Those of us working in and around the arts for decades know well that the National Endowment for the Arts has been a target of presidential threats in nearly every administration’s budget proposal. And the steadfast and continuing work of Americans for the Arts has been all about defending the NEA to unsupportive presidents for years.
What makes this time different is that this president, Donald Trump, has unsurprisingly set out a more extreme position — the elimination of the NEA — than any previous administration has yet proposed. Though I haven’t read The Art of the Deal, we know that Trump relishes the emotional (and media) bump he gets from establishing an outrageous position from which to negotiate. The NEA is hardly the only organization he has targeted with this negotiation tactic — Trump’s entire budget proposal is designed as a radical statement. And the recent failure of the repeal of Obamacare was the first real bit of evidence that although extreme positions get the media atwitter, they may not so easily result in actual policy change.Read the Article