“When we got tired of Archie, we simply changed the station.”

Dear Neighbor,

With the passing of Norman Lear, we are reminded of the many sitcoms that Mr. Lear produced; All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son and so many more.

Archie Bunker provided the viewers with much laughter as he ranted and raved about the social issues of the days, law and order, and “Those People.” Who were “Those People”? Were they his neighbors, his family members, people of color or anyone who did not fit into his world?

What about those “Good Old Days”? Archie stands for a time when our country was dealing with social issues, political tensions, women’s rights, voting rights, lesbian and gay issues, radical thoughts of gay marriage, a struggling economy, and tensions between the United States and foreign powers. Our former president says he wants to “Make America Great Again,” but in other words, does he want us to return to those times when our sisters could only be teachers and nurses and my African American friends could not vote? As viewers we laughed and sometimes questioned Archie’s behavior, but did not question his intentions as Archie was an actor following a script.

The former president is not an actor, or is he?

I believe the former president acts much like Archie Bunker as he rants and raves over politicians who do not support him. He rants about judges he claims do not treat him fairly. He rants at anyone who questions his authority as the former president.

When we got tired of Archie, we simply changed the station.

The challenge that we as voters are facing in 2024 is who we cast our vote(s) for to maintain our democratic republic.

Are you as a reader questioning the age of a candidate, are you concerned about his or her qualifications, are you concerned about the character of the candidate(s), are you voting based on your party affiliation, or are you not going to vote at all?

As we enter 2024, we are going to be bombarded with ads from both political parties, TV commentators blasting candidates, the web full of misinformation and disinformation trying to persuade readers how to cast their vote. It is important that readers take the time to fact check what they read or hear.

My question to you as the reader is, do you want to return to those “Good Old Days” or to a nation that respects all people no matter what nationality, race, gender or religion?

The former president wants to “Make America Great Again.” Let us “Make America for All Again.” Please take the time to vote in 2024!

“Dear Neighbor” authors are united in a belief that civility and passion can coexist. We believe curiosity and conversation make us a better community.

Bob Foreman