by Randall Forte, LV Arts Council executive director
Candidates will spend more than $2 billion on this election while they are screaming about a $10 trillion national debt. Has our democracy, “this great experiment,” been reduced to who has the most money for advertising to attack their opponents with falsehoods and innuendo?
Public service is tainted when candidates disrespect their opponents—it reflects a disrespect for the office and, ultimately, a cynicism for the electorate.
If ever there was a case to be made to expand the arts in our schools, now is the time. The arts encourage civic engagement by nurturing a free exchange of ideas in the context of mutual respect for someone who has a differing point of view.
The arts are not just passion and volume (that’s propaganda!) but appeal to reason and aesthetics. The arts teach skills we admire in our elected officials: empathy and problem solving. As citizens, maybe we need to evaluate a candidate’s capacity to lead by his/her involvement in the arts.
Remember to vote!