Poets & Writers

NEA at Risk

DURING the 2016 presidential campaign, a word commonly used to describe the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, was nonideological. Running from outside—and to some extent against—the Republican establishment, Trump appeared ready to offer a policy agenda that would depart from his party’s traditional platforms in ways large and small.

Following his Electoral College victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, however, President-elect Trump launched a transition during which he announced one rock-ribbed conservative appointment after another, including that of Stephen Bannon, the former executive chairman of far-right media company Breitbart News, who is committed to what he has called “the deconstruction of the administrative state,” as his chief strategist. And in the first six weeks of his administration, President Trump took a series of hard-line Republican positions: cracking down on immigrants, rolling back a slew of Obama-era regulations protecting the environment, nominating a Supreme Court justice said to be “an heir to Antonin Scalia,” reversing federal guidelines on restroom rights for transgender students, and, more recently, announcing a massive military buildup. This last increase is to be funded by deep budget cuts in other programs—including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent agency of the federal government that offers support and funding for individuals and organizations through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector

On March 16, Trump became the

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