Norman Lear wrote a politically-driven op-ed imploring Americans not to be fooled by right-wing rhetoric. (AP)
Famed sitcom creator Norman Lear penned an explosive op-ed calling on Americans to reject President Trump’s federal court picks and to rethink what they’re hearing from right-leaning political pundits.
Lear, 96, penned the article in The Hollywood Reporter in conjunction with People for the American Way senior fellow Peter Montgomery in an effort to implore liberals and conservatives alike to take what he perceives to be a threat to the First Amendment, seriously.
“It’s bad enough that the Religious Right has spent decades claiming ownership over faith, family and freedom. But now we have to watch conservative preachers and political activists wrap themselves in the First Amendment and the Constitution that their beloved President Trump takes a dump on every day,” the op-ed begins. “To our fellow liberals and progressives, and to other fair-minded, reason-respecting Americans, we say we can’t let them get away with it.”
Lear is responsible for creating such classic American sitcoms as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” as well as the original and remake of “One Day at a Time.” Each show was never shy about tackling the political issues of the day. He continued his article imploring Americans not to be fooled by political rhetoric that invokes things like pride in the American flag, love for family and community, religious freedom or gratitude for the freedoms citizens enjoy.
“There’s something about these symbols and documents, about the values of individual liberty and equality that they proclaim, that speak to the core of what it means to be American,” he wrote.
Lear then went after the real target of his opinion piece, the federal judges picked by Trump.
“It’s striking that President Trump’s rhetorical longing for some unspecified past when America was greater than it is now parallels his nomination of judges hand-picked by right-wing ideological groups committed to promoting ‘originalism’ and ‘conservative constitutionalism,’” Lear said.
He went on to describe the various court cases and First Amendment rights that he believes will be undone if the American right is left unchecked.
“In their hands, the First Amendment is no longer a shield to protect everyone’s free exercise of religion; it is a sword to wield against legal and lived equality for disfavored people,” he wrote. “For many of these 'constitutional conservatives,' programs created by the New Deal and Great Society to tackle national problems like widespread poverty and lack of access to health care are illegitimate. They want us, as a country, to go back to an understanding of the Constitution grounded in states’ rights and radically restricted federal authority.”