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A Republican candidate speaks up for arts funding and the NEA

March 23, 2017 by norman lebrecht

7 comments.


Mike Huckabee, the former presidential contender and Arkansas governor, has written an op-ed in the Washington Post today, urging president Trump to abandon his abolition of the National Endowment for the Arts.

As aspiring musician, Huckabee benefited as a child from the NEA.

He reminds Trump:

If it seems unusual that a conservative Republican would advocate for music and the arts, don’t be so surprised. The largest increase in arts funding ever came under President Richard Nixon, and when budget hawks thought about cutting the minuscule funding of the NEA in the 1980s, it was no less than President Ronald Reagan who stepped in to make sure those in our poorest neighborhoods continued to have access to this road to academic success and meaningful way to express their creative gifts.

I’m for cutting waste and killing worthless programs. I’m not for cutting and killing the hope and help that come from creativity.


Comments (7)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    And now the question emerges: what exactly are ‘waste’ and ‘worhtless programs’? Who is to decide and on which basis?

    1. Robert Holmén says:

      Anyone can decide what is “waste” or “worthless” but by law, Congress has to decide what to fund.

  2. Bruce says:

    “If it seems unusual that a conservative Republican would advocate for music and the arts, don’t be so surprised.”

    I am surprised.

    “I’m for cutting waste and killing worthless programs. I’m not for cutting and killing the hope and help that come from creativity.”

    I don’t believe him.

    Also, his reminders about Nixon and Reagan conveniently ignore the fact that, despite their places in the Republican pantheon, they (like Abraham Lincoln) would be get nowhere in the GOP today if they espoused the views that they held while in office.

  3. Tunesmith says:

    “President Ronald Reagan who stepped in to make sure those in our poorest neighborhoods continued to have access to this road to academic success and meaningful way to express their creative gifts”
    HUH? During the Reagan years, music education in America’s public schools declined precipitously, with the result that by the early 1990’s America had an entire teenage population that didn’t know what a melody was – hence the growth of rap, punk, techno, heavy metal, and other noisy sound-forms that kids called “music” – and that decline in musical tastes brought with it a lot of violent crime and drug use. Republicans largely thought that music education was a waste, and now we’re paying the price.

    1. Petros Linardos says:

      How did you draw the connection between decline in musical tastes, violent crime and drug use? Can you reference any studies or statistics please?
      Side note: I am all for investing in education, culture and music and am horrified at the current president’s spending priorities.

      1. pooroperaman says:

        Just read the lyrics, Petros. Only degenerates listen to rap and hip=hop. Oh, and their morally bankrupt liberal apologists.

    2. Robert Holmén says:

      I attribute the decline of music and PE classes in public schools to the arrival of alumni of these lame and rather ineffective programs to the local school boards that decide what to fund. They may have legitimately noticed how unuseful those classes were to them.

      Note that in the US, public school funding is almost entirely a local thing, not Federal.


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