For the next four years, remember: Art doesn’t belong to the left: Brendon Ambrosino
2017/01/23 Leave a comment
An amusing if ultimately silly article.
Yes, of course, Ambrosino is right that we should all try to see and understand the perspective of others.
But that does not necessarily mean accepting their views, particularly when they are anti-democratic, misogynistic, racist or bigoted, as many of Trump and his followers have been, with no post-election pivot to a more inclusive tone. So it’s not just about art ‘belonging’ to Democrats, it is about civic values and respect belonging to us all:
As the election proved, entertainment and media elites who live on the coasts are severely out of ideological step with the rest of the nation. Some small-town folks from the middle of the country enjoy Broadway shows as much as New Yorkers – and they open their wallets when Broadway shows and the Rockettes tour through their largely white, blue-collar towns. Best, then, not to alienate them by sending the message that performing arts are against Trump supporters. Especially because, if some of these people really are as backward as we’re told, wouldn’t you want them to be in the front row of, say, Hamilton, so they can experience the beauty of diversity in action? Trump supporters could learn a lot from a theatre; no need to make them feel unwelcome there.
There are rumours that Mr. Trump might cut arts funding, which would be a terrible decision. But think about the way his mind works: If professional artists are sending the message that art belongs to Democrats, then why would his administration keep funneling money there? Same thing with Mr. Trump going to see Broadway plays or concerts: Why would he do that if he thought he was showing up only to be lectured? This is the new leader of our country – and various arts communities would do well to let him know he is welcome to enjoy their art.
If you’re angry with Mr. Trump’s supporters, go to a quiet room, close your eyes, and try to imagine three logical reasons why they might be happy with a Trump presidency. If you can’t come up with these reasons easily, then that’s a failure of imagination on your part. (There are plenty of these sorts of unimaginative people on social media.) That suggests to me that our country is in desperate need of a renewed artistic vision, one that transcends petty political infighting.
I believe Dostoevsky was right when he said that beauty will save the world. Best, then, not to keep it under a political bushel for the next four years.