Art Trumps Ignorance

“Let’s just see what happens,” is what most optimists stated proceeding both the results of the 2016 presidential election as well as the inauguration – because whether we like it or not, he will be the President, right?

Well, America, we’re less than two weeks into the Presidency of Donald J. Trump and we’re already seeing “what happens” at an alarming rate. It was easy to hope that he would come to reason, that he wouldn’t follow through with his ridiculous declarations of building a wall, deporting immigrants and abolishing Obamacare. However, as an optimist, my friends, my hope is running bone dry.

The list of things that Trump has done thus far is almost as daunting as his toupee; he’s not wasting any time as he uses his newfound executive powers to undo the work of the administrations before him, from pipelines to immigration policies to Obamacare.

Although these things are all equally distressful, his plans to eliminate both the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowments for the Humanities hit me harder than the others.

When I first heard about this I was boiling, blown away by the fact that Trump’s administration could be so insensible and obtuse to cut out two organizations with missions to merely promote the creative capacity of our nation by providing all Americans with opportunity for arts participation and advocate for excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.

Honestly, I’m just curious as to what these organizations Trump and his administration finds the most “unnecessary.” I mean, is it the arts, history or opportunity for knowledge and growth of our nation’s citizens? It couldn’t really be about the cost, could it? According The Hill, the NEA and NEH combined accounted for only .006 percent of the annual $3.9 trillion spent by the U.S. Government in 2016.

As a music education major reaching the halfway point of my education, the idea of eliminating these organizations seems anti-cultural and anti-humanitarian. I realize that you have never needed to apply for a federal grant, Mr. President, but that’s no reason to take away the opportunity for Americans to participate in and enjoy arts education, dance, music, theater, museums, cultural and educational resources and all the other amazing things that these organizations provide across the nation.

I’m sure you assumed that once you entered office it’d be easy-peasy to walk in and start uprooting rights for women, our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and all of us Americans; but you underestimate the power of the people. We’ll always be here to remind you that this isn’t a corporation, this is a country – our country. We won’t be silenced, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

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