DONALD TRUMP IS NOTHING LIKE ARCHIE BUNKER.
There! I said it! Trump supporters can relax. There will be no disparagement of their candidate here. Whether you like the Donald or not, we all can agree that he’s an actual person. Archie Bunker was a sitcom character of the ‘70s, brilliantly played by the late Carroll O’Connor.
During presidential nomination contests of the 1970s, especially those leading to the 1976 election, many voters had campaign buttons picturing Archie. One of the most popular slogans of the day was, “It might as well be Bunker!”
Candidates for the 1976 Democratic nomination included: a young Jerry Brown, pejoratively called “Captain Moonbeam;” Alabama segregationist Governor George Wallace; Georgia Governor and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter; US Rep. Mo Udall, a former NBA player; Senators Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson; Frank Church; Birch Bayh; Lloyd Bentsen, Robert Byrd, and Fred Harris; Former Ambassador to France Sargent Shriver; Mayor Walter Washington; and Delegate Walter Fauntroy.
With due respect to these past candidates, many of whom have since passed away, the 1976 candidate list was not unlike the Republican slate currently running for their party’s 2016 nomination.
In 1976, and now again in 2015, the American public can’t get its collective head around a list of a dozen or more candidates. And though we are more than a year away from the 2016 election, media reporters and pundits pound away, using polls and stats to predict potential outcomes.
Amid all of the political noise, it’s understandable that many Americans choose an entertaining idea, like the Donald, or like Archie Bunker, to promote. It’s sort of a fun way to talk back to the political party leaders to tell them how foolish they look. They aren’t disparaging the candidates. And they’re not necessarily going to vote for someone, even though he is currently entertaining them.
It’s unlikely that events like the televised debates, or the TV snippets of speeches to groups around the country will be memorable a year from now. But people who enjoy politics may remember the Donald’s zingers on Twitter, daydreaming that they themselves might be praised for launching similar zingers at the annoying people in their lives.
As much as they enjoy entertainment from the Donald, would they actually vote for him? Maybe. Or perhaps they are just saying, “It might as well be Bunker!”
My book “The Victory that Wasn’t” offers a fictional alternate history with a different kind of Military, and better outcomes for all Americans. It’s available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1GUL8oX