Legendary television producer Norman Lear believes Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the Republican presidential contest represents a “middle finger” from America to the establishment political class.
In an interview with Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood blog, Lear told Wolf that it was “interesting” that she compared Trump to his character Archie Bunker from the hit 70s TV show All in the Family.
“I want to believe that the American people are holding up Donald Trump as they might their middle finger and they’re giving the middle finger to the establishment, to all of us – left and right – because they are badly served by the establishment. We are a culture of excess. That’s our biggest product: excess. In everything. He is excessively assholian. I think the American people understand that and this is their way of saying, ‘This is how you’re taking care of us? You leaders? Take this.’ Then they give us Donald Trump.
“At least he’s shaken up the conversation. He’s made everybody stop talking and stop accepting the idea that they can talk in these canned messages, yes?” Wolf pressed.
“I infer from your question that you think Donald Trump has something on his mind other than himself and I’m not sure of that,” Lear replied. “Donald Trump is selling his own product and I don’t think he has my kids in mind and their future.”
At the Television Critics Association press tour in August, the 93-year-old creator of hit shows like The Jeffersons and Good Times told reporters that he thinks of himself as a “bleeding-heart conservative,” despite decades of advocacy for progressive causes.
“You will not f*** with my Bill of Rights, my Constitution, my guarantees of political justice for all,” Lear said in August. “But does my heart bleed for those who need help and aren’t getting the justice that the country promises them and the equal opportunity the country promises? Yes. I’m a bleeding heart, but I think myself to be a total social conservative.”
Penguin Press published Lear’s memoir, Even This I Get to Experience, on October 14.