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Steve Novotney Says, "Is He Herman Munster?"

At least during my formidable years the American president has served as something of a father figure beginning with Jimmy Carter and then Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Carter, when I entered double digits in age, raised a daughter in the White House who was close to my age, so he conjured thoughts of Ward Cleaver from "Leave It to Beaver"; Reagan was my safe keeper from those evil Soviets and reminded me of Jim Anderson from "Father Knows Best"; and Bush 43 reminded me, well, of my dad,

So, what about now? For today's children and us adults?

Do we see him as Archie Bunker reborn? A relentless man unafraid to say whatever trickles out of his brain and out his mouth?

Or is he Howard Cunningham, the wise elder who usually knew better than the younger ones seeking his guidance.

He might be an older version of Jack Tripper, though, a man who stumbles his way through life while scamming his way to happy endings time and time again.

Who is he?

Perhaps President Donald Trump is a real-life Frank Burns, a character on "M*A*S*H" whose defense mechanism was fabrication.

Barney Rubble? George Jefferson? Hayden Fox? Fred Sanford? Al Bundy? Tim Taylor?

Homer Simpson?

Perhaps he's today's Ben Cartwright, that old-school, tough dude dad from "Bonanza" or maybe Dan Conner, the father of two teen-aged daughters and a son and also married to the irrational Rosie?

Charles Ingalls was a prairie "Pa," who did what he had to in order to support his family, as did John Walton from that mountain.

Oh goodness … in all seriousness, though … let's hope he's not a replica of Herman Munster, that bumbling, stumbling, senseless father figure.

But, hey, maybe that's who this is? He's a character; that's for sure.

BUT who is he?

He may have some of the qualities of all of those TV characters mentioned from the past several decades, but President Donald Trump IS Donald Trump, the same guy we watched for more than 10 years as he pompously bullied his so-called contestants on "The Apprentice."

That's why it was no surprise he tried to bully the members of the U.S. House last week to vote in favor of his promised "repeal-and-replace" legislation for the Affordable Care Act, but his efforts failed; Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill before the floor vote, and then all America was left with was a single tweet from Saturday morning.

"ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!"

So, the mandated health care legislation is going to explode, but we're not supposed to worry. Hmm.

It is no secret the ACA has failed the country's Middle Class thanks to sky-high deductibles that stop the ill from even using it. The premiums have skyrocketed since it was implemented, and the current trend now is for employers not to offer health benefits at the workplace. One intention of the legislation, according to President Obama before it was passed by Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, was to alter a person's approach to health care from reactive to proactive, but that direction has spiraled out of control because of costs.

Once the Republican Party gained the majority in the House, the representatives voted in favor of repealing it more than 60 times, but the initiative failed each time because of the Democrats in the Senate. It was apparently easy for those lawmakers to disapprove of the ACA, but last week fixing it proved too difficult.

I don't know what the future of this issue will involve, and neither do you no matter your political affiliation. We can all agree, however, that it needs fixing.

Categories: Commentary