All In The Family was one of television’s all-time great comedies. It starred Carol O’Connor, who played Archie Bunker. Archie was supposed to be a typical ‘working stiff’ — a union man, a veteran of World War II, a loyal husband and father. Each week, Bunker would confront or deal with another situation, usually involving a minority, someone outside ‘typical norms’ of the day (for example, a female impersonator is featured in a few episodes) or a woman. All things that scared Archie on one level or another, who represented the ‘old ways’ in the show. The new ways were usually represented by or supported by Archie’s progressive daughter and / or ‘hippie’ son-in-law.
Much of the show is genius, and many people believe that the show could not air as a new show today because it was so controversial and dealt with subjects other shows wouldn’t touch. I’m not sure I agree with that, especially since Donald Trump entered the GOP race. In many ways, even though the show is now roughly 40 years old, Archie Bunker represents the reactionary – low information voter that seem to adore not only Trump but many of the over-the-top gun policies being pushed by many conservative leaders. The NRA backed ‘more guns are good guns’ theme has been pushed by many.
Archie Bunker would fit right in with today’s GOP — no doubt.
The constant conflict between new and old ways was featured in one episode over the subject of guns. Archie goes on TV to rebut a recent editorial endorsing gun control. As Archie sees it, it is the first step towards a communist takeover — and maybe worse. Even in the 1970s, Archie’s comments about arming everyone on a plane get huge laughs — as the idea was as ridiculous then as it is now (and the show was filmed in front of a ‘live studio audience’ as we were reminded each week).
Check out the classic clip HERE;
What Archie Bunker suggests that gets huge laughs in the 1970s is not only being taken seriously today by those on the right side of the political spectrum but being enacted. Recently Jerry Falwell Jr. actually recommended that all of Liberty University students go out and arm themselves. Gun sales are through the roof as paranoid pions like Bunker are rushing out to gear up for an invasion that will never happen, and if it did happen on the scale many imagine it, their sidearms won’t stop it. They will, however, increase the chances of someone they love being shot or killed by many, many folds.
Half of our nation is devolving into a caricature that was laughable 30-40 years ago on its absurdity and refusal to look at anything beyond their delusional ‘Rambo’ perspective. It is just sad and unfortunate. Let us hope that at least some of them wake up and smell the gunpowder, otherwise we are doomed to live the future Archie Buner envisioned.
UPDATE: Writer;s note … I think that Trump’s statements on ‘banning Muslims from the US’ reinforced everything in this article.