranks No. 1 in the hearts and guts of the average American. Washington spends billions to bail out big business and then can't explain where the money went. Washington spends $800 billion on a stimulus package filled with earmarks and pork projects. And now Washington is trying to create a trillion-dollar health-care experiment when over 85 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care just as it is."
As Professor Harold Hill put it: "Make your blood boil? Well, I should say."
Luntz continues: "This could be forgiven, perhaps, if those elected officials from Washington exhibited even an ounce of respect for the voters who pay their salaries. But the combination of a political class that ignores those with whom they disagree and a business class that ignores the very real suffering of the working class (if they are, in fact, working) while pocketing million-dollar bonuses has convinced the public that no one cares."
Glenn Beck seems to care and that's why his ratings are now challenging the godfather of cable, Bill O'Reilly.
I ask if he fears being transformed into another "Lonesome Rhodes," the politically corrupted main character in Budd Schulberg's classic film, "A Face in the Crowd"? Beck tells me I am not the first to warn of such a possibility. He says he isn't worried about yielding to that temptation. Beck believes in God and doesn't think government is Him. And he's going to his son's ball game the next day.
That explains Glenn Beck. Any questions?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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