“All In The Family” Had Better Lead Us In A New Direction Soon!

By Donald A. Collins | 5 September 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Watching two recent programs on the history of American situation comedies or sitcoms, we saw how we went from the unrealistic early ones like “Leave It to Beaver” to the breakthrough humorous realism of the intimate family lives of Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and his other marvelously revealing sitcoms which exposed language and subjects previously unpermitted by tv censors.

Present day sitcoms carry forward that helpful realism which the now 100-year-old Lear certainly must have hoped would better bring us as a country together better.

Sadly, too many of us in exhibiting our worst human traits seemed to have learned little from these revealing sitcoms.

When Donald Trump surfaced, he echoed the frustrations of many Americans who felt neither party was listening well enough to their concerns and ignored the fact that the America was in fact in highly tolerable shape.

It was however, as Howard Schneider, a Reuter’s reporter wrote, “Much of ‘Trump country’ was in recession during 2016 campaign”. Here are some specifics on why Trump won,

A possible answer: In much of the country, where Trump’s appeal proved strongest, the economy was backpedaling.

For the U.S. economy, 2016 was an off year. Economic growth slowed to a tepid 1.6% annual rate, which was a five-year low and a sharp drop from the 2.9% pace of 2015.

The pain, however, was not equally spread. A global crash in oil prices had hit the country’s energy producers hard and led to declines in business investment and manufacturing felt most acutely where Trump’s populist message was gaining traction.

Across the roughly 2,600 counties that he won in the election, growth barely breached 1% in 2016, low even by the standards of the sluggish recovery from the 2007-2009 recession. In some 1,200 of those counties, GDP actually fell by close to 4% in 2016.

In short perfect timing!

You can read the entire piece here.

The US economic condition in 2016 had no comparison to the Crash of 1929 which helped Hitler.

Hillary Clinton entered the 2016 Presidential race with the clear disadvantage (then) of being a woman. Perhaps some voters felt, that her role in a Clinton political dynasty gave her somewhat of an elitist posture.

The Republican Party candidates then in 2016 as a group appeared to many voters as somewhat used merchandise, while Trump, almost like a sitcom, was proclaiming a revamp of power to the non-elites that would make Make America Great Again!

Were we citizens too indifferent, too lazy, too greedy, or too otherwise self-centered to take even a cursory look at his prior history of borderline criminal behavior? Obviously, no.

And after his election, his early reduction of corporate taxes from 37 to 21 percent bought immense favor from the powerful business community but didn’t help his MAGA voters.

Admittedly my above review has the huge advantage of hindsight, just as one would have thought Vietnam would have warned us about going into an Iraq War.

Even now many citizens apparently don’t understand how seriously our democracy and many of our traditional institutions have been undermined by Trump and his cronies.

As we hear Trump’s outrageous campaign rhetoric, we also hear Speaker of the House hopeful, Kevin McCarthy, demanding Biden apologize for his speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, a speech which exactly and accurately characterized the dangerous situation for our democracy as we approach the midterms.

Trump’s major crime for which he is yet unindicted was of course his historic January 6th coup attempt.

This past week Trump blatantly voiced his plan if re-elected in 2024 to pardon (and even now giving current financial support) to in his words the “patriots” who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. Is a Hitler ring to this position.

Long term Trump damage has already killed women’s legal rights in many states to safe abortions as the result his packing the Supreme Court with religious zealots. From Justice Thomas’ remarks we can expect more attacks on our personal freedoms coming in future terms.

Furthermore, the Dobbs decision abrogated our vital Constitutional concept which demands separating matters of church and state.

Finally, adding to his impact on the Executive branch, which, just now included taking top secret documents unguarded, as his former Attorney General Bill Barr said, to his Florida “country club”, Trump’s ability to subjugate the GOP to his will pushes us closer to losing our democracy to an authoritarian government led by semi-fascist racists. Will Trump now try to stage his second Hitler putsch??

That, folks, is an unamerican All in The Family political sitcom we better not sanction or allow to be perpetrated again as we go to the polls this November.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote” and “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”.

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