Like the larger-than-life personalities he created for television —- Archie Bunker, George Jefferson, and Maude — Norman Lear says exactly what’s on his mind.
Lear, 93, didn’t mince words in a recent interview when it came to Donald Trump and the Republican front-runner’s legions of supporters.
“Donald Trump is a fool and an a—hole,” the legendary Jewish writer/producer told The Daily Beast.
“I don’t think people are backing him as much as he has become the middle finger of their right hand.”
“And it’s their way of saying to the establishment, ‘This is the kind of leadership you’re giving us? Take this!’” he adds. “It’s a ‘f—k you’ to the establishment. It isn’t a heartfelt belief in this guy.” Lear says that his most-famous character, the racist Archie Bunker of “All in the Family,” would likely have been attracted to Trump’s candidacy for that reason, among others.
“Yes, he would be saying, ‘Take that.’ He’d find a way of blaming the left for Donald Trump.”
The Republican mogul’s call for a ban on Muslims entering America is rooted, said Lear, in the Christian right’s continuous chipping away at church and state separation.
“[It has] allusions to biblical reasons behind it. There’s a religious connotation in being anti-anybody’s religion,” said Lear, co-founder of People for the American Way, which works to beat back religious bigots.
“Maybe there’s something wrong with people, even preachers, who suggest that some people are good Christians or bad Christians, depending on their political positions,” he said. “That’s not the American way.”
Follow John A. Oswald on Twitter: @nyc_oz.