“I was in real trouble when I got to Britain, in real emotional trouble,” he admits. “I still haven’t fully recovered from my stroke, and what goes on in this country, I couldn’t talk about it. I got in the middle of it. Tucker Carlson [a host on Fox News] was killing me every fucking night.”
Luntz, who studied British voters for a conservative thinktank, the Centre for Policy Studies, also invited UK journalists to disseminate a warning: don’t let British politics become as polarised and debased as the American system.
“You still like each other, you still respect each other, you still value public debate: your democracy is still functioning,” he insists. “Ours has seized up and I don’t know how to get ours flowing again. Be thankful that you don’t have our poison … I’m very afraid of the American system being hopelessly damaged.”
Doesn’t the acrimony of the post-Brexit era suggest that the UK is already heading in that direction? Not so, Luntz insists. “You all have proven that there’s still a desire for substance in politics, not just slogans and soundbites, and thank God you haven’t completely embraced American politics because your elections are of substance rather than style.