What Do Recent Polls Show? – With George Barna: What issues are the most important to the voting population? What qualities are Americans looking for in their future leaders? Are actions that seemed like destruction for our nation actually going to turn out for our good? Is there concrete evidence that more and more Americans are waking up? How can we influence our leaders to make wiser decisions? Tune in to hear George Barna share the results of recent polls regarding the upcoming elections!
Air Date: 11/02/2022
Guest: George Barna
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
Welcome to WallBuilders Live, the intersection of faith and the culture. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution coach, here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You can learn more about us at our website, wallbuilderslive.com.
Alright, David. Tim, we got one of our favorite, I started to say our favorite researcher, but actually, honestly, WallBuilders is my favorite researcher, so George Barna, though, we have him on quite often and does incredible research and he’s been doing some data mining and opinion polling on what people are looking for in this upcoming election. And here we are just days away, what do we got, one week, and we’re looking at either continuing this slouch towards socialism or hopefully putting a stop to it.
So I don’t know. Tim, what do you think? What are people after?
Well, I think one of the things is great, just kind of big picture, Barna as we get into what we’re after, as you know guys, we spend so much time on the road, especially, I mean, dad, you’ve been all over the place leading up this election. Rick, you and I have done a fair amount of speaking as well. The last couple of years have been some of the busiest years of our lives in these organizations.
Obviously, Rick, with what you’re doing with Patriot Academy, all the traveling, constitutional coach, biblical citizenship, all that we’re doing at WallBuilders, it’s been incredibly busy, and as we travel around, we’ve had the advantage and opportunity to be able to see people all over the nation who are being challenged who are being awakened, and it’s something that everybody always gets to see.
But in the midst of that, one of the things that kind of intuitively, we then see things that are of concern to people in lots of areas. And of course, as we try to every single day nearly dive into what’s going on in the nation and the culture, we are able to analyze on some level what we are seeing and so we have usually pretty good inclinations, right, pretty good instincts on what people care about where it’s going.
But what’s great with George Barna is now it’s not just like, guys, I feel like this is what’s important, he actually can say no, we talked to thousands of people and these are the things that were the most important to them. We’ve seen, of course, polling where right now leading into an election where people are incredibly concerned with economics, obviously, as everybody’s navigating with inflation.
And of course, now there’s questions about is there going to be a diesel shortage and with President Biden opening up this reserves of oil and what’s going to happen for our strategic reserve. And obviously, strategically he’s doing this right before the election to try to knock down gas prices so we can tell people, hey, things really aren’t as bad as you think they are.
But we’ve already seen people on a pretty national level being awakened to this. When you have, for example, Tulsi Gabbard, famously, significantly, just a couple of weeks ago leaves a Democrat Party, doesn’t just leave the Democrat Party, she does, I think, what, a 30 minutes kind of explanation announcement video of why she is leading the Democrat Party and then she’s gone on…
And this is a Democrat presidential candidate, right, I mean, she ran a great campaign for president, actually? But yeah…
She major leader in the Democrat Party. She was kind of groomed a little bit, so to speak, early on as being the face of the future of the Democrat Party and she had enough principle that she saw what was going on wasn’t good. All that to say is there’s a lot of things we can look at from the outside and go, you know, we’re kind of getting a sense and a feel about some of this.
But what we appreciate so much about George is he’s able to say, well beyond just what we’re maybe intuitively thinking, right, beyond what our instincts might be, let’s actually interview people, let’s get to the numbers, get the data.
And I think what we are going to see and of course this is speculation, right, this goes back to the instinct, the intuition that is speculation, but I think we’re going to see some really positive things from even what George has been able to identify in research based on as we travel all over the nation, we are seeing people all over the nation being awakened.
The people who weren’t really politically active and involved, all of a sudden during COVID when their lives were turned upside down, when they lost their jobs or their business was closed and all these things had happened, I think it’s one of those things we can point to; like a verse in the Bible, what Joseph told his brothers in the end of Genesis, what you meant for evil, God meant for good.
What I think is that there’s going to be some of those moments where a lot of what it looked like was going to be really destructive in the nation is actually going to bring about some positive change. And even if we don’t see all the change we want to in this election cycle, we are still seeing the fruit of people being awakened in this nation.
Even if it takes a couple elections before, you have to go through several battles sometimes before you win the war, yeah, there might be a lot of battles coming, but I think we’re going to hear some really good things from George, which is not always what we say when we talk about or to George Barna. Often it’s all, man, we’re going to hear about all the problems in America.
Well, there’s plenty of problems in America for sure. But I think we’re going to hear about some positives with Americans all over waking up and actually having more issues they’re going to be unified on than potentially in some previous polls and certainly than previous elections.
Yeah, Tim, I think it’s been unfortunately a real life lesson in the results that certain principles produce, right. If you do principles of liberty, you get security, abundance, prosperity. If you do principles of tyranny and government control, you get famine, you get chaos, you get shortages. So like you talk about even diesel, I mean, all of these things, people are having to live with the pain of these bad decisions and bad policies and they may not really understand the economics of that, but they’re going to react to that pain.
And so I’m really curious what they’re looking for in terms of what they’re saying to guys like Barna as he pulls them that they’re looking for in this upcoming election. So it should be a really interesting interview. George Barna our special guest today with us, folks, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
A Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today assert that religion is something private, that it has no place in the public square and that it is incompatible with government. But the Founding Fathers believed exactly the opposite. They held that religion was absolutely necessary in order to maintain our free system of government.
For example, John Adams declared, “We have no government armed with power, capable of contenting with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion.” And signer of the Declaration Benjamin Rush similarly affirmed “Without religion, their communal virtue, and without virtue their communal liberty and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
The Founding Fathers understood that limited government required public morality from the people and that public morality was produced by the Christian religion. For more information about the Founding Fathers’ views and religion and public life, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for stay with us. Always good to have George Barna with us. George, thanks for a little time today, brother.
Good to be with you.
You guys not only follow the trends and where things are going, but also kind of look into what people are looking for in their leaders. And so you just did a study on what do Americans desire in leaders and government this election season, what did you find?
Well, with leaders there’s a lot more in common that people have in terms of what they’re looking for than we’d be led to believe. Naturally, they want leaders who are going to be honest and courageous and hardworking. But importantly, they want people who are running for public office and will hold office because they see it as a chance to serve other people, they see it as a real privilege to be in a position where they can take care of the needs of other people while doing what’s best for the nation.
So they told us that what they’re looking for really are specific morals and values that describe the character of the individual who’s running for office or holding office. They want leaders who are going to model kindness, understanding the pursuit of peace and unity, leaders who are going to anticipate the future, not just always be reactive.
Leaders who are looking to uphold the laws without prejudice, and those who are going to contribute value to people’s lives by being generous and compassionate and advancing the common good rather than their personal good. So those are the kinds of leaders they’re looking for.
Unfortunately, they say, you know what the problem is, we’ve got so many leaders in office now who are just the opposite of that. What they’re doing is they’re abusing the system. They’re trying to get what’s best for themselves while masking that, manipulating the perceptions of the media and the public. And so I think in many ways the voting public has caught on to what’s going on behind the curtain and they’re saying, enough of that, the system is not broken, the people who are running the system are.
Wow! Let’s drill down into this a little bit. As you describe that, those sound like very biblical perspectives of what you want in a public servant. But this was a general data set, right, this wasn’t just people that are biblically-minded or come out of the faith community, tthis was a general population looking for what we would call biblical characteristics?
Yeah. And Rick, I think it’s an interesting period in our history because I think what’s happened over the last few years is that things have turned sour so quickly that at first people didn’t know how to respond to it. But now they’re in so much pain because of the bad choices, because of the bad leadership, they’re starting to wake up and say, wait a minute, if something’s going to be done to change this, I guess I need to be part of the solution. And so people tend to be paying more attention now. They’re doing a little bit more homework and hopefully we’re going to see that difference in the way that they voted.
You know, you used the terminology that they were looking for leaders that wanted to serve in these ways. That word ‘serve’, I’ve noticed this you speak more publicly than I do, but I’ve noticed when I say something about we’re looking for public servants, not people that are looking for their name in life, but when I use that phrase ‘public servants’, I get an incredible response is in a crowd. I mean, I can see the nodding or they’ll even interrupt me and start cheering.
So just anecdotally. in crowds, I’ve experienced exactly the way you described what this data showed you that people are looking for. So, I mean, that’s a really good sign. If they’re looking for public servants, they’re looking for people that really are biblically-minded folks. But like you said, where are they, right? Are there some candidates out there? I mean, do you think that this wake up call over the last couple of years has not only caused people to take action, but also cause people to run that have a public servant mindset?
That’s a slower bill, to be honest, Rick. And I think we’ve got a greater proportion of people who want to run because they want to serve than we’ve had before, but I think it’s still a smaller proportion than we would hope for. So as your listeners are taking this in, I’d encourage every one of them to think about, has God called me to do this?
And again, it has to be kind of a calling from God. You don’t want to do this just because, as you say, you want your name and wives or you want to pad your retirement account, or you want whatever it is that you want. What you really need to be looking for is to add value to the lives of others.
When we talk about servant leadership, when you go into the scriptures, Jesus was the ideal example of what that looks like; he talked about himself as a servant leader, and then he demonstrated it. So we’ve got a great role model. It’s not like we have to build the tracks and the train.
He already did that. We just need to come before him in prayer and figure out, God, is this something that you would have to do? Is there a way that I can advance your kingdom by really blessing other people through public service? That’s a great honor.
Amen. Amen. I love that. I love the way you describe that as well. And in the meantime, and as we’re doing that, and like you said, people need to be praying about, thinking about should they run. They need to be raising their children to have a public servant mindset.
Send it on to Patriot Academy where we teach those kind of things. All this stuff is in the meantime, we’re building that. As you said, that’s a slow build, that’s a long build, that’s a generational build.
In the meantime, it’s almost like by letting the politicians know and letting those who are “our public servants” right now know that this is what we’re looking for. The ones that are self interested, sometimes they will shift and meet that need because they want to stay in office. So we can make the system work for us even with some of those folks that are running now are in office, if we let these values be known. Does that make sense?
Not only does it make sense, it’s a great point. But again, it speaks to those of us who are seeking to follow Jesus to recognize that we can play a role in the transition of those people, the transformation of their lives, their mind, their heart as we promote biblical ideas. Not always beating these guys over the head with the Bible, but loving them, demonstrating to them what it looks like, giving them a role model to follow.
So whether or not we hold office, by the way we communicate, by the way we interact with them, by the way that we pray for them and do things to support them, we can get them to rethink some of what they’re going through in the same way that a lot of us over the last few years have been forced to rethink what is our role in a democracy, what’s our role in a republic, what is the role of the church in a culture such as this, and what is the unique role that I as an individual can play towards seeing those things be converted to something that really honors God?
What Did Paul Say?
Yeah, that’s so good. I was thinking, as you were describing that of even Paul when he says you’re going to beat a Roman citizen, he’s basically raising his rights and putting some fear into those soldiers and into those politicians to remind them of those rights. So that’s kind of what we’re doing when we stand up and say, hey, let’s not forget what a constitutional republic looks like, let’s not forget the proper jurisdiction of government and here’s how we’re to be treated.
I mean we’re really following a biblical example. Paul was not silent about speaking on those things and the church is maybe finding its voice. That’s where I’m segwaying here too to ask you George if you think the church is more vocal today than it was, say, two years ago?
Yeah, I think it is Rick. And I think there’s really a reshaping of the entire Christian community in America that’s going on. Whereas previously we waited for the local church to lead us and everything. Now we’re recognizing that’s probably not going to happen. And so instead what we’ve got to do is recognize that each of us has been called by God to be his servant and by serving Him we have the opportunity to serve other people with the gifts, the skills, the experience, the information, the relationships that he’s given us.
Each of us has an enormous reservoir of resources that we can call upon to be the presence of God wherever we happen to be at any moment of any day. And so when we begin to take that mindset, it no longer becomes, well, how can I get my institution to move, instead it becomes, how can I be the presence of Christ everywhere where I happen to be?
Amen. Amen. Alright, we’re going to have a link to this specific study at our website today at wallbuilderslive.com. You can always follow George and learn more about the different things that they are putting out at arizonacristian.edu, the cultural research center there and then directly at culturalresearchcenter.com. Dr. George Barna, I appreciate you, brother. You’re at 50 books now, is that right, more than 50 books?
I think it’s 58, something like that.
Writing, Writing, Writing
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without releasing a new book? Does anybody ever ask you that I’m trying to think of a new question for you that you’ve never been asked.
That is a new question. Bob Garden said, well, I keep scratching my number to figure out what Beatles Stores I haven’t told and you did the same thing here with me, so that’s great. Yes, I think about two years in between both.
Alright, are you working on one you can tell us about?
I’ve got three in the works right now. One is about how discipleship works in our new culture. Another one where we’re working on what’s going on with children and families and how to raise children to be spiritual champions. And then another one also that is a review of the worldview research that we conducted during the past year, still writing that because we’re still analyzing some of the research, but that will be coming out soon as well.
Wow. Alright, brother, well, let’s get you back on to talk about it when you’re ready to release them because we certainly want to let our folks know about them. George Barna, God bless you, brother. Thanks for your time today.
Thank you, Rick.
Stay with us, folks, be right back with David and Tim Barton.
The Courageous Leaders Collection
Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read. And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.
I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History.
In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks to George Barna for joining us as well.
Back with David and Tim. And of course, guys, he’s basically saying people are wanting elected officials, I started to say politicians, but they’re not, they’re wanting patriots, they’re wanting public servants, that’s the word I’m looking for, they’re wanting public servants that will actually be servants. I love that language, biblical language, just like we talked with George about.
Who Should Lead?
Yes. You know, interesting thing about servants is servants don’t put themselves forward. And one of the things we learned in party politics when we were running party long time ago was you have to go recruit the good guys because the guys who are really the best are the guys that don’t put themselves forward and don’t want to be the center of attention.
You have to go find them and say, hey, you really are the ones and they oh, no, I don’t want to do that. Yes, you are. And Rick, going back today is I recruited you back in the day. I mean, you’re one of those guys and you got involved.
You look the ones you have to almost bribe into it, like you got to guilt them into it, look, the country is going to fall apart if you don’t go serve.
Yeah. And Rick, your class, we had a whole bunch of those folks and I spent a lot of time recruiting folks. And I’m just going to tell folks, if you want better candidates, go recruit them. People who go up front, very few servant leaders say, hey, I’m here, I’m your servant. That’s why I put myself up front. That’s not normal.
So you really do have to go recruit those kind of people. And that’s another part of the process that we’re going to have to get back involved in. We can’t just wait and show up and vote every two years and see who’s on the ballot. You got to get better people on the ballot.
And that means every one of you need to be looking around you right now, you need to find people in your chair say, hey, you need to be on the school board, hey, you need to be on the junior college board, or whatever it is. We need to be recruiting those people right now. And I loved what George said about people that they want candidates with biblical character. They’ve caught on to what’s going on behind curtain.
Everyone of Us Can…
And by the way, he was talking about how over the last two years they’ve kind of awakened. It reminded me of the prodigal son who finally came to a census. He was out there moping around in the pig pin forever long and finally said, you know, this isn’t what I want, I need to come to my census. And I think we’re doing that. I think we’re coming to our senses.
We’ll know a whole lot more after the election whether we’re starting to come there. But this can’t be just a one year thing that we do in this election. It’s got to continue for a long time. And that means we start recruiting candidates right now for a year from now when school boards are going, two years from now, when state reps are coming up, congressmen, etc. Every one of us can do something about recruiting good people for office and pushing them to run.
And this is something too, Rick, you mentioned about generations. It’s going to be a generational shift going forward, and understanding the generational shift, it’s going to take time to recruit and raise up some of the right kind of leaders. Right now, one of the challenges and we saw this back, even with some of the Tea Party movement, one of the challenges is people get fired up, and when they get fired up, oftentimes they think, right?
Well, everyone is corrupt, therefore let’s get rid of everybody, and we will only have new people going in. Well, there’s a lot of challenges, very practically speaking with saying let’s get rid of everybody, because some people have been fighting for the right things, the right values, the right principles, that they have been statesmen, not just politicians, right, that very different thought and outcome from their life.
However, you also have people not only have been fighting against the system, you have people that have institutional knowledge to understand the best way to accomplish the mission inside the parameters of the rules. Dad, one of the verses that you quote often the Apostle Paul referenced that you only win the prize if you run according to the rules.
So we have to know the rules so that we can run according to the rules, so we can win the prize. And dad, you’ve talked about this a lot, I think was Tom Delay, was the congressman you mentioned, was one of the very best on knowing the rules and on knowing how to get things done according to the rules. Is that right, was it Tom Delay that did that, dad?
Yeah, it was Tom Delay that did that, and he could help anybody get what they wanted using the rules. And sometimes, even if they’re in a very small minority, he said, hey, the rules exist if you do this and this, you can get that done.
And the reason, by the way, this matters is because if you look at a guy like Tom Delay, and you’re like, Wait a second. He’s been there 10 years, he’s been there 12 years or 14 years, we need to get rid of this guy. No, sometimes you’re making very passionate, foolish decisions. It’s not a strategic decision you’re making. It’s not a good tactical move.
And, this is where we have to understand as people are getting fired up and passionate, part of what we have to do is we have to educate ourselves in the system but also educate ourselves to who is there and who really is fighting the good fight and who are the people who are promoting the wrong kinds of things.
So that as we are recruiting good candidates to come in, I mean, ultimately, if we’re talking generationally, we need an entre new generation because in 20 years, none of these people should still be there 20 years from now. However, right now the goal is not to replace everyone who’s there because there are some people there who are doing a good job.
But as we get involved, we need to start to investigate who’s doing a good job, who’s not doing a good job, and the people that aren’t doing a good job that’s where we need to be strategic at starting to recruit individuals to replace them. And it could take years for those individuals to get trained and be ready to be replacement. But this is part of the longterm process.
Who Needs to Go?
And Tim, George mentioned that we have a greater proportion of biblical folks running right now than we’ve had in a long while, but it’s still not a high percentage yet. But we don’t need to be taking out the guys who already have a biblical world view or are currently in.
We need to send them reinforcements, not necessarily how to replace them. And your point is really well taken. We can’t just throw all the guys out, we got to know whether they’re good or bad. And experience matters.
We do want people to experience in there. Like the Tom Delay, he could show the freshmen what to do to maximize their effect. So we got a real opportunity to do some good things. And this is an election where we can do that.
But start thinking about election a year from now, two years now. Start looking for people around you to run for office and get them in the process right now because we need a whole train of good folks coming to the elections.
It’s a real window of opportunity too, because as people experience the pain of all the bad policies as we were talking about, whether it’s fuel prices or whatever, it’s almost kind of like we’ve had all the quail we can handle, right. You want quill? I’ll give you a quail. So we’re getting the bad, bad results of the bad policy that in a way, the nation kind of asked for in too many ways. And so now we have a window where people say no, I don’t want those bad results anymore.
What are the good policies? Som just like you’re saying David, we need to be going to people that we know have been leaders in the church or family or business or whatever and saying, hey, would you run for school board? Would you do this?
I got to tell you guys, I get to hear all the time for people that are taking the biblical citizenship class and they learn from you guys and they learn from Kirk Cameron and by the end of the eight weeks they’re standing up and saying, okay, who in this class can run? And then out of those classes people run for office and they have their campaign team built right there out of that class.
What Do Recent Polls Show? – With George Barna
So any chance to come together in your community and your neighborhood and with your family and start studying history and studying the Founding Fathers and studying the founding documents, you’ll naturally produce candidates out of that because people will start talking about solutions. So window of opportunity to do it while people are paying attention.
Yeah. And Rick, I would add too that I’ve been on the road most of this year and we’ve been working on really getting good people involved and there’s a number of congressional races. I do not know of a single city I have been in this year where people didn’t come to me and say, hey, we’re taking the biblical citizenship course, we’re getting involved. And I mean city after city and all the states we’ve been in. So that is a good course for people to take to help them understand this and help them be able to recruit others or even themselves do something. But biblical citizenship, great course to take.
And David, you made a really important point as we close out today, don’t stop next week after the election. So we have the election Tuesday, we’ll see what the results are, what are the state legislatures going to look like, what’s Congress going to look like? A lot of people, like you’ve always said, David, we win, people go home and they don’t get involved anymore or we lose, they go home and they don’t get… No, we can’t do that anymore. This has got to be eternal vigilance. As long as you’re above ground and not 6ft under, you’ve got a responsibility to be engaged. And Tim nailed it, it’s a generational effort in order to get the generational impact. And so let’s look forward to some good victories next week.
Everybody, call your friends and family, get them out to vote, let them know who you’re voting for. Share your voter list because they probably don’t even know who’s running, let alone who they’re going to vote for. But don’t stop after next Tuesday. Already be thinking about what you’re going to do through the end of the year; and starting next year, whether it’s hosting a class or just getting more involved with a candidate or maybe even you yourself considering to run.
So lots of great opportunities. Let’s wake people up or people are awake, while they’re awake, let’s get them some good information and get them plugged in. Thanks for listening everybody. Special thanks to George Barna for joining us today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.