Thursday, October 4, 2012
If elected Mitt Romney will do everything he can do to gut our government supported art programs. He’s promised to stop funding for PBS, NPR, The National Endowment for the Arts and others while limiting what we can watch in the privacy of our own homes. I am sure there are artists out there who support the likes of Romney…my only question would be why?
Romney’s correlation of Big Bird with PBS, an important organization with such an inspiring and rich legacy, shows his utter disdain for the arts, artists and creative expression. Romney, and many of his constituents, simply doesn’t understand how necessary the arts are to our country’s past, present and future. The idea of giving relatively minor funding to organizations that can ultimately change lives, and offer spiritual healing, when they could be putting more and more cash into an already bloated defense budget, a useless drug war and into their own already stuffed pockets is totally foreign to them.
I don’t usually bring politics into the mix here at Moon in the Gutter but I am angry. I’m angry that so many people are blindly supporting a man looking to shut the lights out on groups that have helped given a voice to so many of our greatest artists…voices that might otherwise had never been heard. I’m angry that so many people are blindly supporting a man who wants to monitor what we can and can’t watch (and would want to take the livelihood away from many of our most daring artists and provocateurs). I’m angry that so many people around me want to live in this white fantasy world that never existed….Mitt Romney’s idea of America isn’t my country and his position on everything from defunding valuable arts programs to upholding ridiculously antiquated anti-obscenity laws are just two of the reasons I feel like a stranger in a strange land these days. After all, Mitt Romney is all but guaranteed to win my state.
President Obama really dropped the ball in last night’s debate and it was disheartening watching him let Romney’s version of the facts run riot. I can only hope the upcoming debates find the President in a more prepared and fighting mood, as I now getting more and more nervous about the outcome of the upcoming election. I’m sure I might lose some readers with this post but frankly I am more concerned about the rights of African Americans, Homosexuals and women that are going to be set back by decades, if Mitt Romney wins, and I am worried about the great works of art, and artists, we won’t discover when he shuts the doors on so many of our most valuable government funded organizations.
So if you are an artist on the fence about voting please don’t be…take a moment on November 6th and cast a vote against Mitt Romney. History has taught us time and time again that we need to particularly beware of political movements and voices that target the arts and the freedom of creative expression. Now more than ever we need to, as John Cale so eloquently put it in his tribute to Rene Magritte, ‘watch the arts’ and watch out for them.
-Jeremy Richey, 2012-